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How do I get started?

(5 Posts)
FirstSeemItThenBeIt Tue 07-Mar-17 12:46:24

I go to the gym a couple of times a week, mostly cardio and use the strength stuff that's there.

But I want to start lifting; should I start with a personal trainer? I've no clue what I'm doing. blush

JustGettingStarted Tue 07-Mar-17 14:13:10

If you can get a few sessions with a trainer, that's awesome. Be sure to tell them that you want to learn to lift weights by yourself. Some people pay trainers to stand over them and compel them to work. Nothing wrong with that. But you need to make it clear that you will be working out by yourself as soon as you're ready.

What do you want to achieve physically? And how much time do you have available?

FirstSeemItThenBeIt Tue 07-Mar-17 15:40:57

Thanks smile

Well, I've lost two stone in the last year and I still look exactly the same. I'm wearing the same clothes confused although they are slightly looser. So I guess I need to get toned, and also continue to lose weight (could still stand to lose another stone at least).

I can get to the gym 2, maybe 3 times a week.

JustGettingStarted Tue 07-Mar-17 16:48:19

If you can do three days a week, an hour each time, you'll have plenty of time for a beginners strength program.

Most people recommend starting with a basic strength program that focuses on what are called the main "compound lifts." These are movements that employ more than one joint and require you to focus on your form and overall stability. The main compound lifts are the deadlift, the squat, the row (or the pull up) , the bench press and the overhead press. You're generally encouraged to use a barbell and plates, although there are dumbbell versions of them all. The beginner programs don't generally work on isolated muscles... There are no bicep curls, for example. The idea is to build a foundation of basic strength and understanding of proper form. The biceps, triceps and even the abs get worked as accessory muscles in the main moves and no specific attention is required.

As a beginner, you'd be expected to start with light weights (the empty barbell, even) and gradually add a small increase in weight each week. Beginners generally progress in a linear fashion for several weeks or months. Once those "newbie gains" stall, you may be ready for an intermediate programme and even start experimenting with other lifts that isolate or enhance the smaller muscles.

Common starting programmes that you can Google include Strong Lifts, Starting Strength and New Rules of Lifting. There's a New Rules of Lifting for Women that is very highly regarded and another programme beloved and revered by women is Strong Curves.

Women don't need special programmes. They can do the same thing the men do. However, sometimes it's helpful to keep in mind that the weights and increments are smaller for us. And Strong Curves, in particular, is specifically aimed at increasing the size of your bum (although men can and should do all of the same exercises.)

FirstSeemItThenBeIt Tue 07-Mar-17 18:26:39

Thanks so much, that's really helpful.

<staying FAR away from Strong Curves> grin

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