Strength Training Tips for Beginners: How to Get Started

If you are starting a new exercise regime, strength-training may seem daunting. With countless exercises and a confusing array of gym equipment available, it can be difficult for novices to know where to start.

Since strength training involves using a resisting force to make muscles contract, it is sometimes referred to as “resistance training.” The activity can be categorized into two separate categories: isotonic strength training and isometric resistance. Both play important roles in terms of improving physical strength and fitness.

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No matter where you are in your fitness journey, strength training is a vital component. It can confer a variety of health benefits, including:

Improving physical fitness and strength.

Burning fat.

Increasing muscle mass and bone density.

Improving body mechanics.

Helping manage chronic disease.

Boosting mood and energy levels.

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Enhancing cardiovascular health.

How to Get Started with Strength Training

Wellness specialist Evan Thoman states those new to strength training starting with what they have to hand rather than worrying about buying the perfect set of free weights. For those who do not have their own weights, Thoman recommends using household items such as gallons of milk or cans food, although these items can be more difficult to hold so require more care.

Irrespective of how heavy or light weights are, if you are practicing at home you can tweak your routine to ensure you get an effective workout appropriate for your fitness level. Typically, a particular exercise is completed in three sets with a rest in between each set. People often start with between 10 and 12 repetitions of an exercise in a set.

Modify Your Strength Training Workout as You Progress

By following a regular exercise routine, a person who starts with 10 reps per set will soon be able to do 15. As individual exercises become easier, one of the strength training variables (i.e., amount of weight, number of reps, or rest time between sets) will need to be tweaked to keep routines challenging.

To build muscle, you should choose challenging weights that you can complete 10 to 12 reps with. For endurance, stick to lower weights, but increase repetitions. As Evan Thoman points out, irrespective of the combination an individual chooses, strength training helps build stronger muscles and avoid injuries when bending and lifting, not only improving health and fitness, but also day-to-day living.

Douglas Healy is a Springfield, Missouri-based attorney with nearly 20 years of legal experience.

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