How do I get started on weightlifting?

Rogue from Germany
Pronouns: they/them
Posts: 5
Hey everyone! Wow, haven't been here in a while, love the new layout (even if it took me a minute to find my old profile pic again to use for the new account lol).

Anyway I have a question: I've been going to the gym on and off between the other exercise I do (currently cheerleading and basketball) but been mostly sticking to the machines rather than weightlifting with free weights (sorry no idea what any of that is even really called in english, but hopefully you get what I mean) - I've done some dumbbell exercises but nothing with bigger weights.

I kinda want to though? From what I've read training with weights is generally better than the machines, since it trains more muscles at once, rather than targeting specific ones and it would also just make more sense for me personally, since I specifically want to support my cheerleading with this - I want to be able to do partner stunts (aka lift my partner on my own rather than together with several other ppl) and I'm never gonna lift her with like... just my biceps or whatever.

So the question is, how do I get started? Obviously I've seen the horror stories of ppl doing weightlifting wrong/with too much weight and tearing smth horribly, and honestly I also just find it somewhat intimidating to even walk into that section of the gym, that's usually filled with jacked guys who look and act like they at least think they know exactly what they're doing (whether they actually do is another question entirely)

Sorry for the long ramble, but any advice (or even just encouragement) would be appreciated! (Also if anyone has any other advice for how to train towards being able to lift a whole adult human who's standing on my hands, over my head, that'd be great too xD)
 
Solution
I would start with looking for a full body program you can do three times a week, approx. Either you look for something with compound lifts like Squats, Bench Press, Deadlifts, Rows, etc. or for something with a few isolation exercises added, like biceps curls, flys, etc.
You could either start with Ironborn here on Darebee,
or maybe something like this for the compound program: https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/dumbbell-workout/
or my favourite full body program with isolatin exercises: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

Next, learn proper form for the exercises. Don't hesitate to choose the smallest and lightest dumbbells you can find. Yes, you might feel stupid, but if you learn...

lofivelcro

Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
I would start with looking for a full body program you can do three times a week, approx. Either you look for something with compound lifts like Squats, Bench Press, Deadlifts, Rows, etc. or for something with a few isolation exercises added, like biceps curls, flys, etc.
You could either start with Ironborn here on Darebee,
or maybe something like this for the compound program: https://www.aworkoutroutine.com/dumbbell-workout/
or my favourite full body program with isolatin exercises: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

Next, learn proper form for the exercises. Don't hesitate to choose the smallest and lightest dumbbells you can find. Yes, you might feel stupid, but if you learn proper form with light weights, you reduce the risk to injure yourself with heavy weights later significantly. The second link has descriptions for most exercises, sometimes with video. Keep in mind to always brace your core for stability.

Start with the loweset weight, and whenever you can do the required reps per set, up the weight the next time you do the exercise. If you can't do the reps per set, note down what you got, and the next time, see if you can add another rep, stall again, or even get less reps. If you add one, keep at that weight. If you stall again, lower the weight the next time. Same when you do even less reps than the last time. Take notes, track your progress.

Obviously, if something hurts, stop. With some lifts, your grip strength probably tanks before your general strength. Deadlifts come to mind for that. I wouldn't use straps when that point comes, but look for ways to train grip strength instead. This probaly will be some time, though.

Don't hesitate to play it safe instead of adding weight. If you can do the reps per set, but wobbly or in bad form, DON'T add weight. It's not a number game and you have to think of your joints.

If you want to lift a human, the big lifts will help. Deadlifts, Squats and Presses.

Ab work will help, too, if you feel like you need additional training for your core.

I can't help you much with gym culture, but I guess if you keep gym ettiquete in mind and don't block the weights, everything should be fine. Afaik, most people mind their own business.

Lifting is fun and imo very rewarding, so go for it if you want. Women especially profit from lifting heavy weights.
 
Solution

lofivelcro

Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 247
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
Have fun, and glad I could help. Feel free to keep asking if some questions pop up. And please, even if you use the Darebee program, look up how the exercises are done. You can get away with bad form with light weights, but it will bite you in the *rse later down the road when you start to lift heavy.
 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Commando from Prometheus Cloud Galaxy
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 182
Have fun, and glad I could help. Feel free to keep asking if some questions pop up. And please, even if you use the Darebee program, look up how the exercises are done. You can get away with bad form with light weights, but it will bite you in the *rse later down the road when you start to lift heavy.
I agree. And I would say pay special attention to keeping your core engaged. VERY VERY IMPORTANT, especially down the road to avoid hurting your back. If there's one place you don't want to be a limpy clown (as my brother calls it), it's while lifting.
 

Damer

Administrator
DAREBEE Team
Warrior Monk from Terra
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 86
@wannabeArtemis welcome back to The Hive! You may find this guide on building strength useful: https://darebee.com/fitness/the-science-behind-lifting-for-strength.html Lifting light weights with many reps is safer than going heavy so if you're in the gym and are in doubt get a light weight, slow down the movement so you're not jerking the limb and producing a ballistic movement and simply do a lot of reps until you feel muscle fatigue. You will also need to factor in: enough sleep for muscles to recover and grow stronger, adequate food for building strength. I hope this helps but any questions you may have just let me know. :)
 

d1_trackstar

Member
Jedi from Omaha, NE
Posts: 15
"Faster, Faster until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death."
As a person that has had to jump into the world of weightlifting recently, I understand what you're going through.
Make sure you are correctly informed about your body. If you go into the weight room with the wrong advice you could be one of those horror stories.
Make sure you are Drinking lots of water and eating lots of food your body needs the energy to push and pull all the weight it is not used to.

Sorry if I sound like your mom or something. It's just the truth.
:u:;)
 

Hammerhand

Member
Posts: 11
"But Iron - Cold Iron - is master of them all"
I've been lifting for 6 years now. I recommend starting with the program I began with: Stronglifts 5x5. It's free and will help you slowly add weight each workout. It starts you off with these barbell exercises:
Bench press
Bent over row
Squat
Overhead press
Deadlift

Like the @lofivelcro said, only do it three days a week. Whatever strength program you do, try to give yourself a rest day before working the same muscle group again. For example, don't do squats two days in a row. Good luck out there and don't neglect the iron.
 
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