Lifting weights might look scary when you’re first starting. Here are the 10 best tips for novice weightlifters.
These tips were shared by Alan Thrall, an accomplished strength coach and owner of Untamed Strength, a 24-hour access gym in Sacramento.
“These are not going to be common tips like ‘stick to compound movements and do sets of five’” says Alan Thrall. “These are random tips and topics that I find myself discussing on a weekly basis with new clients or chatting with new members in the gym.”
Best Tips for Novice Weightlifters
1. Breathing and Bracing
Breathing can be a powerful tool when lifting weights. Inhale a big breath, hold it, brace your abs, and then perform your rep. According to Alan Thrall, the big breath holding will help you prevent your spine from injuries.
2. Breathing and Bracing with a Belt
“Do not push your belly out against the belt, do not push your belly button away from your spine, don’t think about making a pregnant belly.”
3. Weightlifting Shoes
Good weightlifting shoes are very useful for novice athletes because it helps them reach depth when squatting, for example. “But most notably these things [shoes] are stable,” Thrall explains. “They have a hard flat surface with a sharp edge that prevents any lateral movement.”
4. Log Your Training
This is helpful in many ways. You can look back and see how far you’ve come, what worked, what didn’t, how it helped you bench press more (or less) and how to change your program if you want different results.
5. Correct Bar Placement for the Low Bar Squat
If you place the bar on your back too high when performing the bar squat, and the bar will want to roll up your back, and if you put it too low, it will slide down your back. Check the video to know more or less where the bar should be.
6. Don’t Get Hung Up on a Program
Not changing your training program every week is important, however, some novice weightlifters don’t want to venture into anything other than what they are doing and refuse to change their program because it works really well at first.
Hitting a plateau is normal for anyone and for a novice weightlifter to change the training program when that happens will be crucial to continue getting better.
7. Go For The Bodyweight you want
If you want to lose weight, pick a bodyweight that is your target and go for it. The same goes for people who want to pack on muscle – choose a bodyweight you want to hit and work for it.
If you jump from cutting to bulking without hitting your goal first, you will not be treating your body kindly or setting your mindset to achieving your objectives.
8. Don’t Be Afraid of Doing Conditioning
Rower, stair steppers, treadmill, sled pushes, weighted carries. Do some conditioning training so that you can last longer when weightlifting. If 5 reps of a specific exercise feel like a marathon for you, perhaps it is a training program issue, or perhaps you need to work on your engine.
9. How To Use Chalk
Learn how to use chalk properly. Yes, there is such thing as too much chalk. “More is not always better,” Thrall says. Also, if you leave chalk on a barbell, it will make the bar rusty faster, so be mindful of that.
10. Don’t Overthink Things
The longer you do weightlifting, the more you will learn about it. You don’t need to record every lifting exercise you do and watch it straight away thinking there is something wrong with your form or technique.
Now That You know the 10 best tips for novice weightlifters, how about making sure you have the 12 most important exercises in your training routine?
- Barbell with chalk: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
- Best tips for novice weightlifters: Sam Sabourin