I became a certified personal trainer in 2012 because I love exercising and creating beautiful lean muscles! When I discovered strength training was the best way to change and define my body’s shape, I jumped right in and started learning all I could about it. There are many components of fitness, but here are some of the basics for someone who’s just starting out. Don’t let it get overwhelming, the bottom line is to just move and do something you can have fun with!
Getting Started Strength Training
Lifting weights is my fitness “true love” (followed closely by HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training)! It’s THE best way to lose body fat. After a good strength training session, you continue to burn calories after you leave the gym (also called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC). When you’re first starting out, it helps to perform new exercises with a moderate weight. That may be 3lb for you, or 5lb or 8lb or more. What may be moderate to you is heavy to someone else, so you decide what’s moderate for you.
I suggest those who are new to lifting weights to start by strength training 2-3x/week for a few weeks. Work on increasing your cardiovascular fitness 3x/week at the same time – if you’re used to walking or using the elliptical for 15 minutes at a time, try 20 minutes, and increase to 30-45 minutes over those first couple of weeks. Then start adding more resistance.
There are many different ways to split your strength training workouts by muscle group. I have great results when I workout my lower body muscle groups all together, twice a week, and the same for my upper body. That’s four days a week lifting weights. I usually add a fifth day for high intensity interval training or plyometrics – more about them later – but if strength training isn’t as enjoyable for you, take the fifth day to do something fun – like a group fitness class like pilates or spin.
Start with basic movements like squats – you can even practice them at home before trying them at the gym! There are many good videos on Youtube (and I’m working on some too!) that show proper form. Form is very important to avoid injury and ensure you get results from your workout. It’s easy to “check out” and go through the motions without really working your muscles. The last thing you want to do is waste your precious time doing something that won’t provide results!
Prenatal Fitness & Nutrition