For many people starting out in the gym, the biggest challenge is knowing what to do. The weight machines are intimidating and you have no idea how to use them, let alone what they’re meant for. It’s enough to make you want to quit before you even start.
Fortunately, muscle building is much easier than it looks and there are plenty of ways you can get started without having to worry about learning complicated exercises or worrying about injuring yourself. With that in mind, here are a few simple tips for getting started with weightlifting:
Start small: Start with an exercise that only requires two or three sets and repetitions. For example, do 10 push ups followed by 10 crunches then repeat until failure (where you can no longer complete an exercise). The key here is to choose exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once so they don’t require any equipment beyond yourself.
- Leg press machine
How it works: You sit in an adjustable seat with your feet placed on platform pedals that move up and down as you push against them with your legs. Use this machine if you want to build bigger quads and hamstrings.
How much weight should I use? Choose a weight where it’s challenging but still allows you to complete 10-12 reps before fatigue sets in (you’re struggling to continue).
- The chest press machine
Chest presses are great for building chest size, but they can also help increase your bench press by teaching your body how to stabilize itself during an overhead movement. That’s because they involve similar muscles in the upper body as the bench press does (pectorals, deltoids and triceps).
- The Smith machine
The Smith machine is a valuable piece of equipment for beginners because it allows you to perform squats and bench presses with perfect form. The barbell remains fixed in place as you lift it, which eliminates the need for balance and strength while performing these exercises.