Tips For Getting Back Into The Gym

8 Oct

The NYC Marathon is 26 days away! While I’m excited for the race, and have enjoyed training (for the most part), I’m ready for a break from running and to get back to heavy lifting at the gym. I can’t wait!

I know that when I go back, my strength will be way less than last year. I will basically be like a beginner…since body weight squats even make me sore right now!

I figured I’d share some tips with you all for if you have taken a lifting hiatus and plan to go back, or are a beginner looking to get into the gym. The gym can be an intimidating place, but once you conquer your fear or nervousness, you will feel awesome lifting weights!

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1. Start With a Light Weight – Especially if it’s your first time doing an exercise. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried something new and put a weight I thought I could do on the machine, and then not be able to even move it. Besides being slightly embarrassing, you also want to stay safe. Trying to squat or deadlift a weight that is way heavier than you should could hurt you, either now or in the long run. Start light and increase with each set if you need to.

2. Do Basic Lifts – In the first few sessions/weeks, focus on mastering the basics, such as squats, chest press, and lunges. I am leaving deadlifts out because it is so important to have proper form. If you want to do this, make sure a personal trainer watches your form (if you’re a beginner). In the meantime, I’d do hip raises either on the floor or with a swiss ball to target the hamstrings and glutes. If you want to learn these basic lifts, ask a trainer on the floor, or watch videos online from reputable sources.

3. Practice At Home – If you’re nervous about trying something new at the gym, practice the general movement at home first. I like to do this when I find new exercises online. You don’t even need a dumbbell to practice, just set up and perform the movement. With a cable exercise it can be trickier…again, have a trainer help you at the gym if you need to…no need to be embarrassed!

4. Do A Full Body Routine – If you’re just getting back into lifting, or are a beginner, start with a full-body routine. This way, you hit all of your major muscle groups, and start to get your body used to lifting weights. Once you’re more experienced you can start doing body part splits (upper body days vs. lower body days).

5. Be Prepared – Don’t go into the gym with no plan, and end up just doing random exercises. 1) There should be rhyme and reason to your training plan 2) How will you measure your progress if you do a random routine each time? Write out your workout plan ahead of time, and track your weight, sets and reps while at the gym. Some people bring notebooks and stuff, I just write it all down in my phone. This way, in 4 weeks, you can see how much stronger you have gotten!

Do you have any tips you would add?

Have you ever taken a break from lifting? How surprised were you by your strength…or lack thereof 😉

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One Response to “Tips For Getting Back Into The Gym”

  1. SCSU Campus Rec October 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Reblogged this on SCSU Campus Rec.

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