Starting a weightlifting program can be very intimidating and for some, down right scary, but it doesn't have to be. Here are four keys to help the first-time weightlifter. As you read, keep in mind that safety is the main ingredient to becoming a successful weightlifter.
1. Learn and master the technique.
With any great sports weightlifting program, the Core lifts are what set you apart from playing or sitting the bench. The Core lifts consist of these four: bench press, squat, dead lifts, and cleans (hang or power). To be successful at the core lifts, you must master the technique. A strength coach will help you learn how to successfully master the Core lifts, which may take a bit longer in some cases.
Athletes are not all built the same, so what you may see on YouTube or somewhere else may not apply to your body type.
For example, on the squat, you may have a longer femur bone or even a front pelvic tilt which would hinder you from performing the traditional squat. So, you may need to modify your squat form to the sumo squat to perform that lift with proficiency. Therefore, to be a successful first-time weightlifter, you must first master the technique that goes with each lift and fits with your build.
2. First-time lifters should not max out right away.
Everyone wants to know how much they can lift, but for a first-time lifter this can be very dangerous. Without mastering the technique, the risk of injury increases trying to lift heavier weight, which may cost the athlete playing time. Additionally, your 1 rep max will not be a test of true strength, rather a test in a failed attempt with dangerous ramifications. First-time lifters need to master the technique and then practice that technique at least two months before you max out. Your body will thank you.
3. Always have a spotter.
Having a spotter will help you in many aspects of weightlifting. First, your spotter can help with your technique. The spotter maybe able to see a technique flaw and help you correct it. Second, the spotter is there to make sure you do not injure yourself while completing the lift, especially when the muscles are shaky and moving towards failure. The spotter will be there to help you complete the lift with peace of mind.
4. Quality over quantity
Lifting heavy weights is fun, but when your technique turns bad as a result of heavier weights, it becomes dangerous. When you focus on the quality of the lift instead of the quantity of the lift, your lifting becomes more beneficial for you. Pay attention to your technique with every rep, and don't cheat yourself on quality lifting because of ego. Remind yourself that it is okay to start slow; strength takes time to build. But, when you focus on quality over quantity, your strength will actually increase faster than you think without creating any bad habits.
When you think safety first and follow the advice of these four key areas, you will become the successful weightlifter you desire.