Weightlifting is one of the best exercise regimes if you want to hone your physical appearance. But weightlifting also has a lot of myths and ‘broscience’ that surrounds it that can and has caused a lot of strange beliefs and approaches to weightlifting.
Ideally, if you’re an adult you can start weightlifting whenever you have the motivation and the desire. As with any new hobby or exercise regime, you should check with your doctor that you are safe and healthy enough to partake in the particular activity, but this is a standard step for any sport to prevent exacerbating an underlying issue.
In terms of weightlifting, it’s one of the most rewarding, efficient, and healthy activities you can do and is often pursued by many as an amazing stress release and workout.
The development of our dietary and biological understanding has only improved the benefits of weightlifting and also mitigated some of the risks associated with the sport, meaning you’ll be able to gain results faster than ever before.
However, this isn’t the case for everyone.
Can Children Weight Lift?
While both adult men and women can start weightlifting whenever they desire, teens and children may not be permitted to participate so easily.
This is due to the theory that weight lifting can stunt the growth of children and preteens, and have other effects on their physical development that we don’t as yet fully understand.
The reality of this isn’t entirely clear and there is a lot of controversy and debate surrounding this issue. Some say there’s absolutely no proof that weightlifting before puberty can cause physical issues for children, while others worry about the hormonal and physical effects of weight lifting and what it could do to a child’s physiology.
Beyond this, there is also the safety aspect to consider.
Weightlifting gyms can be quite dangerous environments, with heavyweights and machinery being moved around a lot and under great strain and duress. While there are safeguards in place to make gyms as safe as possible, these risks multiply in severity and likelihood when you introduce teens and children to the equation.
They are obviously more fragile than adults, and thus far more likely to become seriously injured in the event of an accident. However, there is also the fact that children may be less likely to follow instructions and stick to the rules of weightlifting, which could put themselves or others at risk.
It can be difficult for young weightlifters to understand the gravity and consequences of moving around weight that is heavy compared to their own body weight, and their natural curiosity, inquisitiveness, and lack of understanding can be a dangerous combination.
In general, small children should only be allowed access to very light weights relative to their body mass, and be monitored closely if they are going to come with you to work out.
In terms of stunting growth, there are few, if any scientifically proved detrimental effects caused by weightlifting on children and teens, but the stigma is strong and doesn’t exist which makes many gyms simply refuse young gym-goers entry or usage of the weightlifting area.
How Do I Start Heavy Weightlifting?
If you want to start heavy weightlifting there are a few things to learn and keep in mind.
The first is that it will have a very strong impact on your appearance and even your hormones. Weightlifting can increase your testosterone levels, no matter your gender, which can have ramifications for various parts of your physical appearance and health as well as your mental and emotional state.
As always, make sure you are medically cleared to undertake a new form of training before starting to ensure you are being as safe as possible when undertaking this new challenge.
To start heavy weightlifting you need to pick a program.
There are many programs available online for free that are easy to follow and will help maximize the efficiency of your weightlifting by grouping up different muscle groups and spreading out others.
Some lifters swear by programs such as Push, Pull, Legs, or PPL, while others use more nuanced or extravagant regimes that require a much more organized approach.
What program you choose really just depends on your own preferences and requirements.
After this, it’s time to start lifting. The most important thing is to build up your strength gradually, particularly if you’ve never lifted before.
Your body will be unused to the massive strain that it is put under when weight training and a lot of the small interconnective muscles throughout your body will need time to strengthen up along with the main large muscle groups. This process takes time and a lot of rest and recovery at the beginning as your body begins to change and adapt.
Eventually, however, you will feel the massive mental and physical rewards of increasing the weight you can lift and the feeling of recovering faster. The sense of accomplishment when these changes start to happen is often what gets people hooked on the thrill of weight lifting.
Just remember to pay attention to your diet and your cardiovascular fitness along with your weight lifting, as these will help to improve your general health and support your continued progress as a weight lifter. As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen!
Can You Learn Weightlifting On Your Own?
Yes, it’s absolutely possible to learn weight lifting on your own, however, it’s not something most people would recommend.
Watching workout videos and studying correct form and technique will enable you to get started on basic weight lifting techniques and programs and can be a way to get started for people who are nervous or shy.
However learning the correct technique, which weight lifters often refer to as form, is very important as incorrect form can lead to lasting damage to your joints, muscles, and posture which can be difficult to correct.
Ideally training with an experienced trainer at the beginning of your journey will help you to avoid bad form and bad habits and get you started on the right track. Once you’re more experienced and confident going it alone is a much more reasonable option.
Just don’t forget that you should still use a spotter for those big lifts and compound exercises.