Why It Matters
Whether you're looking to build muscle or not, strength training should feature in your exercise regime.
As well as improving strength, muscle keeps your body burning calories faster than fat and will make your other workouts feel easier. If you haven't started already, here are some tips:
1. Slow and steady.
If you're new to weight training, keep things chill. Use enough weight such that you can complete 10 to 12 reps (and 2 or 3 sets) per exercise. You want to feel challenged but in control. Move the weight up gradually when you feel ready, and avoid doing heavy weights before you're ready. You don't want to get an injury that slows down your progress. Spend the first couple of weeks learning how to do each exercise properly, rather than worrying about how much you're lifting.
2. Have a plan.
Decide what you're going to do during your workout before you begin, to ensure that you remain focused and driven during the session. First pick which muscle group you want to work on, and then plan which exercises you're going to do and for how long (and at what weight if necessary). Keep your workout full of compound exercises for a well rounded session that tests a variety of muscle groups at once.
3. Don't feel the need to splash out.
If you're just getting started with strength training, you'll find that you won't need big weight equipment systems or a hefty gym membership to get a good workout. Bodyweight workouts can be a great place to start, and are completely free!
4. Don't neglect your form.
If you're not sure how to properly execute a move - ask someone! You could do some damage to yourself if you workout with bad form, as well as making your workouts less efficient.
5. Warm up...
Start your workout with 10 minutes of light cardio, and ensure you have stretched the muscles you are going to be working on. Supplement your diet with creatine to support power and endurance during high intensity workouts. Check out The Power Booster to stock up.
6. ...and then remember to chill.
So you've conquered your first strength workout. Doesn't it feel great? Give your body some time to recover before launching back in. Use a foam roller after every workout to prevent your muscles from tightening up, and exercise different muscle groups each day so that you aren't working the same muscles on repeat. Also ensure you're supplementing with the nutrients that your body needs to repair and develop. Get yourself covered with The Recover Capsules.
7. Mix it up.
As well as making sure to exercise all areas of your bod (not necessarily all in the same workout!), keep things fresh with different exercises, to ensure that your muscles don't get used to the same old moves. Constant change will mean that your muscles continue to be challenged and developed.
8. Feed your gains.
Be sure to aid muscle recovery and development with a diet rich in protein, which is vital for building muscle. Check out The Strong Protein for a tasty protein kick combined with added functional ingredients designed to enhance strength and support healthy muscle recovery.
So now you're set. Get out there and smash your first strength workout. Don't forget to keep us updated with your progress on Instagram by tagging @liveinnermost in your workout pics!