Interested in strength training but don’t know where to start? Cultural critic and creator of LIFTOFF: Couch to Barbell, Casey Johnston was once in your shoes.
“When I first started working out, I thought cardio was the only way to go,” says Johnston, who started the fitness newsletter She’s a Beast. “It seemed like the only healthy thing to do. It also felt accessible.”
But sticking to cardio alone depleted her muscles, she told CNBC Make It. So she turned to weightlifting to rebuild them.
When Johnston first started lifting at the gym in 2014, she was 20 pounds on the bench press and 40 pounds on the squat. Since then she has achieved 265 pounds in the squat, 142 pounds in the “bench” and 300 pounds in the deadlift.
Picking up a heavy suitcase is an incredible moment and the suitcase doesn’t feel weighed down. It feels light.
Cultural critic, creator of LIFTOFF: Couch to Barbell
She believes this dramatic change is due to a simple method.
“You’ll be amazed at how much you can actually achieve without any special training. [by] Come to the gym, eat your food, and do the reps you gotta do.”
Weightlifting tips for beginners
Here are some tips she recommends when starting your own weightlifting process.
- Start in the gym if you can. With access to different weights, you can add a little weight to each session.
- Don’t take it too fast. Take it slow.
- Remember you are in control of the process.
- Build your relationship with weightlifting and go at your own pace.
- Eat lots of protein, but also carbs and healthy fats.
- Remember that this is a learning process, so don’t get discouraged.
Signs You Shouldn’t Add Any More Weight To Your Session
It’s important to know your limits when you’re lifting, especially if you’re adding weight over time.
You may have to stick to one weight class for a little longer than others. There are some signs that you should refrain from gaining weight.
- Can’t terminate all reps
- Form collapses or changes during lifting
- you are so staggering
“It’s important to be patient with yourself and start where it makes sense to you,” says Johnston.
“But if you complete all the reps and feel good about the session, you should be able to add a little more weight next time.
Little things can suggest progress in your weightlifting journey
Johnston started noticing changes in her body after weeks and months of weightlifting, but she really noticed a difference when she could lift a load as easily as a cat litter box. .
“Since I started lifting, I’ve never gotten used to this feeling. [knowing] their abilities in the best possible way. It’s not the raw strength, but the stability and stamina that sometimes amazes me,” she says.
“It’s so nice to be rewarded for that moment. Like you go to pick up your heavy suitcase and think, ‘Wow, that’s a drag, I need to go to the gym more.’ [But] Picking up a heavy suitcase is an incredible moment and the suitcase doesn’t feel weighed down. It feels light. ”
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