The best time to start building muscle and getting healthy is now! In the beginning, navigating strength training can be confusing. Luckily there are a variety of ways to ease yourself into strength training!
Here are some ways you can get started on improving your health at home, in the gym, or both!
Try Using Your Body Weight
A few classic body weight exercises are push-ups, sit-ups, and squats.
- Push-ups: To do a push up, you want to be on all fours with your hands slightly farther than shoulder-length apart. To begin, straighten your arms and legs. Your body should be straight – no back curvature! Lower your body until your chest comes near the floor. Lift yourself back up, then repeat.
- Sit-ups: Lie on your back with your knees bent (feet flat on the floor). Bend at your hip and waist to raise your body off the floor, keeping your feet flat. You should feel this in your abdominals. Lower back to starting position.
- Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-length apart. Move your hips back, keeping your back straight and not letting your knees bend past the tips of your toes. Try to get your hips lower than your knees. Raise back up to the starting position.
Work Out Two Days A Week and Build Up
When starting out, a beginner in strength training may work out 2 days a week, 15-20 minutes each day. It can do more damage than good to overexert yourself. Typically, you should be increasing your workout time/days every 3-4 weeks, or when you feel your workouts can be completed with too much ease.
Align Your Diet with Your Health Goals
Find a healthy diet that fits your preferences/health conditions. Look online for different, appropriate diets. Meal plans are also available online from reputable sources. Be mindful of the number of calories you are intaking. This can be done by reading the nutrient label on foods and adding together your total caloric intake of the day.
To lose weight, you will want to be in a caloric deficit. This means the calories you burn in day is greater than your caloric intake. If you are looking to gain weight, the opposite is true: you want to be in a caloric surplus—intaking more calories than you are expelling. There are many caloric calculators online that you may use to figure out how many calories you should be eating to meet your health goals. So long as you are eating in a caloric deficit/surplus then you should reach your goals.
Remember to fuel your body with healthy foods to provide it with energy to maintain bodily functions. It is also important to stay hydrated. Food and water help muscles recover, as well as prepare you for the next workout.
Rest and Recover
An important part to strength training is recovery. Muscles need 24-48 hours to recover from a workout. You can alternate what muscles you work out, as well as take designated “rest days” for a whole-body rest. Along with this, you should stretch before and after each workout, to “warm-up” and “cool-down” your muscles.
With this, you can get started on strength training in a healthy, manageable way!