Getting Started with Weight Lifting

Choosing to work out from home with dumbbells is a great way to improve your strength while building your muscles and physique. Doing so eradicates the need to go to the gym, which not only saves you time when it comes to your fitness but it saves you money too as you are not paying for a monthly membership! When you lift weights you will be burning calories which, alongside a balanced diet, can contribute to weight loss. If you have decided to get fit by lifting weights at home then it is essential that you choose the right dumbbells for your needs.

If you start out too heavy then you run the risk of injury and this could greatly impact the effectiveness of your training. Furthermore, if you decide to continue training when you know you have an injury then you run quite a serious risk of long-term damage. On the flip side, if you lift weights that are too light for you then you are not really going to make any positive progress.

Ideally you want to pick a weight that is both manageable but also challenging. As your training continues, and the weight becomes more manageable than it does challenging, then you can start to increase the amount of repetitions and then start to increase the weight. You essentially want to be working towards lifting heavier weights for longer periods of repetition, as this is where the benefits to your body will come from!

Once you have found which weight is going to be best for you to start from, it is advisable that you practice your form with moderately light dumbbells. This will allow you to learn the optimum way to lift weights and how to hold the rest of your body as you do so. This will also help to protect you against injury when you get started for real on the heavier weights. Additionally, this is a good way to determine what weight you should be using for your general training. For example, if you begin with 5kg for practice and find it difficult to do 20 repetitions with ease, then you should probably start around this weight. If, on the other hand, this weight is no problem at all for you to do 20 repetitions of then you can try to do the same with a slightly heavier weight.

You have to ask yourself what you want to get out of your weight training in order to maximise your efforts for success. If you are primarily looking to build muscle, then it will be more effective to do a small amount of repetitions with a heavy weight. However, if you want to increase your stamina and endurance then aim to do more repetitions with a lower weight. If you want to improve your general fitness and do not have specific weight loss or body building aims in mind, then you can strike a balance between these two concepts.

One downside to training with dumbbells at home is that you may find that you outgrow your weights quite quickly as you progress through your training. You are obviously going to start with a light set as you get used to this type of training, and then move up to heavier weights. When you are working out in a gym you will have a wide range of weights available to you, but when you workout at home you will have to purchase your own. If you are developing quite rapidly with your practice then this could soon add up. For this reason it is a good idea to buy your dumbbells second hand and then sell them on once you are sure you will not be training with them anymore as you move up to heavier weights.

In addition to training at home with dumbbells, you can also invest in a barbell set. This involves the use of a weight bench and just one barbell. You can then purchase the weights and add them to the barbell depending on the exercise that you are partaking in. The benefit of training with a weight bench and a barbell is that you only need one barbell and then you simply add more weights onto it, instead of having to purchase an entirely new product. Essentially your smaller weights can always come in useful as you get stronger!

It is a great idea to track your progress in a training diary so that you can see how your weight lifting efforts have developed over time. Make a note of how many repetitions you did and at what weight each time you train. It is also useful to note down how easy or difficult you found each session and how you felt afterwards. Follow your workout with a healthy snack or protein shake and you will soon be on your way to your body goals!

References

1) https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2014/01/14/strength-training-101-where-do-i-start/

2) http://www.bodybuilding.com/content/best-beginner-weight-training-guide-with-easy-to-follow-workout.html