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Weightlifting benefits for beginners

Weightlifting benefits for beginners
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Whether you’re eyeing that set of weights or just considering some new machines at the gym, there are all sorts of benefits to weightlifting. These exercises use resistance to increase muscle mass, tone your muscles, and strengthen bones. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines recommend exercises that strengthen muscles at least twice a week. That includes all major muscle groups: abdomen, arms, back, chest, hips, legs and shoulders. Here’s what happens when you begin lifting weights.

You’ll have more energy

You’ll have more energy
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Even though strength training uses a lot of energy, you’ll actually have more stamina for the rest of the day, says personal trainer Dani Singer. “You’re improving your body’s efficiency,” he says. “Everything else becomes easier.” Tasks like walking up the stairs or cooking dinner will suddenly be easier compared to the effort you put in at the gym.

You’ll want to go shopping

You’ll want to go shopping
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When you start seeing your newly toned body, you might want to start showing it off a bit. People often gain confidence when they start lifting weights and start wearing clothes that they were too shy to wear before, says McDaniels.

You’ll start standing taller

You’ll start standing taller
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Confidence isn’t the only reason you’ll be holding your head high – your muscles themselves might get you to stand straighter. Because you’re used to working your muscles in the gym, you’ll continue contracting them throughout the day, says Singer. “If you’re doing it right and with correct form, it’s very common to hear you look taller,” he says. “They’re not actively trying to stand straighter. It’s a nice side benefit.”

You’ll ease off the painkillers

You’ll ease off the painkillers
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Sitting in front of a computer all day doesn’t just make your posture look bad. Constant hunching could lead to joint or spinal pain, says Singer. But once you start to fix your posture, you might notice that pain going away. “You’re balancing out all those muscles that are de-conditioned,” as opposed to taking paracetamol and treating the symptom, you’re treating the cause, he says.

You won’t see results immediately

You won’t see results immediately
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Strength training will definitely make you stronger and more toned, but you’ll have to work for it. Muscle takes time to grow, so don’t expect to see a change after the first session. “[Many people] think that they’ll see results fast,” says McDaniels. With steady training, though, you’ll see some difference after about four weeks, and dramatic changes when you stick with it, he says.

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You probably won’t lose weight

You probably won’t lose weight
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You’ll be disappointed if you use the numbers on the scales to gauge the success of a weightlifting workout. Muscle weighs more than fat, so even though you’ll look leaner, you might not actually lose weight, says personal trainer Steven McDaniels. “You may not see a change in weight, but you will likely see a change in how clothes fits,” he says. He recommends looking to body weight percentage instead of weight if you like to go by the numbers.

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You’ll actually want to go to the gym

You’ll actually want to go to the gym
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People are often surprised by how much they love weight lifting, says Singer. “Most people think of cardio as a chore,” he says. “With strength training, you can do a circuit of fun, engaging exercises without going on the treadmill,” he says. Not only will your toned muscles make you feel more confident, but lifting a barbell or nailing a bodyweight move is empowering, he says.

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You’ll keep going back for seconds

You’ll keep going back for seconds
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Weightlifting uses up your energy, so your body will be begging for more kilojoules later on. Without realising you’re eating more, you could end up going overboard and negating your workout. “Plan out what you’re eating in the initial periods to make sure you’re not eating more,” says Singer.

If you want to swap your weight training out with cardio, then try this at-home HIIT workout.

You’ll get protein-obsessed

You’ll get protein-obsessed
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There’s a reason bodybuilders are so obsessed with protein powder. Protein is the building block for muscle, so you’ll need to make sure you eat enough protein to power the work they do. Every day, you should eat one to 1.6 grams of protein for every kilo of bodyweight you have, says McDaniels. To make it easy to judge, serve yourself a portion of protein the size of your palm, says Singer.

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