Beginner Weightlifting Tips

New to weight lifting? Here are some beginner weightlifting tips that will help your progression. Learning the basics of weight lifting will save you time, energy and frustration as you progress through your fitness goals.

Beginner Weightlifting Tips:

Squeezing the Muscles

In order to get great stability and muscle growth, focusing on tensing the muscular system on any given set is important. Squeezing the muscle at the end of the concentric (producing force) movement.

When doing a squat rep, think about having the body focused and tensed from your feet, calves, thighs and glutes. Creating a strong chain of muscles ready to squat for the entire movement.

It’s also important to have a tight core, back and overall upper body while you are doing the squat. A similar type of approach should be used when weight training other types of lifts. (keep your body focused and tensed as you are doing situps, pushups, dumbbell back row)

Concentric vs Eccentric

Concentric means to produce force (using more force against gravity). The movement of the muscle which produces force is the concentric movement. Eccentric is where the muscle will lengthen under load (using less force against gravity)

Concentric movements will help increase strength / power.

Eccentric movements will help increase mass.


bicep – concentric – pulling the muscle upwards (using more force).

bicep – eccentric – lowering the weight / muscle lengthening under load (using less force).

squat – concentric – pushing the weight up from a squatting position (more force).

squat – eccentric – lowering the weight to a squatting position (less force).


Breathing during weight lifting is something that everyone should be aware as they engage in their exercise programs.

Breathe out as you lift the weight (concentric).

Breathe in as you lower the weight (eccentric) .

Weight Lifting Speed Technique

A good rule of thumb is 1-2 seconds as you lift the weight (concentric).

and 3-4 seconds as you lower the weight (eccentric).

Beginner Weightlifting Tips:


To create an overall healthy muscular frame, to start, you should focus on creating stability.

Main stabilizer muscles: Shoulders, hips, glutes. I would also say that the back muscle is a larger stabilizer all on it’s own.

Progressive Overloading

Progressive overloading is a gradual weight training program where you continuously add (small increments) more weight to your lifting routine to increase muscle mass.

Muscle is created through creating micro tears in the muscular system through applying resistance to the muscle. After weight training, a sufficient muscle building diet and nutrition program will help you meet your caloric and macro nutrient requirements.

Beginner Weightlifting Program

To begin creating a strong overall state of stability and strength, I would recommend starting with:

Reps of 5 – 8, sets of 3 (month 1)

Reps of 8-12, sets of 3 (month 2)

Reps of 12-15, sets of 3 (month 3)

day 1

body weight squats

body weight calf raises


day 2

5 – 10 lb shoulder over head press

5 – 10 lb shoulder front raise

5 – 10 lb shoulder side raise

5 -10 lb shoulder reverse raise


day 3

dumbbell back row

dumbbell weighted shrugs

pushups / knee pushups

day 4

bicep curl

tricep extension or diamond pushup

beginner weight lifting tips james

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