How to get started with strength training
Are you tired of your HIIT workouts feeling like torture?
Are you wanting to finally feel confident in your body?
Are you ready to build strength for your everyday life?
Then strength training is the answer for you!
But I get it, it can be super intimidating and overwhelming stepping foot in a gym.
It can also be confusing as to what exercises you should be doing on what days, with what reps/sets/weight.
So today, I want to share with you my top 5 tips for getting started in strength training.
Let’s do this my friends!
1. Make a plan.
Buy a program from an accredited & experienced trainer, hire a coach, visit a gym that focuses on strength training.
Don’t just follow random fitspo workouts on Instagram. While that single workout itself MIGHT make sense, it is taken out of context and not giving you the full picture.
Before I joined a gym that specialized in strength training, I was constantly bouncing around from spin and HIIT classes, dabbling in some strength work, maybe a yoga class here or there.
I was ALWAYS sore.
The “plan” that I was on was not a plan. These workouts never complemented one another. That meant that there were weeks that I probably did 200+ lunges, and others where I did none.
Making a solid plan is an essential step in order to optimize your time in the gym, ensure you’re incorporating the fundamental movement patterns, and minimize injuries.
2. Perfect your basic, fundamental movement patterns prior to adding any weights.
It is crucial that you are moving well prior to adding loads to your movement patterns.
The fundamental movement patterns include the following:
Take the time to really learn how the movement should be executed, take videos of yourself to check your form, and be patient!
This isn’t the most glorious part of the process, but it is key to moving well for the rest of your life. If you’re anything like me, I want to be old and gray (someday) and still able to take the groceries out of the car, pick up and hold my grandkids, run around the yard, even still working out, etc.
3. Take things at your own pace.
It can be overwhelming starting something for the first time!
Incorporate 1-2 strength sessions per week or something that you truly feel that you can commit to consistently. This is YOUR journey, no one else’s.
Any strength work is better than none, but ideally incorporating 3 sessions/week is recommended in order to see progress.
It’s also okay if it takes you a while to learn your movement patterns and to really start feeling confident in what you are doing. Give it time to soak in and you’ll reap the benefits soon enough!
4. Grab an accountability buddy.
We weren’t meant to travel down new roads alone.
Grab a buddy who can keep you accountable on your best days, as well as your worst.
It’s also helpful to have someone else who can spot you, watch your form for you, push you beyond your own limits, cheer you on, and chat with you during your rest periods.
5. Prioritize recovery from the start.
This can definitely be something that’s easy to skimp out on in the beginning.
You might not feel like you need much recovery just yet, but you will definitely want to have this as part of your routine down the road.
Start NOW and incorporate stretching, mobility, foam rolling, rest, or gentle yoga, NOT after your first injury.
I think most seasoned lifters can agree to that 😉
Every workout, make sure you include a 5-10 minute mobility/stretching cool down.
If you aren’t incorporating enough recovery and rest, you may actually be hindering your progress.
Growing up as an athlete, my love for movement has always been a priority in my life.
However, at some point, movement and what I thought was “healthy eating” turned into a hard relationship that I was afraid to confront. Rather than eating food that was actually good for my body, my mentality shifted to “if I eat this food, I’ll look a certain way.” This eventually turned into a downward spiral of anxiety with body image and food.
Through my own self-work, education, and reflection, coaching from other professionals, and the support of loved ones over the past decade, my confidence grew as I fell in love with strength training and gaining nutrition knowledge.
My mission is to help women find their strength, confidence, and happiness in their bodies, minds, and lives through training and nutrition.