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Weightlifting For Beginners: Diet, Exercise, and Building Strength

Weightlifting For Beginners: Diet, Exercise, and Building Strength

When done properly, weightlifting can be a great form of exercise. It helps build strength, improve your posture, increase bone density, build muscle, and can help you lose weight. But weightlifting for beginners might sound like a daunting feat, especially with the preparation involved.

That’s where this article comes in. We’re here to guide you through your weightlifting journey so that you know all the do’s and don’ts when lifting weights.

Weightlifting For Beginners: How to Get Started

A lot of people think that lifting weights is only for men. But clearly, our Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz proved that anyone can become a weightlifter. You don’t even need expensive equipment to start. In fact, Hidilyn Diaz started with lifting homemade barbells1.

But how exactly can you get started with weightlifting? Here are some important things to remember:

Your Diet Is Important

For any athlete, the food that they eat has a direct impact on their performance. To help build muscle and make your body stronger, it’s important to have a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean meat.

Fruits and vegetables provide the necessary vitamins and minerals the body needs, while lean meat is a good source of protein to build muscle2. Carbohydrates are also very important, since your body needs carbs to provide energy whenever you’re working out2.

It’s also a good idea to avoid eating too many sweets and fatty foods, as these don’t provide a lot of nutritional benefits.

weightlifting for beginners

Additionally, when you eat is also just as important as what you eat. Eating before a workout gives your body fuel, and for weight training, you tend to burn a lot of calories while working out. This way, you don’t run out of energy while lifting, and you’re providing your body with energy so that you can work out more.

Eating after working out is also important as this helps replenish your body’s energy, and helps in building and repairing muscle. There’s no need to eat full meals after working out, as a light snack with carbs and protein should be enough.

One of the best examples of this is with Hidilyn Diaz. One big change that she made in order to compete in the Olympics is controlling the food that she ate. Not only does she need to eat the right quality of food, she also has to limit her intake since she has to stay under a certain weight limit3.

While this doesn’t apply to everyone, having a stricter diet can greatly improve a person’s health, not just if you’re lifting weights.

It’s Not Just About Lifting Weights

Weightlifting is not as straightforward as just getting some barbells and lifting. It’s important for you to do some warm up exercises first before you start picking up weights.

Warmup exercises help get your body ready for more strenuous exercise, and is a great way to get your heart rate up and get your blood pumping. You can think of warmups as revving up your body’s engine.

Stretching is also important when it comes to weightlifting. It’s a common myth that weightlifters aren’t flexible, but the reality is that you need to be flexible for your body to support heavy weights4.

So don’t limit your exercises to just lifting weights. It’s a good idea to do some stretches and flexibility exercises to strengthen your muscles and your joints.

Having an Instructor Helps

While it’s totally possible to get started with weightlifting by yourself, it can be a difficult task. Try to look for an instructor, an experienced lifter, or even a trusted friend who has been lifting weights for a while.

Having someone guide you through weightlifting makes sure that you have the proper form, and you’re avoiding mistakes that could get you injured. Remember, barbells are very heavy, and lifting them without the proper form can cause unnecessary muscle strain or even damage to your joints and ligaments5.

Plus, if you have a companion with you, you’ll be more motivated to work out!

Keep At It!

Lastly, it’s important to focus on your goals, and to keep at it. You need to be focused on your goal whether it’s losing weight, lifting heavier weights, or even joining competitions. This helps you keep a good perspective on things, and prevents you from losing interest.


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  1. FAST FACTS: Who is weightlifting queen Hidilyn Diaz?, https://www.rappler.com/sports/things-to-know-hidilyn-diaz, Accessed July 27, 2021
  2. How to Change Your Diet When You Start Lifting Weights | YMCA of Middle Tennessee, https://www.ymcamidtn.org/healthy-living-resources/blog/how-to-change-your-diet-when-you-start-lifting-weights, Accessed July 27, 2021
  3. Hidilyn Diaz on eating her way to Olympic weightlifting glory, https://olympics.com/en/featured-news/exclusive-interview-weightlifting-hidilyn-diaz-philippines-diet-tokyo, Accessed July 27, 2021
  4. Weightlifting 101 | Right as Rain by UW Medicine, https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/body/exercise/how-to-start-weightlifting, Accessed July 27, 2021
  5. Weight training: Do’s and don’ts of proper technique – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/weight-training/art-20045842, Accessed July 27, 2021
  6. Weight-Training and Weight-Lifting Safety – American Family Physician, https://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0115/p371.html, Accessed July 27, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jul 27, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel