Hey guys! I hope you enjoy today’s post from Lydia @ Happy Healthy Confident. I too often hear “I hate lifting”, “I only do cardio”, and “I don’t want to bulk up”. Especially as a personal trainer, I’d usually be the person pushing my clients to lift, as they had no problem doing cardio on their own time.
If you are new to lifting, this will give you the basic breakdown on where to start!
As a beginner, strength training can be a bit overwhelming. We have all been there! It is important to understand the different types of strength training exercises, what body parts they work, and what to do to reach your fitness goals. For instance, if you are trying to gain muscle, your workout is going to be different then if you are trying to lose weight.
To start, below I will outline the basic strength training moves for each part of your body, then I will cover what to keep in mind when working towards your specific goals.
Back: seated row machine, back extension, or lat pull down
The above strength training machines will focus on the muscles in your back. The benefit of gaining strength in your back is that is will increase your ability to perform at a higher level when playing sports, and it will also help you strengthen your abs muscles.
Shoulders: Overhead press, Lateral raise, Front Raise
Strengthening your shoulders will help you to build upper body strength and improve your posture. This will benefit you in ways that you will notice almost immediately.
Biceps: Bicep Curls, Hammer Curls, Concentration Curls
Bicep strength increases arm strength, and will give you more power in sports or activities you may be involved in. Upper body strength in also very important to bettering your running time.
Triceps: Triceps Extensions, Dips, and Kickbacks
Just as it is important to strengthen your biceps, it is important to strengthen your triceps. You want to increase mobility and muscle strength in both muscles in your arms, for your best results.
Lower Body: Squats, Lunges, Leg Press machines, Dead Lifts, Calf raises
Strengthening your lower body is vital to reaching any fitness goals. For runners, strengthening your lower body will help you to improve your performance. Lower body strength is necessary for any athlete, as well as it is for anyone in the world. Working your lower body will also help you to maintain healthy bones and joints.
Abdominals: Crunches, Reverse Crunches, Oblique Twists, Pelvic Tilts
Your core is the center point of your body’s overall strength capabilities. You want to strengthen your core to reach your fitness goals whatever they may be.
Now that you know the basic strength training workouts for each part of the body, it is important to know how to work each part of your body to get the results you are looking for.
If you are looking to lose body fat and build muscle, select a weight that you are only able to complete 10-12 reps with. Anything lighter will not give you the results. If you are a beginner only do 1 set of reps and work up from there. Advanced athletes can do up 3 sets of reps.
For more serious muscle gain, choose a weight that you are only able to complete roughly 4-8 reps with. Again beginners only need to complete 1 set. As you become accustomed to the weight, slowly increase the amount of weight each week, never going beyond 8 reps per set.
Finally, to build endurance, choose a weight that you can do 12-16 reps with. You can choose to do anywhere from 1-3 sets with this weight, but always leave a rest day in between workouts. The longer you build endurance, slowly increase your weight while staying at a full 16 reps per set.
Many people do not realize the results they will get from including strength training into their workout. Remember to always start somewhere you are very comfortable and work your way up from there. Keeping track by writing down your weight and reps in a notebook is a great way to track your progress, too!