How to Lift Weights

The key formula to start working towards your goals


By Maddy Bond


So you’ve decided to start working out. Great choice! But where’s the right place to begin? It can be a little overwhelming at first, understanding the correct postures to lift, how much weight to use, and which exercises work specific muscles. So here’s a few tips to start you out on your fitness journey.

Master the basics

There are some basic exercises that everyone needs to know. Whether you’re an athlete, body builder, or just getting started, it’s crucial to master these simple movements to develop a strong base for your fitness:



-Push up

-Pull up or lat pull down

These exercises involve most of the major muscle groups. Learning to properly activate the correct muscles is key to a strong foundation. Head here for some tips on how to perform these moves. There will also be a wealth of information and tutorials online for you to explore.

Think about your schedule

How many days a week you should exercise will vary person to person. If you’ve been working out three times a week for a few months and you feel your progress slowing down, add in another day to your schedule. Five days a week is optimal for most people, but that can be hard to achieve for complete beginners. So start small, then add more if you find it too easy.

How long your workouts last will also be relative to the individual. Some people are comfortable exercising for three hours a day, while others only have time for a quick but hardcore 30 minute session. One hour should be a good amount of time for most people to exercise. But start with less if you find this too hard to start with. You can build up the time as it gets easier!

Use the right weights well

The weights you use and the reps you perform should be relative to your personal fitness goals.

While there are formulas and tests you can take to determine the appropriate weights for you, you can also just keep it simple by listening to your body. Your weight is just right if, by the end of your set, your muscles feel burnt out and are not able to lift the weight while maintaining good form.

Rep count is also based on your goal. To develop muscular endurance, aim for 15–20 reps per set. To build up muscle, aim for 8–12 reps per set. For strength, try 5–8 reps. However many reps you choose, your muscles should feel burnt out by the end of the set, which will determine how much weight to choose.

Good luck, and keep at it!

Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow.  She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.

Main Photo Credit: djile/; Second Photo Credit: SofikoS/; Third Photo Credit: UfaBizPhoto/