We've all seen the headlines - strength training is key to good health, as well as an amazing physique, and women are no longer afraid to hit the gym and lift some heavy weights. However, many novice weight lifters need a little guidance getting started, so we've asked our Empowered Fitness Queens for some common tips that will help beginners get a good start in weight lifting.
Five Common Weight Training Mistakes
1. Skipping the Personal Trainer
Aiming to save time and money, many beginners try and figure things out themselves, but Live4Now athlete Whittney Zumdahl cautions against skipping the professional help:
I’m a physical therapist who deals with injured people on a daily basis and all too often I see poor form and technique that can lead to injuries. My advice to a novice lifter is to perfect your form on the major lifts (squats, deadlifts, chest press, shoulder presses and lat pull downs) by hiring a very knowledgeable and accredited personal trainer or physical therapist.
- Whittney Zumdahl
2. Lifting too Heavy to Start
Although it's tempting to work through all of the exercises with as big of weights as you can lift, to get your form down correctly, Whittney suggests starting with lighter weights until you've got your form down.
Keep the load light and lift slowly making sure you are engaging the targeted muscle groups for each lift (the body loves to utilize the path of least resistance so it will cheat as often as it can!)
- Whittney Zumdahl
3. Starting Without a Plan
Live4Now Athlete Edie Davis emphasizes the importance of a training plan that incorporates different muscle groups effectively. You can do this with a trainer at your gym, or use another tracking method, like an app.
Some gym trainers will walk members through the equipment. There are apps out there too like Jetfit that show you exercise movement and give you a routine. Sample weekly routine:
Follow Edie - @ediefitdiva_ifbbpro for tons of exercises for different muscle groups!
4. Going at it Alone
Whittney also points out that people in the fitness community are passionate about lifting weights and can still remember what it was like to be a beginner. Don't be afraid to ask someone in the gym a question - or for more support, consider joining a supportive fitness community like our Empowered Fitness Queens!
Never, ever be afraid of asking questions or reaching out! We all were a novice at one time!
- Whittney Zumdahl
5. Skipping the Meal Plan
Live4Now Athlete Tammy Giles emphasizes the importance of healthy food choices in getting the most out of your workouts.
On my healthy eating plan, I’m more focused, I’m getting more done every day, my mood is better, I’m more energized and my workouts are better.
- Tammy Giles
6. Focusing on the Scale
Live4Now Athlete and trainer Tiffany Stosich emphasizes the importance of focusing on changes to body composition and not just the numbers on the scale. Starting to focus more on weight training can cause your weight to fluctuate or even increase even though you've lost fat, so be sure to trust the process and incorporate some other strategies for tracking your progress, such as measurements and photos.
When the scale goes up and down and you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere that is when you turn your mind off and just keep grinding.
- Tiffany Stosich
7. Picking Cheap, Low Quality Workout Gear
Lastly, weight training is intense physical exercise, and you need workout gear that will move with you - you don't want to spend your workout adjusting your waistband or worried that your leggings have gone see through! Check out the high quality leggings from Live4Now that are built with elite athletes in mind.