Weight training is one of the most rewarding skills you can master with just a few simple and extremely functional movements. It’s a perfect exercise for when you are busy but still want to make time to factor working out into your daily routine.
So, what do you need to know?
You won’t bulk up (unless you want to)
Many people believe that as soon as you start weight training you start bulking up. This isn’t true. In fact, it takes a lot of time, effort and intention to bulk up by incorporating high protein and high calorie diets into your daily routine along with regular training.
Between the ages of 30 and 70, muscle mass and strength decrease by an average of 30 per cent, mostly due to inactivity. Weight training can prevent or even reverse this process and, in turn, provides the following benefits:
- Improved performance of physical activities
- Prevention and management of chronic diseases
- Improved joint health, prevention and treatment of low-back pain
- Injury prevention
- Relief of aches and pains from stress or after prolonged sitting
- Improved posture
- Improved quality of sleep
Repetition is key to success
If you’ve never tried any basic strength training movements, odds are your first at attempt won’t be perfect but that’s ok!
Your muscle memory will only build relative to the frequency of your training. The more you pick up a weight, the more familiar with the movement your muscles will become. After a few weeks of repeating movements consistently, the muscle memory will develop.
All it takes is 5 or 10 minutes of repetitive, concentrated work and before you know it, those movements that felt so foreign to you will start to make sense and you’ll see significant jumps in your strength and ability.
Feel benefits in everyday life
After you’ve been training consistently and mindfully for a while you will start to see benefits from training appear in your everyday life.
You’ll feel less winded after climbing a flight of stairs and heavy luggage won’t be a chore for your strong back and shoulders.
Weight training is also great for cardiovascular health and strengthening muscles to help prevent injury and can also improve your mental health!
Why not start today with three simple movements to understand weight training?
Deadlifts, squats and push press’s cover the core, functional movements of strength training and are a great way to establish a foundation to introduce more complex movements into your training regime further down the line.
A deadlift includes a barbell being lifted from the ground at the lifter’s shin, up to hip height before being returned to the ground. Deadlift will strengthen your core, hamstrings, and back and can be mastered with either the barbell or dumbbells.
A squat is a great way to build core and leg strength. Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and turned slightly outward, place the weight bar at the top of your back and narrow your grip to sit slightly outside of your shoulders to engage your back. Once you’ve adjusted the placement of the bar, engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and lower slowly and controlled until your quads are parallel with the floor. Then raise up in a controlled way, squeezing your glutes at the top.
A push press begins with feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell or dumbbells at your chest with your elbows pointing forward, bend your knees slightly and drop into a quarter squat. As you press into your heels and drive up through your legs, push the bar over your head and lock your elbows. This movement will introduce you to the explosive hip movement that is key to mastering more complex lifts and will build your shoulder and core strength.