6 Steps To Strength Training

Words: Kerry DULIN

First and foremost, you have to make up your mind to begin working on a lift routine. Take the weights in your hand. As you hit the weight room, here are the six things to keep in mind.

  1. Where to turn for advice. You’ve decided to go to the gym to lift, but where do you go for information beforehand? If your first thought is to pick up a few ‘muscle’ magazines, think again. Not all muscle magazines offer the best advice for beginners. Instead, visit reliable websites like MensHealth.com or MuscleandFitness.com. But, keep in mind that you are new to this, so have an open mind and listen to professionals. In addition to picking up a routine, and learning techniques, make a note that you may require a few accessories, such as strength tape which can be used in the midst of a workout as well as during recovery.
  1. Focus your efforts on full body exercise. Before you train your biceps, you must master a number of full-body movements. It is best if you can do 15 push-ups and pull-ups before you start focusing on curls. To master these exercises, you’ll have to perform a compound exercise routine for the first three months. If you’re disappointed that you won’t be able to curl like you’ve been dreaming about, take heart. Compound exercises are movements that require more than one joint and more than one muscle group. They will make you stronger, help you burn fat and build muscle uniformly throughout the body.  
  1. Follow an actual programme. You’re going to need a routine — particularly one designed for a beginner. There are many forums and professionals that can be consulted before starting a programme, as they know which programme is a waste of time, and what actually works. There are several good books out there to suit your needs, and one that comes to my mind is Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. There are a few suitable routines available to you too, but it’s important to pick a routine that centres on the guidelines you are currently reading. Or, you’d chat with a trainer; better still, solicit their professional help.
  1. Work on your form. Before you give yourself a motto, you must learn proper form. Remember, it’s relatively easy to learn proper form at the outset than to return and undo the bad. Practice proper form with little to no weights in front of a mirror, or with a trainer until you’re sure you’re doing it right.
  1. Deadlift. Deadlift. Deadlift. You must learn the proper deadlift technique — unless you want to damage your back — but, it’s absolutely essential to establish this exercise into your routine from the start. You may feel silly at first, but your boosted metabolism will thank you for it. Do not delay; learn how to deadlift today under the guidance of a trainer.
  1. Perform your full-body workouts three times a week. Since you’re doing full-body workouts, you’ll want to hit weights three times each week. This means that three times a week you’re giving the muscles of your chest, back, legs and arms a workout on the same day. The important thing is not to worry about splitting your workouts by muscle group until you’ve mastered your current routine.
KERRY DULIN, a world-renowned fitness guru, first got into professional bodybuilding at age 40. He won his first bodybuilding competition at 41. Now 62, with a physique that would put someone half his age to shame, Dulin has what he calls ‘a manageable programme,’ 12+ top trophies to show for his fitness endeavours and a brace of health and fitness websites. He lives in the US [This article is published by special permission from the author. ©Kerry Dulin].

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