If you don’t know it by now, weight training is one of the most important modes of exercise for people of all ages…but it is even more important as you get older. Once you get over 40 you lose muscle mass at a rate of 10%/decade, so you must weight train if you want to remain functional and toned as you age…it also helps prevent you from dying from any diseases.
Thats right, the more muscle mass you have the lower your chances are of dying… from any disease.
Also, weight training done properly will produce the greatest results in transforming body composition by stripping off fat while increasing muscle mass, which will give you that nice “toned” look.
If you just diet, or just diet and do cardio almost a third of the weight you lose will be muscle, the end result will be a weak, flabby body.
Weight training also offers other healthy benefits such as increased bone mass (helps prevent osteoporosis) and increased insulin sensitivity(helps prevent diabetes.)
This is why the backbone of my weight loss system for people over 40 is a solid weight training program with the proper diet, of course.
The First Few Workouts ARE CRITICAL
Now that you are aware on how important weight training is for you and WHY you should be doing it, lets talk about how to start weight training to maximize your chances of succeeding with it.
The first few workouts that a person performs are extremely important for a lot of reasons. Do them correctly and it will dramatically increase your chances of sticking with the program as opposed to going at it for a couple of weeks and then stopping because you hate it. This happens ALL THE TIME as you could imagine.
The primary goals of these workouts is not to have a crazy fat burning workout, but rather to get used to doing exercises, build up confidence, and not injure yourself…or get so sore the next day that you can hardly walk.
The Top 3 Mistakes People Make When Starting A Weight Training Program
1.They start off pushing too hard!
When people first come to the gym they come in and go “balls to the wall” thinking that they are going to burn a bunch of fat and get to their goal quicker. When people first start working out they have a very low tolerance for exercise. It doesn’t take much for them to end up sick, dizzy, nauseous…and to be sore for many days after. When this happens people think, “I HATE this and the way it makes me feel, I don’t know how anyone could like this!”
What they don’t realize is that if they started off slowly none of these negative experiences would have happened and that they would enjoy the workout and the good feeling it gives them after from the “endorphin rush”What you want to do is make sure the good feeling is always greater than the bad feeling.
If this balance is off then people will quit working out.This is why when I first start training a new client I tell them this: “If on a scale of 1-10 with 1 be sleeping and 10 going all out effort, I want you to work up to a 5 or 6. Once the exercise gets just A LITTLE difficult I want you to stop.
I would rather you leave this workout saying it was too easy as opposed to too hard.” Those are actually my exact words. I have them memorized.
Then the next workout I will be like, “lets work just a little harder than last time, but still no where close to your maximum. Always do with what you are comfortable with.” The workouts can continually be progressed like this until eventually they are working at a 9/10 or max effort.
It doesn’t take the body long to change and to be able to handle it…its just that you have to work up to it SMARTLY. I typically start with a 20-30 minute workout consisting of a full body workout of 6-8 exercises, 2sets each. 8-20 reps. This is PLENTY!
2. They start off with exercises that are too difficult.
There are hundreds of exercises and all of them range in levels of difficulty. There is a progression you must follow in order to do certain exercises while ensuring that you don’t get hurt.Some exercises a person won’t even be able to do if they don’t have a base level of strength.
For example you could never give someone split squats if they don’t have the proper leg strength to begin with. You would have to start them off with squats or partial squats…depending on where they are at and how heavy they are.Once again if people start off exercises that are too difficult and they cannot do them, they won’t enjoy the experience.They might even feel embarrassed trying to do them. This is something you definitely don’t want to do.
A lot of people are scared to start any kind of workout program because they do not want to be embarrassed.This is why I always start off with basic, slow, controlled movements that will give the client a great base of strength, while building up their confidence and making it fun.
You can see the look of relief and smiles when a new client leaves their first session.It looks like the biggest weight had been removed from their shoulders. (Most people are very nervous for their first workout.) I always ask them, “was that so hard?” They will always be like, “NO!” Then I will say, “see I told you, you had nothing to worry about!”
3. They do not follow any kind of program.
It still amazes me when I see people come into the gym and wonder around aimlessly from exercise machine to exercise machine, do a few reps of each then leave.No rhyme or reason to anything.
Weight training(or any exercise program) has certain variables that must be controlled and manipulated to get the desired effect. You just can’t walk in and do whatever you feel like then leave. I SEE THIS ALL THE TIME.
For weight training programs these are the variables that must be considered when trying to reach your goals. Any of these variables can be manipulated to produce a different outcome.
There you have it! Starting a weight training program is relatively easy if you avoid these mistakes. Remember, you want to maximize your chances of not only getting the results you want but also maximize your chances of sticking to the program. If you don’t stick to the program you wont get any results!
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