Things You Need To Start Your Strength Training

If you intend to build a house, the first thing you should do is sit down and analyze the cost, whether you have enough to finance your project from start to finish. If you fail to take this step seriously and go through the process without care and attention, you will find yourself in a situation where the house cannot be finished, and you have wasted all of your time. People might say, “This man began to build and was not able to complete.”

Those words above were the words of Jesus Christ, written in the Bible. Whether you follow Jesus Christ or not, it doesn’t matter. Achieving success starts at the very beginning of the journey. You are beginning your strength training program and want to be committed throughout the entire process because there is great satisfaction in having a plan and achieving it to the end. It propels you forward and motivates you to achieve even more.

Many beginners would love to have foresight into their program, see how well they will progress, or perhaps wish to have attained some progress already, but unfortunately, that is impossible. You don’t start a journey in the middle. You start at the beginning and must endure what lies ahead of you.

One of the problems you may face before taking your first steps is the many challenging questions that will prevent you from ever starting in the first place. Questions like “Can I do this? How will this make me look to others? What if I have to spend lots of money? Can I see this through?” All these questions can paralyze you and even keep you from starting your strength training program.

That’s why it’s crucial to count the cost at the beginning. Measuring the price of taking on a new hobby helps you develop a blueprint for what is ahead. Blueprints help answer difficult questions by giving you direction. They allow you to see the big picture and fill in the small details. 

By following a blueprint, you give yourself the assurance that you can get the results you are hoping for. If you follow the established plan, you’ll have a greater likelihood of success than if you branch out on your own. And that’s why I’m here to give you everything you need to start. Only make sure not to ignore this blueprint made for you through care and attention, just like a house.

What do you need to start your training?

Many people might recommend that you start by hiring a personal coach. But the truth is most people don’t have the time or the money to invest in something like that. If you get this guide, then I’m confident that you believe in the power of being self-taught and independent, not having to rely on someone else for your success. 

I admire you for this because it takes bravery to learn something the hard way. So let’s just skip the personal trainer part and move on. Most gyms have several resistance training machines and free weights such as barbells and dumbbells, but you can get a thorough strength training workout at home with or without equipment.

You don’t need weights to build your lean muscle mass and tone your body. Don’t disregard the multi-use tool given to you for free. I am referring to your own body. Your body weight is all you need to provide resistance for some strength training exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges, and many more.

However, if you desire to get some fancy new toys, you can do so with the following equipment but just remember, it’s not necessary:

Dumbbells

We all know about these. They are celebrities of gym equipment. Dumbbells are a brilliant place to start if you are new to strength training. Dumbbells are short bars with weights at each end. It can be used individually using a higher weight or in pairs simultaneously.

Mostly all gyms are equipped with dumbbells ranging from 1kg to 50kg. They’re friendly on your joints if used the right way and perfect for strength building. They allow your body to move naturally because your hands are not fixed to a position. I’ll advise you to get adjustable dumbbells. 

This will allow you to add weights as you progress in your program. A beginner’s set of 10kg adjustable weight dumbbells goes for an average of $50 – the price increases when you add more weight, understandably.

Barbells

Barbells are not just for athletes competing in a competition. Being the big brother to dumbbells, they can be lifters’ friends for moves like deadlifts, back squats, and snatches. A barbell is like the longer, two-handed form of a dumbbell. It’s a long metal bar to which weights are attached at each end. 

You can decide on the weight if it’s an adjustable barbell, just like dumbbells. They allow you to add much more weight than dumbbells due to the strength of the bar. You can have as high as 20kg plates on each side of the metal bar. 

It would be best if you considered the weight of the metal bar too. Going between 15kg to 25kg is fair for you at the start. Do not purchase fixed barbells because you want to increase weight when training you progressively. 

Barbells are pretty expensive. An adjustable 50kg barbell could go for $200 on average so maybe save up a bit for that one. Remember, they are by no means necessary, and I will teach you workouts that don’t require any equipment later on in this book.

Kettlebells

They are cannonball-like weights with a single loop handle. It’s almost like the shape of a kettle, except it’s got no spout. Like kettlebell swings and cleans, many classic kettlebell exercises require you to quickly and powerfully exert force on the weight. It’s also a great way to work some heart-pumping cardio. 

The weight of the kettlebell isn’t balanced like a dumbbell; it shifts as you move it, which makes your body work harder to stabilize. It’s excellent for training your balance. Considering you’re over 50, kettlebells are great because they teach your body to adapt to the changing centre of gravity. Just try not to fall over; I’ve made that mistake before. 

A 15kg kettlebell could go for $70 on average. Electric kettlebells, which are adjustable, are expensive and could go for over $250 on average.

Body Bars

The body bar is one of the simplest to use of all the strength training equipment, yet it is probably one of the least well-known. It’s a slender long metal pole covered in foam rubber. It ranges in weight, making it a friendlier (and lighter weight) alternative to standard barbells. 

Body bars let you perform all kinds of exercises that you use barbells for, and they can be a good start for beginners. I recommend a 10kg body bar if you are a complete beginner. They are sold at around $50.

TRX

TRX stands for total body resistance exercise. It’s a single piece of equipment made from two nylon straps suspended from the ceiling. You can use TRX to perform hundreds of strength training exercises, from push-ups to planks. TRX is an all-in-one tool. 

One of its most prominent benefits is dynamicity and versatility instead of an isolated movement. You will be working for multiple muscle groups all at once. 

For instance, you can slip your feet into the TRX handles; your regular push-up turns into a core and shoulder-stabilizing move. And because you’re using your body weight, you can adjust the resistance by moving your feet further (more resistance) or closer (less resistance) away from the anchor point. TRX could go for $40 on average.

Medicine Balls

They look a little like basketballs, but I don’t think you could throw them that far. They are weighted balls, roughly the diameter of your shoulders.

It’s called a medicine ball because it also plays a vital role in sports medicine to improve strength and neuromuscular coordination. This ball-shaped weight can add resistance to core exercises like Russian twists or sit-ups. 

You can also carry, lift or throw it. Moving medicine balls in several directions and planes of motion can involve more tissue, which helps lift energy use. A medicine ball could go for $25 on average.

Stability Balls

They are inflatable beach-ball-like strength training tools. They are helpful for bodyweight exercises that focus on the primary muscle that attaches the pelvis to the femurs (thigh bone) and spine. 

They can help you increase and improve spine stability through moves like back extensions and planks. This is very good for you if you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. A 60cm stability ball could go for $15 on average.

Slam Balls

They are just like medicine balls. Although they are slightly larger and sometimes heavier, they don’t bounce. It means you don’t need to worry about the ball jumping into your face after you slam it. 

You can use slam balls to develop power, speed, and strength. Your muscles respond in proportion to how fast and powerful you slam the ball. A 10kg slam ball could go for $10 on average.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands look like giant rubber bands. They are either flat or tubular. The different types of resistance bands may confuse you, but they fall under the same category. Although, they are used differently.

They provide an effective workout. They are low impact and joint-friendly. Because the band creates resistance in both directions, your body is forced to remain stable. It will help you in training for balance.

You can choose your desired resistance level, style, and length. You’ll find everything from flat bands to tube bands with handles or even closed-looped bands. Try to get accustomed to their tension; at first, they might seem a little awkward, but you will get the hang of them over time. 

Resistance bands are perfect for exercises like squats, overhead press, and lateral band walks. This equipment is easy to move around, so you could even take them with you if you travel. Resistance bands are minimal in design and made out of cheap material, so you can typically get your hands on some for $15.

Sandbags

Just as the name describes, sandbags are weighted bags of sand; they look like big duffle bags. They are handy strength training tools made of durable materials. You can fill various materials inside them, not just sand. 

The materials you fill are known as fillers, and they’re used for multiple functions while training. Although most people fill with sand, you can use pea gravel and rubber mulch. It’s the best sandbag filler, in my opinion, because they don’t make dust or pulverize. 

You can push your sandbag up, slam them down and slide them across the floor like a champ. Or, incorporate them into your strength training routine via squats, lunges, and carries. Sandbags will help improve functional fitness and get you ready for daily activities like carrying kids, bags of groceries, moving furniture, etc. 

And because the sand shifts as you move the bag, it helps challenge your wrist and forearm muscles, making them work harder to control the movement of the weight. Be sure not to fill your bag with more than 10kg for a start. Increase the fill as you progress in your training. You can get a moderate size sandbag for $10 on average.

ViPR

ViPR stands for vitality, performance, and reconditioning. ViPR is used to bridge the gap between movement and strength training. It combines full-body movement with load; hence, the name. 

ViPR builds mobility, stability, and dynamic strength through loaded movement training. Since you can pick it up and shift it in space, it mimics movements in sport and forces your body to work together. You can make forward lunges with rotation or lateral lunges while you swing the ViPR over and up as if you’re using a shovel to dig. 

The ViPR can help you improve the strength and resilience of muscles and tissues, making it more resistant to many kinds of stain injuries. The muscles become lengthened under resistance and enhance the tissue’s strength and density. 

The intensity of the movement can be altered based on how you hold the ViPR and how you move the tool to your centre of mass. Pushing it further from your body makes it more challenging. ViPRs are pretty expensive… A 10kg ViPR could go for $200 on average. But don’t worry, none of my teachings involves using these.

BOSU Balance Trainer

It is also referred to as a BOSU ball. BOSU stands for both sides utilized, which means you can use both the dome stability ball-like side and the flat side for exercises. It is like a stability ball cut in half. It consists of an inflated rubber hemisphere attached to a rigid platform. 

It is mainly used for balance training. You can use the dome side for exercises such as crunches on a softer surface that allows the full range of motion of the spine. 

You can stand on the flat surface to create a unique balance platform that helps engage lower body muscles. It’s also perfect for building dynamic balance, enabling you to balance while in motion or change positions. A BOSU balance trainer could go for over $150 on average.

Gliding Discs

They are small, flat, two-sided round discs; one side is a fabric, and the other is hard plastic, or depending on your choice, both sides may have canvas-like material. You can use them on your feet and hands to provide a smooth gliding surface. Use these plate-size discs to crank up reverse or lateral lunges. 

You are sure to feel your core, glutes and inner thighs light up. They are also great for ab exercises like mountain climbers and pikes. Since you take resistance away from your feet, your

core has to do all the work of stabilizing your body. A pair of gliding discs could go for only $10, so it’s a good investment.

Parallettes

They are gymnastic tools, which are used in pairs. They are used to simulate the parallel bars found in professional gymnasiums. Much like push-up bars or dip bars, they are generally longer and lower to the ground. 

Gymnasts commonly use them. Parallettes allow you to test the limit of your physical strength. They allow you to perform exercises such as handstand push-ups, L-sits, and other gnarly feats of strength. And since you are raised off the ground, you can move into a deeper range of motion with each exercise. Parallettes could go for $60 on average, which isn’t bad if you ask me.

Battle Ropes

If you want an intense and exhausting workout, try a workout with battle ropes. Battle ropes are used for fitness training to increase full-body strength and conditioning. They may not seem like much at first glance, but they provide a fantastic workout. 

Grab the rope with two hands and start lifting up and down to create waves or hold them in different hands for a more incredible exercise. The bigger the wave, the more energy you’re putting into the rope. Try to keep the ropes moving fast. Using battling rope is like doing sprints for your upper body.

They’re perfect for fixing balance issues because you have to consistently put force into the lifts to keep that wave shape. Battle ropes could go for $40 on average.

The equipment listed above is all acceptable if you desire to have your strength training workout at home. You can enrich your home gym with several of the equipment listed. I suggest a dumbbell, body bar, resistance band, and perhaps, TRX. The prices attached above are just average prices to give you an idea of what it will cost you. 

Prices are mainly dependent on the brand of any of the equipment you’re purchasing. And don’t forget you can register at a gym to get full access to a better range of equipment, including workout machines. Although, I do not advise fixed workout machines like smith machines because they restrict your body’s natural movements.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Warm-Up

You are over 50 and haven’t trained before this time; chances are, your muscles are so alien to resistance training. Some aerobic exercises would do you so much good. It would help if you got involved in brisk walks or jogging for a day or two to prepare your muscles. This will increase blood flow to your muscles and prepare them for a good workout.

Start Moderately

If you’re lifting weights, start with a weight that you can lift at least 5 to 8 times with proper form. Begin with 1 or 2 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions and progress with time. Nobody will make fun of you for using a smaller weight because everyone has to start somewhere.

Use proper form

Doing your workout in the correct form is vital. When lifting weights, use the full range of motion in your joints. Go through the movement in a slow and controlled manner, and this will also enhance the stress you put on your muscles. 

The better your form, the better your result, and the less likely you will sustain any injury. If you can’t maintain good form, decrease the weight or the number of repetitions.

Rest In-between Workouts: Resting in-between workouts prevent muscle fatigues, especially as a beginner. Also, try not to hold your breath when lifting. Breathe out when you lift the weight and when you lower it.

Limit your workout to a maximum of 20 minutes: Don’t overdo it at the start. Remember, you might still feel like you’re 30 still, but you have to consider your age. Twenty minutes will give you good results. With time you can increase it to 30 minutes.

Take note of pain

If your workout causes you pain, don’t ignore it; stop immediately. Try doing the exercise in a few days or experiment with reduced weights.

Rest

Resting gives your muscles time to recover and replenish energy stores before the next workout.

Clothing

You can’t work out without protecting yourself adequately. Get shoes and gloves suited for your workouts.

How to avoid injury during strength training

You must possess the correct form and body position when you engage in strength training. If you execute some of these exercises poorly, you can injure yourself. I have provided illustrations in the book to go with the exercises, but you can watch workout videos online to ensure you use the correct technique if you’re unsure.

When you become comfortable lifting a particular weight, you can add about 5% of the current weight. But never rush things. The goal is to build, not to sustain injury. Be safe as best as you can.

Do You Have to Take Supplements with Strength Training?

Strength training boosts fat loss by enhancing both the afterburn after exercise and increasing muscle size, thus increasing resting metabolism.

Some people might also use natural fat burners as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to increase metabolism or decrease appetite. When combined with a healthy diet, it will further increase the loss of excess body fat – and may also have other beneficial effects.

Resurge is of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews because the supplement industry is rife with scams.

Besides, it should be noted that supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. Pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise.

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications or have any health concerns.

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