When it comes to new peeps in the gym, one of the first things that I hear often is “but I don’t want to become a powerlifter or bodybuilder!” In other words, a lot of new people to the gym world have the ambition to get stronger, build muscle, lose fat and improve their body composition, but they have fears that if they do, they will end up looking like a freaky ripped bodybuilder, a gigantic powerlifter or, a bit of both! This is understandable! After all, this is not really what most are aiming for.
For many new gym goers, setting foot for the first time in the gym can lead to a little hesitation about undertaking a weightlifting program. Honestly, I don’t blame them and it’s certainly warranted! I mean after all, if you type into trusty old Google or YouTube something along the lines of: how to put on some size and strength, or lose some body fat, the results are mostly always accompanied by big dudes and ripped fitness models giving the latest scoop and advise. How does that happen? Not really great if you are appealing to the new gym goer! Even if you don’t mention anything at all about powerlifters or bodybuilders in your search terms, they somehow still manage to grace you with their presence. It’s really not a surprise then that I often hear many new gym goers hesitantly saying to themselves: is weightlifting really the BEST way to achieve my goals?
Weightlifting Is One Of The Best Tools, But It’s Not A Miracle!
I want to start off by reassuring you that if you do begin a weightlifting program, you won’t end up looking like a massive powerlifter or bodybuilder. It just won’t work like that. Unless someone knows something I don’t? Come on; if you do, spill the beans! I can see why many new gym goers tend to have concerns about embarking on a weightlifting program. You get the impression that every bit of weightlifting advice, program and what not known to man, is associated with professional powerlifters and bodybuilders. Well, this is really just for marketing purposes. After all, if you are releasing your own training program, system or whatever you want to call it, it can seem like an attractive and luring idea to have it represented by someone hardcore in the field. But really, it is all just marketing!
“You won’t end up looking like a massive powerlifter or bodybuilder.”
This whole idea of weightlifting being associated with professional bodybuilders and powerlifters has kind of given weightlifting this whole reputation for being a sort of superhuman endeavor. What I mean is, you touch a weight and you blow up immediately in size and strength into this muscle bound hulk! Wait, what? Weightlifting makes you undergo these superhuman changes! I love weightlifting and I wish it were that awesome. That’s just me! But, even though it’s a fantastic tool for getting you that dream body, it doesn’t work miracles or have the superpowers many gym goers think it does.
This is why many new gym goers tend to be hesitant about incorporating weightlifting into their regular daily lives, they worry it will change them into some hulk. I love the movie, but no, even I wouldn’t want to be the hulk, way too much green for my taste! Many new gym goers want to improve to varying degrees their strength and size, but don’t want to become a fully-fledged bodybuilder or powerlifter through it. This can really put them off following a proper, fully integrated weightlifting program.
Don’t Limit The Effectiveness Of Your Routine
When it comes to improving your size, strength and accelerating your fat loss, every weightlifting program should be based around two things: progressive overload (more work over time) and compound exercises (those that mimic the fundamental movements of everyday life). If you have those two things and improve on them, then everything about your body get’s better: functionality, posture, size, strength, joints, flexibility and, composition. Essentially, you get closer to the body you have always dreamed of and the quality of life improves both in and outside of the gym. What more could you ask for! The problem is, the concerns that some gym goers have can actually prevent them from achieving these very things.
“Everything about your body get’s better: functionality, posture, size, strength, joints, flexibility and, composition.”
When I train, I regularly have people saying a combination of things to me: wow, you lift a lot of weight, you’re working so hard, you do a lot of heavy compound exercises, do you want to become a professional powerlifter or bodybuilder? You seem to train like one! The thing is, I am actually not! I am simply making sure that over time, I increase the amount of work I perform in my program, undertake the essential compound exercises for optimal results and, continue to push myself by trying to exceed my current boundaries and capabilities every session.
Whether you are a professional, completely new or someone just looking to add on a bit of size and strength and strip a bit of fat, the principles of progress stay absolutely the same. But this is where the problem sometimes occurs, especially with new gym goers: they associate this stuff like overload and compound exercises with stuff that is only meant for the professionals. As a result, they end up stripping their program of the two most important principles of ensuring progress: progressive overload and compound exercises. Through this, they end up with a sub-optimal program: always lifting too light, no increase in workload over time, lack of compound exercises or, avoiding weightlifting all together!
Many people don’t want to become bodybuilders or powerlifters, but they do want to improve their bodies. They want to feel stronger, improve muscle, and strip excess body fat. I mean, who doesn’t right? Every aspect of your life is improved! The great thing is, all this can be achieved with a properly designed weightlifting program. But first, you have to realize that weightlifting is not just something that the professional bodybuilders and powerlifters undertake. Yes, the workout principles between you and them stay the same, but that doesn’t mean that you will be transformed into a freaky, ripped fitness fanatic. Just because you don’t want to become a professional powerlifter or bodybuilder, doesn’t mean that you should be avoiding lifting heavier over time, performing compound exercises or keeping your workout sessions intense.
“Weightlifting is not just something that the professional bodybuilders and powerlifters undertake.”
If you are looking to improve your size and strength, and lose fat, then over the long-term, weightlifting is going to be your answer. Yes, weightlifting is used as a tool by lots of professional bodybuilders and powerlifters, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not appropriate for YOU. Contrary to what many new gym goers might think, picking up a weight is not going to cause sudden superhuman changes to your body. It takes a lot of work. Honestly, it takes years and years of consistent, properly programmed lifting to see awesome changes! No exaggeration.
Undertaking a proper weightlifting program, won’t turn you into a fully-fledged bodybuilder or powerlifter. What weightlifting will do however is provide you with a highly effective method of bringing you one step closer to the body you have always wanted. But trust me folks, just because weightlifting is associated a lot of times with the pros, doesn’t mean it’s only meant for them or will make you look like them. Even if you are someone who just wants to make small changes, weightlifting is the probably the most effective tool you can utilize for the job. Stop associating weightlifting with something that the pros would use, and start associating it with what someone would do (anyone!) looking to reach their true potential.
Weightlifting Is A Tool For Everyone
Most new gym goers are always going to have concerns when they first enter the gym. They want to improve their size, strength, body composition and loose fat. This is great! But many people have concerns that if they begin on a weightlifting program, use more weight over time, perform certain exercises, they will end up big, freaky and ripped, and not everyone has these as goals.
The problem is, with so much marketing these days; weightlifting is heavily associated and advertised by the professionals, giving many new gym goers the idea that it’s probably not the best route for them. As a result, people miss out on the best methods to reach their size, strength and fat loss goals. The thing is, weightlifting is for everyone. It doesn’t matter what the extent of your size, strength and fat loss goals are, or the level you are at, or whether you have aspirations to become professional or not, weightlifting can benefit EVERYONE in some way. Touching a heavy weight will not turn you into a bodybuilder or powerlifter, but it will bring you one step closer to your goals.