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Monday, June 17, 2024

So you are at the gym one day when you decide to head to the weight room. It can’t hurt, right? And of course, it can’t be that hard. But you enter the room and the guy to girl ratio is about 10 to 1 and everyone looks like they know what they are doing. So you decide to head out and maybe just do some pushups. It has happened to me before; walking into that room intimidates me more than I care to admit. But if you want to look toned in sleeveless shirts and be able to lift heavy boxes, you cannot neglect lifting weights and its benefits.

In order to walk into the weight room with confidence, you first need to have a plan. Print out a list of exercises online or ask a trainer at the gym what the best exercises are for the muscle groups and how to do the exercise. That last part is very important: if you are doing the move incorrectly and adding weight to the equation, you could seriously injure yourself. Take it slow in the beginning to make sure nothing feels wrong or painful. Listen to your body.

You also want to be sure that your body can handle the weight. If you have previous injuries to contend with or do not have good posture, the weights will only aggravate the problem. Make sure you are warmed up and stretched out before you start with the weights. As with anything, make sure to start small and work your way up to heavier weights and more reps. Most people think that the only way to get a good workout is to use heavier weights. While this does build muscle, doing more reps at a lower weight will tone and build muscle as well.

Unfortunately, many people fail to consider weight lifting a viable option when in reality it can easily be incorporated into your existing routine while increasing your benefits. You can do your regular squats or sit-ups while holding a 5 or 10 pound weight in order to increase resistance. You build muscle, which in turn burns fat so that you kill two birds with one stone. Weights can also be a starting block before you start doing pull-ups or even push ups, which force you to lift your own body weight. Some people do not want to pay for an expensive weight set; if this is the case, fill two water bottles with sand. I guarantee that if you do a few extra reps you will feel it just as much as you would with 5-pound dumbbells.

Regardless of whether you are a weight lifting pro or have only ever seen a weight on TV, it is always important to be cautious. Have someone spotting you if necessary, and never push yourself to the point of exhaustion; when you become too tired your technique becomes sloppy and mistakes with weights in hand can be particularly dangerous. If you keep all these tips in mind, then your road to toned (ladies) or huge, buff (men) arms, legs or abdominals will be much easier than you may have thought. So next time you walk into the weight room at the gym, you can saunter through with confidence and bust out a routine to be proud of!

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