Weightlifting Part 4: How to Get Started

So now that you hopefully have learned some things about lifting, it’s time to get you started! If you remember from my story, I got started just from being an athlete. Maybe you used to be an athlete and you want to get back into lifting. Or maybe you have no experience and that’s okay too! Everyone starts somewhere different. But no matter what situation you’re coming from, here are some tips to get you started in the gym and on your way to a happier, healthier, stronger you!

1. Get the Gear

The first step to preparing to lift, is to make sure you have the correct gear and equipment! Get yourself some gym clothes whether that be shorts, leggings, tanks, spandex, sports bras, etc. that are comfy and allow you to move around and lift. Some gyms have rules as to what can and can’t be worn, so make sure you check with them before planning anything. Also, get a pair of athletic shoes (again your preference for brand and style). Another necessity: a good pair of headphones. My new favorites are the wireless kind so that you don’t have to bring your phone everywhere, but any pair will do. Music can be crucial to motivating you, keeping you going, and rocking your workout. Other things that are optional may be sweat towel, weightlifting gloves, gym bag, supplements, water or shaker bottle, etc.

2. Pick your Routine and Plan

Next up, it’s time to pick and plan your gym routine! Planning is key; you want to lay out a simple plan of what days you are lifting what and what exercises you’ll be doing. This will save you time and hassle at the gym. If you missed it, go back and read Part 3 to pick the best routine for you! There are apps you could use, or just get a journal or a Word document and plan out your lifting. Documenting it will also help you see your progress and improvement session to session, week to week.

3. Pick your exercises

Now that you know whether you’ll do full body or a 5-day split, it;s time to choose what exercises. There are many plans online that can help you (Bodybuilding has a lot of resources to help you) or you can ask friends, people at your gym or just experiment with the machines and weights at your gym! You can always mix it up and add in new exercises to switch hings up. As long as you find exercises that you enjoy and that work for you and are helping you get stronger and build muscle, that’s all that matters!

4. Have Confidence

It can be a little scary walking into a new gym to lift, especially if you’re a girl and new to lifting. It may seem intimidating or nerve-wracking because you’re being judged. But walk in the gym with confidence, like you own it. I can guarantee you that people aren’t going to look at you and judge you for trying new exercises or lifting weights. In fact, if they do look at it you, they’re probably just impressed that a girl is in the gym lifting weights to begin with. If you are nervous, this is where a good pair of headphones comes in. Pop those ear buds in, crank up your pump-up playlist and start doing your thing! Not only will you be motivated and have confidence, but you won’t even notice those around you. Until they’re hogging the machine you want to use that is…

5. Make sure you enjoy it

The last thing thats important to keep in mind is, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing. Lifting isn’t for everyone so if you’re dreading your workouts and hating every rep you do, then find something else! Try a new kind of lifting or a new workout routine. Fitness is all about bettering yourself because you love it, not because you’re punishing yourself or “just getting through”. Give lifting a chance, but tune in to how you’re feeling, physically and mentally, to make sure that you truly love what you’re doing!

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