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Beginning to weight train can be an excellent addition to your exercise routine. Strength training increases muscle mass and bone strength, metabolic rate, and range of motion and lowers the risk of injury.

Getting over the initial hump to start a weight training regiment can be a challenge in and of itself. Once you get comfortable with basic exercises, form, and keeping your routine, you can continue to build by implementing different strategies.


1. Increase your mind-muscle connection

Going into the gym and going through the motions but having your mind wander while you do each exercise will not yield the most optimal results.

Where is your focus when you do a pushup or bicep curl? Are you thinking about the muscles you are working on and actively engaging with them?

Keeping a more internal focus on the muscles as you contract them may improve the activity of the muscle.

Bringing this awareness into your weightlifting can help you


2. Consider a split exercise regiment

It is enough to work every major muscle group when you begin a weightlifting routine, known as a full-body session. Without prior experience, your muscles will react optimally to the new stimulus and recover better with full days off in between.

If you want to branch out and try some additional exercises for each muscle group, limiting each session to one or two muscle groups each day can help.

Some common splits for weight lifting include:

- Leg day (quads, hamstrings, and glutes)

- Chest, shoulder, and triceps day

- Back and bicep day


The possibilities of splits are endless, as long as you ensure the muscles you work have at least 24 hours of rest before being worked again. It also helps that the muscle groups you are using work together. For example, when doing a chest press, your anterior deltoids (shoulders) and triceps are the assisting muscles, so it makes sense to pair them together on the same day.

If you are only able to get to the gym to lift two or three days a week, then it may be more beneficial to stick with your full-body routine so that all muscle groups are worked more than once a week.


3. Implement a progression into your plan

In weightlifting, the principle of progression is the idea that as your body adapts to a certain stimulus, you must change the weight, intensity, or duration of your exercise to continue to make gains.

If you started at two or three days a week doing a full-body weightlifting session, then implementing the split routine and coming in five or six days a week (as discussed above) will give each muscle group more time under stress, thus increasing duration.

If you are happy with the days and amount of time you spend with each session, consider increasing the load. Begin by raising your weight by 2.5 or 5lb.

For example, if you began squatting a 45-pound bar for ten reps and three sets, add 2.5lb or 5lb plates on each side of the bar and see how you feel doing ten reps with that weight. As that weight becomes more accessible to where your 10th rep still feels effortless, increase more.


Another method would be to spend a few weeks focusing on muscular endurance by keeping the reps of your sets higher, in the 10-15 range. After a few weeks, switch over to the 6-8 rep range and find a heavier weight that allows you to complete the reps with good form but begin to feel intense by the last few.


Our bodies are always seeking out equilibrium and are incredible at adapting. To keep progressing to the next level, introducing new methods is critical

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