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Weight Training for Beginners

Weight training for beginners demands a slightly different approach, compared to someone who's more experienced in the gym. To gain muscle mass naturally your workouts need to be shorter, and focused on only one muscle group at a time. Also, before slapping on some heavy weights, you'll want to start with the lightest available weights and work your way up gradually.

Weight training for beginners requires concentrating on improvement of form for the first couple of months of working out. During this time, only the most basic of weight training exercises should be performed. A traditional muscle building program will generally last you 2-3 months, and I recommend completing three of these programs before moving on to heftier loads (20 kg plates, 40+ pound dumbbells, etc).

An advantage to using slightly lighter weights is that you'll learn early on how to listen to your body, not to mention remain in control throughout the exercise. You may also discover that using light-to-moderately-heavy weights works extremely well for you. It did and continues to work for me. I unfortunately found out about this unintentionally, when I was forced to ease up on the poundage after suffering a lower back injury. Ironically, my little accident was the result of a heavy barbell curl.

In my opinion, the most noteworthy benefit to this approach is that you'll understand your body better. It's a good habit that will extend to your nutritional intake, and amount of rest needed to recover and grow. Always listen to your body and to yourself in general, as it's the most precise tool you have. My only hope is that this website will inspire you to do just that.

Concerning which specific 'types' of exercises to perform, I'll give you a very brief, straight-forward summary. Right off the bat, I should tell you that if you are a member of a gym which offers a variety of equipment - USE IT! The human body wants to experience different movements, whether compound or isolation {Note: Static exercises also have their place in muscle-building, and can be a viable alternative to traditional training methods}. Try to include an equal balance of free weights (meaning dumbbells and barbells), machines, cable pulley systems, and bodyweight exercises in your program. If you train at home, a simple multi-station and/or some free weights could work wonders for you. Almost any movement can be emulated somehow using free weights and a reclinable bench (or stability ball).

I would imagine that even though your overall goal is to build muscle, you may also want to have good symmetry and proportions. Weight training for beginners, therefore, should entail using one exercise for each part of a muscle group. Let's use the pectoralis/chest as an example, which is separated between upper, lower, middle (horizontal), and middle (vertical) parts; Incline presses work the upper chest, flat presses (including standard push-ups) work the middle (horizontal) area, decline presses work the lower part of the pectoralis (often referred to as pectoral muscles, pectorals, or simply pecs), and finally, any type of fly exercise works the middle (vertical) part of the chest.

Note: Whenever possible, have an experienced personal trainer, gym instructor, workout partner, or spotter there to guide you through the exercises.