You wish to start weight trainingBut don't know how to do it? What exercises should you focus on? How to progress? You certainly have many questions. This is quite legitimate. To gain muscle quickly, you must follow a weight training program for beginners adapted. Here are a few tips to help you succeed in your first months of training at the gym.
The different weight training programs for beginners
When you start weight training, you have several options. You can take out a membership at the weight room or create your own home gym at home. You can also use the services of a sports coach or train on your own.
In any case, your muscular development goes through a training program. The latter is composed of different sessions to work the muscles of your body through dedicated bodybuilding exercises.
There are several types of programs that can help you achieve your goals:
- the body weight program,
- the program with rubber bands,
- the full body program,
- the half body program.
The body weight program
Strength training at body weightThis is the art of building muscle without the use of equipment (bars, weights, dumbbells, etc.).
Many athletes still think that it is impossible to build muscle without equipment. This is, of course, a totally false idea.
Training with bodyweight does allow you to develop your muscles. At body weightYou will be able to work your back as well as your pecs, biceps, triceps, legs, shoulders and abs.
As a beginner, you can start with knee push-ups, for example. Then you will progress with each session. There is no point in going too fast, being in too much of a hurry often means giving up.
If you don't have access to a gym, bodyweight training is a great way to get some exercise. muscle strengthening.
The elastic program
You can also train with rubber bands. These accessories make it possible to carry out many exercises and to work each muscle group of the body.
Elastic bands place continuous tension on the muscles during movement. This explains why they are commonly used by athletes experienced. Plus, they're affordable and easy to store.
Training with elastics is a good alternative to practicing with loads to begin with.
The full body program
The training method full body consists in soliciting all the muscles of the body in a single session.
This is possible thanks to multi-joint exercises such as the bench press, squat, pull-ups or deadlift. Unlike isolation exercises, these movements work different muscle groups.
It is essential to include them in a weight training program for beginners, as they will allow you to build muscle and progress rapidly.
The half body weight training program
On the other hand, a program in half body is to work the upper and lower body in two different sessions. For example, you train your legs (quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves) on Monday, then your back, arms, pecs and shoulders on Wednesday.
I recommend that you practice this method of training after several weeks in full body.
In half body, the exercises are rather monoarticular. Be careful not to make the mistake of working muscle by muscle. This last mode of training is called the split. Getting results with the split method requires a certain amount of experience and several months of training.
10 essential tips for starting to build muscle
As a professional sports coach, I regularly accompany debts ofutants in weight training. Here are 10 tips that will help you progress faster.
#1 Tip: Set realistic goals
We all have people in our circle who have signed up for a gym membership only to go 3 or 4 times. Do you know why? Very often, it is because they think (wrongly) that visible results can be obtained in a few sessions.
Unfortunately, build up your body is not done in a single stroke of the magic wand. Gaining muscle or muscle mass can take months or even years. Progress should be made at your body's own pace, that is, step by step. Be consistent and persistent and follow your beginner's weight training program precisely.
You must therefore be patient and set attainable, measurable and time-defined goals. For example, for a beginner, gaining 5 kilos of muscle in 6 months is a relevant objective.
If the deadline for your goal is too far away, you can of course set intermediate goals.
#2 Tip: Space out your workouts
How many times a week should you train? This is a question you are probably asking yourself. And as is often the case in weight training, there is no universal answer. It all depends on you, your availability, your motivation and your goal.
To begin with, it is ideal to be able to train between 3 and 4 times a week. However, be sure to allow yourself sufficient recovery time between sessions. This is essential for your muscles to rebuild. If your schedule doesn't allow you to space your workouts 24 hours apart, make sure you don't work the same muscle group two days in a row.
There is no need to try to train every day. First, you don't need to work out 7 times a week to make progress. Secondly, it can quickly demotivate you.
#3 Tip: Never forget to warm up
If you follow me regularly, you know that I attach particular importance to the warm-up.
Never neglect thewarming up before you begin your weight training program. A good warm-up will allow you to perform better during your workout. It is also the only way to reduce the risk of injury during the session.
To be complete, your warm-up should last about ten minutes. You can of course adapt the movements according to what you like (cycling, jumping rope, etc.).
#4 Tip: Don't neglect quality of execution
As for all activities, start weight training begins with an initiation phase. For example, you didn't get your driver's license in two days. It is through training and repetition that the basic gestures have become unconscious reflexes. What seemed difficult at first is now part of your routine.
It's exactly the same in weight training. Your first goal should be to learn the proper execution of the exercises so that the movements become automatic. Knowing the basics of bodybuilding will allow you to progress more quickly.
Otherwise, you may be subject to the following injuries. But knowing how to place your pelvis, your shoulders or your back is not obvious. It may therefore be wise to use the skills of a coach who will accompany you in learning these fundamentals.
#5 Tip: Don't push too hard from the start
It is better to start weight training with light loads. Again, the goal is to master the execution of the exercises before putting yourself in difficulty with more weight. Increase the weight gradually to avoid injury.
During the first few months, always keep a few reps in reserve. Don't let your ego get the better of you. Your neighbor pushing 120 kilograms on the bench next door has most likely been training for many years and probably has different goals than you.
Remember, it's not about being the best in 3 weeks. Strength training is a long-term endeavor, and the key is to progress at your own pace.
Tip #6: Adjust the number of repetitions
In weight training, every detail is important. This is particularly the case for the number of repetitions to perform on each exercise. But for a novice in bodybuilding, it is not easy to find your way around.
Simply put, the number of reps you need to do on each set is directly related to your goal:
- to gain strength: between 1 and 8 repetitions;
- to promote hypertrophy (gain muscle volume): between 8 and 12 repetitions;
- to develop your endurance: between 12 and 20 repetitions.
When you start weight training, the best choice is to perform between 8 and 12 repetitions in order to understand the different postures.
Tip #7: Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Without a healthy lifestyle, it is absolutely impossible to achieve results. Those who succeed are those who apply the trifecta: hydration, nutrition and sleep.
On average, the human body is composed of 65 % of water. If you don't think about hydrating your body, it will be more difficult to recover between sessions. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink every day. Thirst is a warning signal from your body that you are at the first level of dehydration. To learn more about this subject, I invite you to consult this article dedicated to the hydration of athletes.
Nutrition is just as vital as hydration. It probably accounts for 70 % of the work to be done. To build muscle, you need a healthy, balanced diet with a caloric intake and a good distribution of your macronutrients.
Finally, sleep is also essential. It allows your muscle fibers to repair the micro-tears that occurred during training. This natural phenomenon is at the origin of muscle growth. So, to gain muscle, make sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night.
#8 Tip: Don't make it hard on yourself
When you're first starting out, keep it simple! Follow a training program adapted to your physical condition.
Your weight training sessions should be mainly composed ofbasic exercises (or polyarticular exercises) such as the bench press, squats, dips, military press, pull-ups or deadlift. These movements have been widely proven.
Little by little, you will be able to incorporate isolation exercises at the end of the session.
Tip #9: Do some stretching
Making stretching is an essential step after your workout. These stretching exercises should be done several hours after your workout or on rest days. Don't stretch right after a workout, or you'll aggravate muscle damage and slow down your physical recovery.
Stretching will help you recover by eliminating aches and pains and gain flexibility. Don't miss out.
#10 tip: use a sports coach
To build your beginner's fitness program, it is essential to consider 3 main criteria:
- your objective (weight gain, weight loss, preparation for a sports competition, reathletization after an injury, etc.),
- your current physical condition,
- your age.
The first two years in bodybuilding are the most important. If you are serious and rigorous, it is during this period that your physical transformation will be the most impressive.
If you start weight training between the ages of 16 and 26, this will also coincide with the time in your life when your testosterone level is the highest. You will be able to sculpt your body much more easily than an older person with lower testosterone levels.
If you don't have any specific skills, the best way to start weight training is to use the services of a professional sports coach. He or she will design a personalized weight training program for you to help you achieve your athletic goals.
You now have all the keys to follow a beginner's weight training program and progress quickly. Be rigorous and persevering, adopt a healthy lifestyle and don't skip any steps. And to help you progress in bodybuildingplease feel free to follow me and consult blog posts.
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