There’s a number of reasons why someone would pick up weightlifting. Some turn to lifting weights for confidence, improved health, an escape, passion or a hobby. For many of us, weightlifting is a way of life. I have my routine because I’m a die-hard weightlifter. Lifting weights can be for fun, show, sport or competition. Most are involved with weightlifting to reach goals, mainly increasing strength and muscles. However, the “lifestyle” can be so much more.
Although some of you may not know, weightlifting is a sport. In fact, weightlifting is an Olympic sport. I’m sure you’ve heard about the 2016 Rio Olympics over the past few weeks. If not, weightlifting has received a lot of attention, too bad a lot of it has been negative attention we don’t need. Still, we had some great stories and Olympic weightlifting usually motivates more men and women to give it a try.
Olympic weightlifting scores two lifts in competition: the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. Since the sport uses different weight classes, the goal is to lift more weight than your competitors in the same class.
You consistently see weightlifting used for strength training. How do you get stronger? You lift more weight. You lift more weight in higher reps. You see all this fancy fitness equipment in every gym now. I love technology as much as most people, I have nothing against it. However, barbells and dumbbells have worked just fine for decades and still does so today. Nothing like gearing up your bar.
Increase ligament strength
Increase tendon strength
Increase muscle contractile strength
Weightlifting is also used for competition, the sport of bodybuilding. You have to put in some serious work to achieve such results. Muscle mass is the main goal in bodybuilding, not strength. So while bodybuilding involves weightlifting, the objective is far different from performance, far different from competitive weightlifting.
An Olympic Sport
Used in competitions
Used for strength training
For both performance and look
As you can imagine, lifting weights has many benefits. There’s lifts you can do with dumbbells and barbells that can’t be done on equipment.
In weightlifting, there’s a wide range of different exercises that include:
Absolutely. Just as we discussed above, weightlifting is one of the safest sports in the world. Have we seen injuries before? Of course, but this is often injuries that could have been avoided.
Improper Technique – I’ve seen many men and women suffer injury by using improper techniques. There’s a lot of good resources out there that will teach you how to lift weights properly.
Safe Sport – Think about the other sports out there, we have football, basketball, soccer, boxing and others. Weightlifting is safer than most of them.
Pre-Existing Conditions – Another cause for alarm on the injury front is pre-existing conditions, injuries that are not caused by weightlifting. If these conditions are not treated properly, you can
Keep A Level Head – We all want to be the one that can lift the most weight at the gym or competition. Hey, it’s natural. But don’t risk injury or your health.
If you’re just beginning weightlifting, pay close attention to this section. Mistakes can cost you a lot if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Using Too Much Weight – One of the biggest mistakes I see beginner’s and others make is lifting too much weight. I always suggest starting lower and working up from there. Too much weight also increases your potential for injury, so be careful out there.
Lifting Faster– Lifting weights faster has no real benefit. It won’t help you develop muscle quicker. You actually gain more muscle fiber by lifting weights slower. For beginners, it’s important to note speed is king. However, to develop proper neuromuscular pathways, slow, and consistent is first before speed.
Big Ego – Nearly all gyms have one, that one person that wants to lift more weight than anyone in the gym. Nothing wrong with setting goals to achieve, but don’t do it in vain.
There’s a few tips I want to give you before and after you lift weights.
Stay Hydrated – Make sure you’re drinking water. 8-10 cups of water a day is the recommended count.
Eat Well – You should always make sure you eat a well-balanced meal before you start your workouts and afterward, 60 minutes between at the least.
Accountability – Keep track of everything you’re doing. Use it as a reminder, but for motivation also. This is a great way to be accountable.
Mobility – Always take a few minutes before to get your head right and get your body prepared. You’ll prevent a lot of injuries by doing so. You don't want to do static stretching before you lift because you will release *stored elastic energy* from within the muscle. This could make you up to 15% weaker. Instead let's put, "Follow a series of dynamic stretches, and mobility exercises to make sure your body is warm and ready to move."
There’s a lot of sports that require gear for performance and weightlifting is no different. Belts, shoes, straps, wraps, chalk, they matter. Obviously, some more than others, but weightlifters know what counts and what doesn’t.
While a lot of weightlifting accessories are a dime a dozen, that’s not true when it comes to your shoes. I go with the weightlifting shoes I’ve seen transform the industry, the P2.1 blue suede weightlifting shoes by Position.
I’m a fan because I know the science that has transformed the shoes on a whole new level compared to the last version. In a sport where performance matters so much, there’s not another shoe out there I trust more.
If you’ve been thinking about getting into weightlifting, I hope you’ll give it a try. Be sure to sign up to receive premium weightlifting content, promotions, deals and freebies. In the right hand sidebar, just enter your name and email to unlock it. We have all kinds of great things coming up, so you don’t want to miss out.
Everyone loves max out day. But before you jump under the barbell, it’s important that your mobility and warm-up are of PR quality. Try these three easy pre-workout stretches, activation and mobility drills before the next time you squat or clean and see if you notice a big improvement in your squatting!