Have you been avoiding the area of the gym with weight racks and strength training machines? That equipment can seem intimidating, and many people steer clear, keeping their workouts confined to the cardio machines and stretching area—or perhaps sometimes using kettlebells or lightweight dumbbells.
If you've been avoiding heavy lifting or strength training equipment, here are a few tips and words of advice to help get you started:
1. Watch Youtube Videos
Nothing feels as good as doing an exercise and knowing you're doing it with proper form. The same goes for loading up weights or using a machine. This is also essential for safety.
Youtube is an excellent resource for learning how to lift heavier weights and adjust machinery. It's also a good place to get exercise ideas and learn proper techniques (just check the person's credentials to ensure they know what they're doing).
2. Ask a Gym Staff Member or Personal Trainer for Help
When you decide you want to start using heavy weights and equipment, you have to get over feeling embarrassed about asking for help. Whether you need a spot or someone to show you how to adjust a machine, it's time to stop feeling embarrassed. Gym staff members and personal trainers want to help people--it's their job. Don't be afraid to ask one of them about proper form or tips for using a specific piece of equipment. They want to help you!
3. Take a Lifting Class
Whether it be a Crossfit intro course or a weight lifting class, there are many gyms out there that offer classes to teach people proper form and heavyweight exercises. If you're nervous about getting started on your own, you may want to take one of these classes or book a session with a personal trainer. They can walk you through specific exercises so that you feel confident doing them on your own at the gym.