Weight Training for Beginners At Home – Get Started Today

What’s the best way to start weight training for beginners at home?

Welcome to your home gym. Your new best friend. Together, you’ll build the body of your dreams, develop strength you’ve never had before, and ultimately live a longer and healther life.

Or maybe you’re getting back into training after a long lay-off. Sometimes, our habits break down through no fault of our own, and we end up not exercising in months, and the idea of getting back into it is daunting. Sometimes, life itself gets in the way and stops you from working out.

Case in point, the COVID-19 crisis that’s swept the world in the early months of 2021. With gyms shut down and everyone stuck in their homes,  everything ground to a half. But if you didn’t exercise at all during the lockdown, there’s no better time to start than now.

Weight Training for Beginners At Home

How to get started training from home

According to data from Fitbit, the fitness reader manufacturer, adults were 12% less active during the lockdown than otherwise expected. That’s a figure that has massive repercussions, considering that Fitbit reads general exercise and movement, and not just hard exercise.

Considering the changes that have happened across the world, it’s understandable you want to get in shape from home more now than ever. There’s never been a better time to start training in your own home gym. So let’s get down to it. Start today.

How should you start?

The number one piece of advice if you haven’t lifted much in the past, of if this is your first foray into home gyming is simply:

Start slow.

Starting heavy and overdoing it is the single worst thing you can do.

Nothing’s going to break your focus, your motivation, or your legs, faster. It’s much better to start slow, with a reasonable and achievable goal, and build upwards.

According to Brad Schoenfeld, associate professor of exercise at Lehman College, New York, you should be starting at only 50% of the intensity and weight that you’re capable of.

That might sound low, but don’t worry, you can quickly build up.

If you already have a base of fitness, you can ramp up over the next two to four weeks. By the end of that time, you’ll be fitter and stronger than you’ve been in your life.

If you’re catching up, or if you haven’t exercised for a long time, you need to slow it right down and start from scratch.

Make sure to stretch

If you haven’t been exercising much in the past, you’ve probably lost a lot of mobility without even realising it.

That’s why it’s important to start a stretching program alongside lifting, to maintain that mobility.

You should have a simple stretching routing that can be done after every workout. We know how much this sucks, but nothing kills your gains more than limited range of motion. If you’re not able to move the weight through the whole rep, you’re not activating the whole muscle, which means you’re leaving something on the table, with every rep you do.

Video Guide: how to warm up before lifting weights

Despite how important stretches are, make sure that you never static stretch before you lift.

The negative effect of static stretches on your strength is proven. When you stretch, you hold the muscle, which tires it and can lower your maximum strength by as much as 30%.

Instead, warm up with a lower weight set, for example, to warm up squats just use the bar and go through the motions ten times. That will oil up the joints enough that you’re not going to hurt yourself on the big lifts, and it’s the perfect time to get yourself into the right mindset.

Related guides

Using your bodyweight – a simple and free way to train in your home gym

Weight Training for Beginners At Home

If you haven’t got much muscle mass to begin with, a body weight exercise program is a simple way of easing back into fitness before you start weightlifting.

Body weight exercises are a great way to ease yourself into fitness at home, and if you can’t make it to a gym, this is the next best thing. On top of that, because body weight exercises only use your own weight, the chance you’ll injury yourself early on are much lower.

If you haven’t got much muscle mass to begin with, a body weight exercise program is a simple way of easing back into fitness before you start weightlifting.

A simple bodyweight circuit can be done anywhere, scaled up to your current level of fitness, and only takes a few minutes. A sample circuit could be:

  • 10 Press ups
  • 20 Squats
  • 10 Dips
  • 10 Lunges
  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 30s Plank

Repeat the circuit with one minute of rest between them, and you’ve got a pretty decent workout. If this is too easy, add more exercises and decrease the rest intervals.

What else can you do from home?

Exercising from home doesn’t have to be difficult.

We’ve already mentioned stretches and body weight exercises. These need no equipment and can be a great starting point for a base of fitness.

If you want more, with some simple and inexpensive equipment, a powerful and effective full body workout is easily within reach.

Even just a pull up bar and a pair of dumbbells can give you the tools you need to get started.

How can you avoid injury?

Training in your home gym

As we’ve already pointed out, nothing will injure you quicker than pushing too hard, too soon.

You should expect the usual plethora of aches and pains. This is normal, and after so long, it’s almost expected, but if you experience acute pain, or anything you haven’t felt before, stop. Take the time to reassess and maybe speak to a medical professional.

Remember to rest when you’re new to training from home

You probably already know this, but when you work out, you’re breaking down the muscles in your body. Then, in the hours and days following, your body rebuilds those muscles, bigger and stronger.

If you keep pushing hard, and don’t give your body time to rest, you’re hurting your progress. This goes double if you’ve not lifted for a while, when rest is vitally important.

Leave at least one day between each major workout, if you can.

The importance of diet

At the end of the day, all muscle is built in the kitchen. There’s no point in working hard in the gym and losing all your gains because you’re eating garbage.

Focus on protein, healthy fats, greens and a variety of vegetables. Equally important is to cut out the bad stuff.

It’s also smart to remember that ,unless you’re a fitness model, a donut or two isn’t going to hurt. It’s important to treat yourself. But that’s all it should be, the occasional treat. Hey, use it as an after-session reward.

Final thoughts

  • Start slow and work towards your goals
  • Stretches and supplementary exercises are great
  • Diet and rest and important
  • Information is great, but starting is better. The best time to start is yesterday, the second best is right now, so remember to bookmark this page and get started!

Resources and further reading

Tom Armstrong

Hey! I've been training in all kinds of places, with all kinds of equipment for the best part of 30 years. I love training with my weights at home and writing about new products and training methods online. Well, with a name like Armstrong, I would have to be into training, right?

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