Weight Lifting 101 is a series of posts for those who are just starting their journey with weight training. If you are thinking about getting started in a gym or training at home, this reading is for you.

For the sake of these postings, I’m going to assume that you have never touched a dumbbell in your entire life. I’m not going to make any guesses about what you do or don’t know, so we will start from the very beginning and build up from the basics. If you are already at the intermediate or advanced levels, stay tuned… more is on the way.

A Time for Change

If you are just getting started, this is a very exciting time! Never again will you experience such a dramatic change in the way you look as in these upcoming months. I say never again because the changes you are about to make should be lifelong changes with principles that you will never abandon.

Thus, you are currently standing at the inflection point in your life. It is this very moment when you can decide to make a change, and the rest of your life can be altered as a result of this decision. Since this is the precise moment that you are changing to a new direction, the following months will show you more results than any other time in your life. After your initial transformation, you will simply continue further and further down this new path that you are starting on today.

You will have to get into the right frame of mind to be ready for your first exercises. Whatever you do, don’t short-change yourself by being embarrassed of how you look in the gym. Getting a good first workout in the gym is going to require a certain amount of confidence; a special mindset. No matter how much those other people are lifting, no matter how fast they are running, you just do what’s best for you.

Sure, you might look a little out of place if it’s your first time going to a gym. You might be overweight, too thin, too weak… but nobody is going to laugh at your effort if you exercise within your personal limits. Just forget about how you look and go to work. Things will be different very soon.

The Case for Weight Lifting

Let’s get into the reasons why weight lifting is something that you need to be doing. Here are a few primary reasons why you should begin to lift weights:

  • You will look better: Whether you are a man or a woman, having some muscle on your body will improve your appearance. Of course, men and women are shooting for different looks. Most men will want larger muscles while women will work for the longer and thinner muscles. Having a firm and toned body is going to look good no matter who you are.
  • You will have more energy: Studies have shown that people who lead sedentary lives and then turn to exercise have increased energy levels and report less fatigue. What could having more energy each day do for your life?
  • Your confidence will increase: Looking better will change the way you see yourself. Let me ask you this question: what part of your life won’t be affected by having more confidence? Whether it’s your work life, social life, dating life… you name it, having confidence will help.
  • Others will respect you: Is it shallow for other people to respect you more when you look better? Not if you look better because of all the hard work and discipline you put in. People around you will take notice, and you might even begin to see a difference in how you’re treated.

This list could continue on for several pages, but I think you get the picture.

The challenges

I don’t want to paint a big rosy picture with a pretty rainbow behind it and tell you that this is how things are going to be if you just show up in the gym. Having these benefits is going to require a significant investment of hard work and effort. Anyone who tries to tell you something different is just trying to make a sale.

In fact, if you want to change the way you look and feel for the rest of your life, it’s going to require more than just a strong effort. It will be more than just going on a diet and exercising. This is going to be a change in your lifestyle.

Believe it or not, much of your lifestyle is outwardly visible to others. What people see the very first time they lay eyes on you is a mixture of your genetics and lifestyle. While you can’t change your genetics, your lifestyle certainly can be changed. If you do change it, you will also change what people see every single time they lay eyes on you.

Is that something that would be worthwhile to you? What would you add to my list of reasons to lift weights? Leave your comments below.

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