Cardio is important to your health. But, many people only do cardio – either their confused about weight training, think that’s something that only bodybuilders do, or are afraid they’ll bulk up. Muscle strength is the foundation of every athletic endeavor. When you’re stronger, you’re able to run faster, hit harder, and loose weight faster. Here’s some strength training strategies if you’re a beginner and just starting out with weight training.
Start with the “Big 4” Strength Moves
The squat, deadlift, bench press, and shoulder press are the best strength-building exercises, and should be the focus for your strength training workouts. There’s always other exercises, like the chin-up and row, but they are best considered as lifts that complement the bench and shoulder press, keeping your pulling muscles in balance with the pressing ones.
Barbells Before Dumbbells
It’s safest to do your big lifts first – and those are lifts that use barbells. Once you’ve finished those core exercises mentioned above, then grab your dumbbells for stuff like bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and upright rows.
Basic, Simple Moves Rule!
Lifting is really pretty simple. Weight goes up, weight goes down. What’s important is to do that in a controlled manner. No jerky movements. Don’t load up with too much weight – concentrate on form that focuses your routine on the muscle group you’re targeting. Lift slowly, hold for one second, and lower it back down. You’ll know your getting stronger if over time, you have to keep adding weight.
Write It Down
The best way to know if you’re getting stronger is to start with a plan. Write down your workout – each move you’re going to do, how many sets, how many reps, and what weight you were lifting. Tracking this on each workout will help you not only see your progress, but where you still need to improve.