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Fit Fridays with Tracy: 10 tips for beginning weight lifters


Any seasoned fitness pro will tell you that strength training and weight lifting are important to achieving the transformation most people seek when working out. Some of the benefits of lifting include improved coordination, prevention of loss of joint flexibility, and improved range of motion, stability, and balance.

Our resident fitness expert Tracy shares ten tips of things to remember when beginning a lifting regime.

  1. Set reasonable goals and expectations. Do you want to bulk up, slim down, or get more defined? Try to make your goal as specific as possible, and set a time frame. Learn to love the small gains.
  2. Keep the right mental attitude. Once you’ve chosen a goal, keep focused on it. Post it on your wall to help you keep your goal in mind. Try to find someone to work out with (your training partner) to help keep you focused and accountable.
  3. Stretching both before you lift and afterwards helps avoid aching muscle pain the next day. Stretching and flexing your muscles during your workout between lifts keeps blood flowing in your muscles and helps prevent injury.
  4. Control the weight. As a beginner, never use a weight that’s so heavy that you need momentum to lift it.
  5. Stay hydrated. Muscle is 75 percent water. So weigh yourself on a digital scale before and after your workout. Then drink the difference in ounces of water.
  6. The recommended rest period is between 30-90 seconds for overall fitness.
  7. Get plenty of rest, relaxation and sleep and don’t  over train.
  8. Try an intensity change. If you’re not getting any further after many months, try a change. The body responds to variation in intensity and program.
  9. Switch the time of workout.
  10. Don’t skip leg day!

Tracy Springs is a fitness instructor at LA Fitness. Feel free to contact her at [email protected] with any questions or to set up a fitness appointment at the LA Fitness Waukegan facility.