Trust us—the weight room is not nearly as intimidating as you’re making it out to be. Have you been ditching it (because you don’t know where to begin?) instead of dominating it? Here’s your cheat sheet to getting started…one weight at a time.

Make It Slow and Steady

Group Of People Weight Training At GymTake a look at the men and women working out to the left and right of you. Notice anything they have in common (besides their toned backside and bulging biceps?) They lift, pull, row, and push slowly. Look at them closer, and it seems as though the weights aren’t controlling them but they are controlling the weights. That’s where you want to be. Pull up that dumbbell, and when you bring it back down, go slow. Be in control. Feel the burn.

Change Things Up

Think about your career—it can feel boring (stagnant even) if you do the exact same thing every single day, right? That’s because you’re not being challenged. Your mind is no longer being challenged. Your creativity is at a stand-still when it’s not being utilized. So, think of your muscles as simply another part of your body that needs to be challenged. Don’t go for the same machines each time you’re in the weight room. Each machine will give your body a different workout, which will in turn, give your body a whole new opportunity to become the strongest it possibly can.

Don’t Forget About Rest Time

Weights on machineWith the hard work you’re enduring in the weight room, your body needs a rest. In between each set of squats, bicep curls and deadlifts, take a sixty second break. With the intensity you’re putting your body through, you need it.

Put Your Weights Back Where You Found Them

If you’re becoming a regular in the weight room (or it’s your very first time), here’s a big ‘NO GO’ to remember: put your weight back—every single time. The weight room can be somewhat of a hazard. Leave just one dumbbell out, and your buddy doing the leg press could trip over it on his way to the free weights.

Take the Time to Do It Right

If you aren’t lifting right, why bother doing it at all? When you’re on the treadmill, it can be a mindless activity—and one in which you can zone out, and go to your ‘happy place.’ But when you’re in the weight room and lifting to your heart’s content, pay attention. Be present. Lift, squat and row your way to a rocking body. Take time to go from one motion to the next, by making sure your posture is correct.