By: Bo Stansell, SPARC Specialist

Some forms of exercises such as running and yoga have a large number of participants because there is little barrier to entry accompanied by a relatively low acute risk. Weightlifting, for a number of reasons, isn’t as ubiquitous. Not wanting to look stupid in front of others is a primary reason people feel intimidated when going into the gym. Regardless of what others think, performing exercises or using equipment incorrectly can be extremely dangerous. With that in mind here are a couple tips to help improve self-efficacy while lifting weights.

  1. YouTube

We live in a digital age where everything you can possibly imagine is available at your fingertips. YouTube is a great source for watching videos of exercises you aren’t familiar with. Not everything on YouTube is correct, but the top results in a search will usually give you a good example of the exercise.

  1. Taking Video of Yourself

Yep. You read that correctly. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days. Take a video of yourself performing the exercise and compare it to the videos on YouTube. Watching video adds another great source of feedback to ensure you are doing the exercise properly.

  1. Have Back Up Exercises

This really only applies for working out at a public gym or when limited equipment is available. To avoid scrambling around like a chicken with your head cut off when that piece of equipment you need is occupied, write in back-ups for exercises that need equipment. A cursory internet search can help you find suitable substitutes for various exercises.

  1. Meet With a Personal Trainer

Good old fashioned human to human interaction is the absolute best way to get comfortable with lifting weights. Having an experienced professional who is familiar with all the various lifts and, more importantly, knows how to properly put a program together will boost your self-efficacy tremendously. It is the most expensive option, but is by far the most effective.

These are just a few examples of ways to improve your weight training proficiency. When seeking answers on the internet always use your best judgement. If you still aren’t sure what to do or where to begin seek the help of a professional. We have several awesome trainers at SPARC that would be more than happy to help you reach your goals.