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Scared to Lift? Here’s How to Start Weight Training!

It can get pretty intimidating in the weight room. All those serious buff guys who know what they’re doing. Well, they think they know what they are doing. But don’t let that scare you away from achieving your best body! Weight lifting can SERIOUSLY transform your physique. It did for me.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Take a group fitness class like BODYPUMP. It will teach you everything you need to know about weight lifting – well, a good majority of it at least! And it will help you build confidence. There’s an instructor to guide you and fix your form as well.
  2. OR! Start out on those machines. They are designed to help you keep proper form at all times. Plus it’s nice that there’s always a little picture on the inside that tells you what you’re working and how to do it. Easy!
  3. Work opposing muscle groups! If you train biceps, do your triceps as well to balance out.
  4. If you’re brand new, don’t go crazy heavy…yet. Start out light as to keep proper form. Just do more reps! But if you’re finding that you don’t even feel anything, gradually get a heavier weight and practice. Do you tire out by 10 or 12? If so, that’s the right weight.
  5. Work on different muscle groups on different days to help you from tiring out. Try all Upper Body one day, then Lower Body the next. Make sure to give yourself at least 1 or 2 rest days a week. On non-rest days when you’re too sore to lift, do 30-40 min of cardio.
  6. Switch up your workout every 4 weeks. Your body will adapt to your routine and this may cause a plateau. Change up your program frequently to keep up with the muscle confusion. Keep the body guessing.

For muscle endurance, use light weights:

  • 14-20 reps
  • 2-3 sets

For muscle strength, use medium weights:

  • 8-12 reps
  • 3-4 sets

For muscle power, use heavy weights:

  • 5-8 reps
  • 4-6 sets

How heavy is heavy enough? REMEMBER, make sure that by the end of your set, it is so challenging that you are working very hard to finish with proper form still intact.

What’s your fave thing to workout? I love working out my shoulders, triceps, and glutes!

The Conversation (9)

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  • Diana says:

    Can anyone recommend how to split weight training and the blogilates videos each week? How would it work with the monthly calendar? THanks!

    • Julia says:

      I replace one of her repeat days with a weight training version of it. For example, she will have 2 leg days. I will use 1 of them for weights and the other for her videos. She only has 1 upper body day, so I replace one of her full body days with another upper body day with weights. I hope this helps :)

  • Sarah says:

    Cassey,
    Is there any way you could post a week’s worth of weight training routines?
    I feel so lost at the gym sometimes; I never know what machines to use, how many reps, or how many sets to do. Or what machines are worth my time!

    I think it’d be really helpful to hear from YOU what machines you use on each day (ex: leg day, chest day, arms day, etc.)!

    Or really if anyone has input, please let me know! My email is [email protected] (haha don’t judge the name…I made it a while ago..)

    • Julia says:

      Look up her POP HIIT routines (the gym-based ones). There are printables for them too. I believe there are 9 of them.

  • Sarah says:

    Cassey,
    Is there any way you could post a week’s worth of weight training routines?
    I feel so lost at the gym sometimes; I never know what machines to use, how many reps, or how many sets to do. Or what machines are worth my time!

    I think it’d be really helpful to hear from YOU what machines you use on each day (ex: leg day, chest day, arms day, etc.)!

  • Emily says:

    lifting does get amazing results! my new combo is lifting (light weight/high reps, circuits) for example sunday, tuesday, thursday, and on monday, wednesday, and friday doing 20 min of your cardio and 40 min of your pilates videos. even after only a couple weeks, i am stronger and leaner!!

  • Nirina says:

    I wouldn’t mind looking like the chick in the pic haha

  • Sil says:

    Yes, you’re right! I start to use weights for 5-6 weeks or so and it’s amazing. You can see results really quick. Though I must confess that I overdo my weight training und hurt myself…:( So I have to slow down.

  • Annelle says:

    Thanks so much for the post! I have been so confused with sets and reps and what I should be doing if I want to build muscle and strengthen, not just tone. I now have a starting point. Thanks again.

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