The majority of people think of a “fit person” and see the girl at the pool with the long lean muscles, toned but not huge, or the guy at the weight room that has named the veins in his arm because they are so defined. But how do we get there?
A weight room can be intimidating, especially for a beginner. But there is no reason to be intimidated! Everyone can go to a weight room and participate in exercises suited for their skill and ability. That is the key though…finding what level is best for you, and then knowing how to progress without injury.
1. Choice of exercise
2. Order of exercise
3. Resistance Used
4. Training Volume
5. Rest intervals between sets and exercises
6. Repetition Velocity
7. Training Frequency
To avoid information OVERLOAD, I will just start with addressing #1: Choice of Exercise
One thing to always remember is that it’s essential to exercise opposing muscle groups at similar times to allow balance and muscle health. (such as abs and low back, or triceps and biceps, etc.) There are single joint and multi-joint exercises. Those are exactly what they sound like: they either isolate a specific muscle, like in a bicep curl, or multiple muscles like in a squat. The more functional movements are the multi-joint exercises because they usually closely resemble everyday activities. But for beginners, I recommend starting with single joint exercises that can be done easily on weight machines or with dumb bells. With weight machines, the path of movement is fixed so you don’t have to worry about form as much.
Whatever method you decide, don’t feel like you can’t go back and forth. In fact it is best to mix it up. But remember to work low back and abdominal muscles, along with other opposing muscle groups that are more common to work. It’s best to start small, doing simple movements with major muscle groups and then work to more complex movements.