It’s unrealistic to believe that you’ll be fluent in a new language after one week of studying. By the same token, why beat yourself up over not being able to strength train at the gym with people who have been training for longer than you? Strength training takes time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. To prepare yourself properly, here are eight essential principles to remember when strength training:
1. Start small
Adding a new habit to your life is difficult and can take time away from other things in your life. Get into the habit of strength training by starting with a few reps for just a short period of time. As it become easier, you can increase the number of repetitions.
2. Be patient
You can’t master strength training in a day, a week, or even a month. Remember you won’t see results or master the moves instantaneously.
3. Begin with bodyweight movements
Success with strength training requires building a foundation, which begins with bodyweight movements. This means doing the same moves you would with weights, without the weights at first. As you build strength, you can gradually add more weight.
4. Think compound movements
If you’re crunched for time like many of us are, think about using compound exercises that utilize multiple muscle groups. Some of these exercises include squats, dead lifts, chin ups, and hip thrusts.
5. Focus on getting stronger
If you want to build muscle, focus on increasing your strength as your main priority. If you have a lot of weight to lose, you might not notice any changes to your body composition right away, but you will notice yourself getting stronger.
6. Think quality over quantity
A full-body workout of compound lifts for 30 minutes will give you a better workout than a 90-minute workout of isolation exercises. A shorter workout that pushes you to complete quality moves is better than working out for too long halfheartedly.
7. Prioritize form above all
Lifting weights is challenging. To ensure you don’t hurt yourself, make sure you are using proper form. Lifting with bad form won’t train your muscles properly and could put you at risk of an injury. If you feel only one part of your body working during a compound exercise, take a timeout, and reevaluate your form.
8. Make sure to rest and recover
Lifting weights can help trim and shape your body, but it’s important not to overdo it. Be sure to rest your body to allow it to recover, grow, and become stronger.
Learn more about beginning a proper strength training program from Huffington Post Healthy Living.