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Where should I start strength training if I'm intimidated by weights?

Nov 12, 2013

Body Weight ExercisesMarissa Tafuri
FT East Greenwich


"A great way to start lifting weights is to take a group fitness class that revolves around weight training. You will be with all different skill levels which should allow you not to feel intimidated. The instructor will be able to correct your form and give you some good tips. Your form is very important because the last thing you want to do is injure yourself, which is often a result of poor form.

"Start off using light weights.  The signature of any good weight workout is at the end of your reps the lifting should become challenging. If this is not the case then maybe you should increase the weight for your next workout.

"Another way to start weight training is to hire a personal trainer. A personal trainer will be able to help you set up a program that can target exactly what you want to focus on while also giving you instruction on how to lift without hurting yourself. Personal training is exactly what it sounds like: personal! It fits exactly what your needs are. A good trainer will show you proper form and also challenge you."

Bruce Kelly
FT Media


"If someone can't do basic body weight exercises like push-ups, chin-ups, squats, lunges, planks and the like you have no business adding external load in their strength training program. Period. You can get people very strong with just body weight exercises.  For beginners, kids and older clients they are ideal. With suspension training systems like TRX you can challenge even the fittest, most athletic of clients with bodyweight exercises."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"Focus on body weight exercises and strengthening the core!"

Matt Gagliano
FT East Bay


"The benefits of weight training have been well documented and if done properly will not cause injury, "bulk" you up, or hurt your joints. The key is done properly. Weight training when not done properly can cause or contribute to numerous defects in your movement and overall health. Hiring a trainer -- even for just a few sessions -- can go a long way in personalizing your workout routine to maximize the benefits of your workout regimen. Understanding what movements, how much resistance, and how often you should lift weights should all be addressed with your trainer."

Diana Doerbecker
FT Cold Spring Hills


"If you are intimidated by weights, you should start training with a personal trainer who you feel comfortable with.  They will teach you proper form, which is most important, as well as exercises for all your muscle groups.  Before long you will feel comfortable.  And if I did my job right I will have taught you enough to do the workouts on your own."

Billy Pratt
FT Avon


"One of the neat things about strength training is the fact that especially when first starting, you don't even need to lift weights! For a beginner, any muscular stimulation above and beyond what you do in your daily activities will be sufficient to cause small but measurable increases in your strength level.

"Start with basic bodyweight calisthenics like push-ups (either on your knees or against a wall), crunches (just don't pull on the neck), wall sits where you sit up against a wall with your legs at a 90-degree angle and hold the position as long as you can, and so on. These can all help to build on your existing muscular strength and endurance levels.

"When you start feeling better about training your body for improved function and wish to step out into using other tools and methods, consult with a qualified personal trainer/fitness coach to determine how best to start. Everybody is different, and your trainer should be able to assist you in choosing which exercises are best for your body type and at what intensity you should be exercising.

"Start small, start right, and jump in without developing those initial bad habits which plague so many people just guessing at what their routine should be. Happy strength training!"

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