HANG IN THERE: Weight training boosts your body and your mind.Pictures: Pexels
January is a month that is characterised by beginnings and new goals.

So, if your New Year’s resolutions include strength training or weightlifting, we have asked an expert in the field to help us with a beginners guide to the perfect weight training process.

We caught up with personal trainer Romeo Brand.

Why is weight training important?

Working out three times a week affects every level of our lives. With the release of good endorphins, we gain self-esteem, and can take on challenges.

Weight training helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and weight management. Strength training increases your metabolism.

What are the dos and don’ts for weight training?

These are my tips to ensure safety when engaging in a weight training programme.

* Educate yourself and learn as much as you can about how to approach your goals.

* Don’t over-strain. We all struggle with this when we begin weight training.

* Allow the body, not just the muscle, to recover from intense workouts.

* If you feel something is off when you work a muscle, stop. Rest for five days if you need to, rather than having to take five months to recover from an injury.

Stay within your ability to do an exercise or programme. Allow yourself to get stronger.

* Don’t try to impress others or yourself by forcing the body to cope when it cannot manage a certain weight or intensity.

* If you have any symptom of any type of cold or flu, stop training, get to a doctor and heal first as this may lead to heart disease.

I’m a beginner, where do I start?

Define your goals. Introduce the basic movements of exercise to the body. Remember it’s a massive shock to the entire system.

From there slowly introduce more complex exercises that are more challenging.

If you are unsure, speak to a personal trainer to give pointers on how to execute proper form.

Gradually migrate to a style of training that produces the desired results. Make sure to become educated about your diet.

How do I prepare my body for a weight workout session?

Start with a 10-minute stationary cycle or a walk on the treadmill at a comfortable incline and speed. I also use the elliptical machine.

The aim is to elevate the heart rate in preparation for the workout and also to get the joints warmed up for mechanical movements.

Second, do a good stretching routine of about five minutes of the muscle groups you will be working, holding each stretch for about 30 seconds to improve elasticity.

Start with a lighter weight so that the mechanism of movement is understood by the joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments involved. Do at least two sets of a 15 to 20 rep range.

What do I do after a weight workout session?

Replenish what you have taken out of your system. Be sure to replace the energy that you have used during a workout session and eat proper foods to replace the deficit. This sets you on the path of recovery for the next session.

Any specific diet I should follow?

I do believe in changing eating habits. For most of us, changing the habit is difficult; maintaining the “lifestyle” is even worse.

We fall off the wagon very easily, especially with eating the right foods.

I like to tell my clients not to worry about getting the eating right immediately. First, let the body adjust to the training. As you get stronger and fitter, the body will require more nourishment.

This is the time to introduce your new eating habits.