It’s the new year and resolutions are in full swing. Many of us are resolving to make improving our fitness, strength, and health a priority this year. Whether you are new to lifting weights or getting back into it after a long hiatus, it is imperative to follow these 3 guidelines when introducing a new form of exercise and demand on your body.
Slow Incremental Increase in Volume and Intensity
Do NOT do too much too soon. If you are experiencing pain after recently starting an exercise/lifting program, there is a high probability that you are asking your body to do more than it is ready for.
We too often get into the gym and expect results immediately. It is imperative to approach training with a health appreciation of the time it takes to achieve your goals. The good news is that fitness goals are achievable with guidance, consistency, and commitment. However, hitting it as hard as possible from the jump is a recipe for injury, excessive soreness, and disappointment.
We are looking for small, consistent increases in weight, volume, and training days.
Focus on Foundational Lifting Mechanics
A good resistance training program is founded on training functional movement patterns. This means being able to squat, deadlift, hinge, push, pull, press, and carry. Performing these movements places stress on our major muscle groups as well as your back and core muscles. Lifting with proper mechanics and loading strategies ensures this is good stress that builds the body up opposed to bad stress that overloads joints and tissues
We work with people every day in this area and, if you are serious about moving better and building a foundation for improving the way you move, we highly recommend you come see us here at Empowered Physical Therapy.
View Recovery and Mobility as an Equally Important Part of Your Program
Finally, please understand that while you may spend 1 hour in the gym, the other 8 are just as important to your body’s ability to build muscle, be ready to train consistently, and reduce your risk for training related injuries.
Do not miss this. Sleep and nutrition are the most important aspects of recovery for any training program. Before you go get the latest massage gun and recovery sleeves, make sure you are shooting for 8+ hours of sleep daily and consuming between .7 to 1.00 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. If those seem easy to you, track these numbers and see if you really are meeting these targets consistently throughout the week. You will likely be surprised difficult this can be. If you goal is to build muscle, you must provide yourself with the fuel to do so.
Do it for YOU.
Committing to strength training is one of the best things you can possibly do for yourself now and in the long term. It is beyond worth it. It also takes time and intention. As with anything worth doing, if you want to go far, go together. It’s what we are here to do, and we are dang good at it.
If getting stronger and more fit a goal of yours this year, let us know. We would love to be a part of what will be the journey of a lifetime!