Building your strength is often a personal choice that stems from wanting to improve the physique or improve health and fitness. However, it’s a decision that entails a lot of discipline and patience. You don’t improve your strength levels without changing your diet and lifestyle. It’s a major switch, one that discourages a lot of people either at the onset or in the long run.
No one else can do this for you. You have to make the decision on your own. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you to hit the gym and make yourself look robust. If you don’t have that intrinsic motivation, that drive from within yourself, then you don’t have that real foundation to start with. You will end up just like so many others who gave strength training a bit of a try, coming in and out of the gym for months only to abandon the training completely.
Choose your program.
Most people would tell you to go to the gym. What would you do there? Many fitness centers and gyms have machines and free weights. The beginner without proper guidance may find the entire gym intimidating. Without prior knowledge what to do on your first day of strength or weight training, you will be at a loss. You can find some tips here if you want.
Ask yourself what you want to do. You can train with machines, free weights, or TRX trainers. Wait! You can train out of the gym. That’s right. You can do calisthenics, plyometrics, crossfit, or parkour. There are different ways to train your strength and build muscle.
However, since you’re a beginner, and you don’t want to be intimidated by difficult and complicated exercises, start simple. Begin with either basic calisthenics or free weight training. The former is great for people who don’t have access to the gym or don’t have free weights at home.
Assess your strength levels.
Each of us has various strength levels, depending on our muscle mass, experience, lifestyle, and health. Train according to your strength level. Choose weights with which you can do 5-8 reps in the right form. If it’s too easy, load another 5 or 10 lbs. If it’s too difficult or too heavy, reduce the weight. Don’t push it! Progressive overload should be done gradually. Do not shock your body by lifting too much load and risk suffering from an injury.
Bodyweight exercises can be difficult for beginners, too. Non-athletic starters may have difficult performing even one rep of a standard push-up. Start with elevated push-ups or knee push-ups. Standard chin-ups too difficult? Start with negative chin-ups–grab the chin-up bar, jump, and then slowly descend.
Don’t let gym rats intimidate you.
Going to the gym can be daunting for skinny or overweight beginners, who most likely will be surrounded by ripped guys. Don’t mind them. Chances are, they don’t care about you. Chances are, they’re focusing on their own sets as much as you, too, should focus on your own. But don’t decline offers to spot you or assist you. You will need assistance at some point.