Strength Training Tips for Beginners

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by Horizon Rehab Blogger

As physical therapists, we know the importance that exercise plays in helping people get better and reach their fitness goals. If you’re just getting started on a weight-lifting program, we wanted to offer you a handy acronym to help you gauge whether or not you’re doing it properly: F.I.T.T., or Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type:


Maybe you’ve heard other gym-goers refer to “leg day” or some other day where they work out one particular part of their body. That’s because it’s good to alternate which muscles you’re working out, so one group can rest while the other is getting stronger. If you’re just starting out on a weight lifting program, it’s important to not hurt yourself or overdo it.


This refers to how much of a challenge a particular session is with weights. Generally, the most resistance or weight you use, the most challenging your workout will be. You need to give your body some kind of a challenge while maintaining the proper form. If you’re trying to build endurance, it’s good to use lighter weights with more repetition, while heavier weights with fewer repetitions are better for overall strength-building.


Good weight lifting is done in sets and repetitions. A repetition is the exercise itself (for example, an arm curl) while a set can be thought of as an individual block that contains a certain amount of repetitions. Generally, you want to do three sets with eight to 12 repetitions for any given exercise. If you’re attempting to build endurance instead of strength, time your reps instead of counting them. For example, you can set a timer to go off after 30 seconds and try to squeeze in as many reps as you can in that time.


This is a reference to what exercises are included in a given day at the gym. As we noted before, you want to work out different muscles groups on different days. There are many different ways to work certain muscle groups, but if you are unsure of what you should be doing or are unsure of whether or not you have the proper form, come see us!

As with anything else that comes to your health, it’s a good idea to set goals for yourself to reach. You can start off small and then gradually increase them as you become less challenges. As always, make sure you consult your doctor before you start any exercise regimen.

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