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Beginner Strength Training: Determining Your Starting Weight

2015-11-06 | By: Snap Fitness

Have you been thinking about adding strength training to your workout routine but don’t know where to begin? We’re here to help!


The list of benefits is long when adding strength training to your workout routine. You’ll improve your ability to perform daily activities, increase your bone density, and increase lean muscle tissue – just to name a few!


Getting Started           


Depending upon your starting fitness level, you may want to begin with assisted machines before heading to the free weight area. This will give you better stability as you begin a weight-lifting program of any kind. Depending on the individual, the body will adapt to machines in three to six weeks.


Keep in mind that once you’re comfortable using free weights, you’ll be bringing your body into unstable environments that will challenge you and help to burn more calories.


In this example, we’ll be explaining how to determine your starting weight for a squat. You can use the same guidelines for most movements and in the case. That a bar isn’t being used, start with a five-pound dumbbell.


Be sure you know how to perform a movement correctly. With proper form and without any weight before stepping up to the squat machine or rack – you could even practice at home to feel more confident when stepping into the gym. Proper form is key when determining how much weight you should be lifting and to ultimately avoid injury.


Determining Your Starting Weight


Warm up your muscles with a brisk walk or jog on the treadmill. You could also spend a few minutes doing some cardio movements like jumping jacks or step-ups. Begin with an empty bar, picking it up with slightly-bent knees, lifting it over your head and placing it on the meaty part of your back. Perform five to 10 reps and add weight to the bar depending on how heavy it feels


Weight can be added, in 2.5-10 pound increments to each side of the bar. Once weight is added complete another five to 10 reps. Continue to do this until you cannot perform the full amount of reps without slowing your movement or losing your form. Once you’ve hit this amount, you’ll want to note your starting weight as the amount previously put onto the rack.


If you’re just starting out, this can begin without any weight at all or with only five pounds added to each side. When determining you’re starting weight, you do not want to push yourself and sacrifice proper form!


This same technique can be used when determining a bicep curl with dumbbells. Start with five-pound dumbbells and work your way up in increments of two or five pounds.


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