On January 1st, thousands of people around the world resolved to be healthier in 2020. If you’re among them, one of the best ways to get in shape is to take up weight lifting. Strength training exercises, including weight lifting, can build muscle mass which results in more efficient fat-burning and higher metabolism, as well as a leaner physique and greater strength and endurance. It may also reduce stress, among other benefits. Patrick Swindale, an athlete and weight lifter, offers three tips to help you get started.
3 Tips to Start Weight Lifting
- Start Slow
Two of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to getting in shape is going too fast or expecting results to come quickly. Patrick Swindale says strength training is more like a marathon than a sprint. Start off slow and acclimate yourself to the equipment and your routine. You won’t start lifting heavy right off the bat. If you lift heavier than you are prepared for, you may risk serious injury. Ideally, Patrick Swindale says, you should lift between three and five days per week. But you may need to start off twice a week for the first two or three weeks, lifting for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. After that, you may increase your intensity and frequency. Likewise, realize you will not see results immediately. Rather, with consistent hard work, you can expect to see improvement within a few weeks.
Patrick Swindale says you should always warm-up before exercise, but particularly before strenuous activities like weightlifting or intense cardio. Start off with 10 or 15 minutes of stretching. A foam roller is a great way to massage tight muscles and relieve tension from previous workouts. You can also use the foam roller after lifting to relieve pain. In addition, you may want to walk for 10 minutes on the treadmill to get your blood pumping. Avoid intense cardio, however, as this can drain your energy before your lifting session.
- Do 3 Sets of 15
When you are starting off with weight lifting, Patrick Swindale suggests doing three sets of 15 reps each on each exercise. You should begin with a weight that is challenging but which does not push you to your limit. Once you are more experienced, you can start off with practice reps, usually two or three sets of 10 at a very low weight, followed by five sets of five reps at your maximum or near-maximum capacity. This is the most effective way to build muscle mass, combined with a nutritious diet.
More on Patrick Swindale
Patrick Swindale works full-time as an engineer at HMS Global Maritime, Inc. and maintains a 4.0 grade-point average at the Loeb School for International Business at Maine Maritime Academy. When Patrick Swindale is not at work or in class, he spends time with his family and takes his autistic brother, of whom he is a legal guardian, to the gym or hiking five days a week.
An Eagle Scout and former assistant scoutmaster, Patrick Swindale is community-minded and spends his remaining hours giving back. He assists with his old Scout group and local charity efforts and has participated in St. John Bosco Youth Group and Knights of Columbus and is a regular speaker at his church. In college, he was also involved in Kappa Sigma and Alpha Phi Sigma.
“I carry myself with passion for whatever job I’m committed to,” Patrick Swindale said.