Starting Your Weightlifting Routine


There are several things that you will need to consider once you decide to start a weightlifting routine. Always check with your doctor before starting any new physical activities, and do not stop taking any medication that you are currently on without doctor's approval.

First, if you haven't already, think about the type of gym where you would feel most comfortable. Would you want to be with people who are a little overweight? Are you very competitive, and think you would like to use a gym that is geared for weightlifting competitors? Are you older, and would like to work out around people closer to your age? 

Whatever will make you most comfortable, more than likely there is a gym that can fit your needs. Start your search on the Internet. If that is not satisfactory, feel free to email me with specific questions.

Second, along with choosing the kind of gym you want, look at your budget. Today, in most areas in the U.S. monthly gym membership rates range from several hundred dollars to ten or twenty. Think about what you can afford as you pick the gym you want. Along with expense is travel to and from. You may want to have a gym that is closer to your home or office to cut down on expense.

Third, think about clothing and accessories. Don't spend a great deal of time deciding whether your gym clothes are stylish or color coordinated. My rule of thumb is: clean, comfort, support. That is, are my gym clothes clean? Are they comfortable (not revealing or constricting)? Do my gym shoes support my feet? Does my sports bra support my breasts adequately? A word on sports bras: don't put them in the dryer. Let them air dry and the elastic will last much longer. Later, you may want to invest in a pair of weight lifting gloves and even later a weight lifting belt.

Fourth, start learning about the basic weight lifting machines. These are the machines that you will find in every gym. YouTube has video that can show you machines and demonstrate how to use them. The basic weight lifting machines fall in these two categories: pushing or pulling. There are machines that target legs, arms, shoulders, back, stomach, buttocks. Below are a few pictures that I found on the Internet to get you started:
Buterfly-chest: push

Biceps-arms: pull

Bench press-arms, shoulders, chest: push
Lat pulldown-arms,chest,back--pull
Squats: legs, back, stomach--push

Fifth, once you become familiar with some of the basic machines, you will want to begin to visualize yourself using them. During your regular meditation time, set aside a few minutes to visualize yourself sitting in each machine and using it. Do not think about the weight right now, just your form. 

This is important because when do you walk into your gym, there will be people, noises, and smells that can be distracting. If you use your meditation time to focus on you and the machine you are using, this will be good practice for times when you are in settings where there are many other things going on.

Using Your Gym

You are prepared, and you have decided on the gym that best fits your needs. Now, it's time to get started.

You are walking into your gym for the first time and you are using your machines. You have your bottle of water. You have on clean, comfortable, and supporting clothing. There's a lot of action going on around you, people sweating, breathing heavy, lifting, chatting, running... but you know why you are there and you know how to keep your focus. There are a few things to know and keep in mind as you proceed.

When you begin your workout, start by deciding how many days you want to go to the gym. I recommend that you aim for three days a week for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour. Alternate your focus from legs to arms each day. Focus on your core muscles, stomach and back every time you go. Aim for three sets on each machine. A set is made up of the number of times that you lift a weight consecutively.

For example, if you lift 10 times (repetitions) in a row, that is one set. When working legs, a set is 12-15 repetitions. When working arms a set is 10-12 repetitions. Aim for three sets on each machine. Stretch for a short (no longer than 30 seconds) period between each set. if you are able to do more repetitions than recommended here, that is an indication that you need to move up one level with the amount of weight you are lifting.

A Note on Breathing
Breath is important, that is obvious. Breath is life. Without it, you die a quick, painful death. Changing our breathing rate is how we relax, energize, and prepare ourselves. Your breathing during weight lifting is crucial to success. It is important to develop your breathing rhythm early. In the beginning, developing your rhythm will help to keep you focused. As you move on, your rhythm will be second nature while lifting.

The basic information that you need here is that during a repetition you breathe in when at rest and breathe out when at work. In other words, imagine that you are using the biceps machine. You breathe in as you lower your arms and breathe out as you raise your arms. Lowering your arms puts the weights back to their neutral position and raising your arms pulls the weight up. Get in the habit of breathing in and out at the appropriate time because this is part of having good form. Having good form helps you avoid injuries and helps your body perform at its maximum level.

As I have written before, I am not a doctor. I do not claim to have all of the answers. The information that I share with you is meant to help inform, inspire, and encourage you on your journey to better health. This has worked, and continues to work in my life. I believe this can work for you.

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From my PowerLife to yours,