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The Makings of A (Garage-Olympic) Weightlifter

Aug 11, 2021
Still can’t hit the gym because of the pandemic? Transform your garage into a training ground! The recently concluded Tokyo Olympics has been making headlines for the past weeks. Not only did it successfully pushed through despite major setbacks brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also bannered significant milestones and firsts in the Weightlifting sport, of individuals and home country they represent: Hidilyn Diaz winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines, and New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard competing in the 125-year history of the Olympics as the first openly transgender woman athlete to contend in a different gender category to that assigned at birth. These breakthroughs have piqued curiosity among casual watchers of the biggest sporting event in the world. The once male-dominated event has broken gender stereotypes clouding the strength-based sport. And perhaps while sitting comfortably on your couch in the living room, it has occurred to you that why not give weightlifting a try. Staying at home for almost two years now has brought mental and physical strain on most of us. It is high time to get started, to get moving, and to try things you have never done before. But of course, only learn from the experts and get a health clearance from a doctor. Afterall, this is a sport that requires great physical strength and you need to safeguard your body if you are up to it.

Prepare: Strong Mindset

What does it take to be a weightlifter? Aside from the physical strength, which is the number one criterion in the sport, the mind conditioning of a weightlifter should be in top shape. You are expected to fail. At first. Or in the long run whenever you subject yourself to a higher standard. If these shortcomings fill your head, it conditions the physical strength as well that you are not bound to lift the heavy weights. Your muscles will become stiff. Mental toughness can help you approach the challenges with great finesse. There is no shortcut to this. Every great athlete went from zero knowledge to expert after long years of training. This is not an overnight thing. Patience is a virtue that comes in handy when seeking for greatness. As you train, bits and bits of lessons, skills and tricks are acquired. It may not make sense at that moment, but eventually will in the future. It is a never-ending process. Be open-minded. Accept the changes and the challenges. Appreciate every blood, sweat and tears. And these will help you improve your craft. Some days may be heavier, some days will be smooth sailing. And when the days come that you can’t lift weights, and can’t bring yourself up, always remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place. Ask yourself. Why do I want to lift weights? Does every minute spent on the training make me happy and give me the desire to perform better? What do I want to truly achieve? List down all the pros and cons. Then counter the cons with how you want to overcome them. Change your perspective. Appreciate the journey.

Invest: At-home Fitness Equipment

A serious challenge in establishing a home gym is to decide what kinds of equipment one needs. You do not need to buy everything all at once; just piece by piece as you go on with your home workout. For starters, buy a set of dumbbells. This gym equipment’s main goal is to help you build strength and size. There is a wide array of choices for increasing lean muscles and adding strength. Consider buying an adjustable set or various single sets in different sizes. Though these can be substituted with weight machines, these restrict movement unlike with the dumbbells where you can perform several types of exercises. A single dumbbell can focus on one arm or leg at a time to prepare you for the heavier barbells that you will be working on in the future. Another simple workout tool that you can use in your garage is a training rope or battle ropes. This is an all-around gym equipment to train your muscles in your arms, abs, glutes and back. It is great for full-body exercises. Battle ropes build up your endurance, increase your shoulder mobility and work different muscles. It also improves your hand grip as you alternately wave the two ropes, one in each hand. As you do this, you will observe how each side of your body handles the strength and pressure. Add more intensity in the workout by incorporating squats, jumps, lunges and lateral movements. Add barbells to your home gym arsenal. A barbell is a metal bar loaded with weights on opposite ends of the bar. There are barbells that have fixed and pre-made weights, while some are the adjustable type. It is better to buy the latter. The barbell can be a litmus test to gauge how strong you are now at the stage of your training. Lifting barbells develops the muscles and nerves in the areas that you need to work on, which will be extremely helpful in achieving the desired body strength. While training with dumbbells and barbells, a bench press can partner for positions other than standing or lunging. Bench presses tone the muscles of the upper body, such as arms and shoulders. It aids your weight-training exercises in improving your bone health, upper body strength and muscular endurance. To declutter your space in the garage, always install storage racks. A clean and spacious workout space will help in decluttering your mind and preparing mentally for the challenge ahead of you. Fleximounts boasts a variety of storage racks that can hold the heavy lifting of your gym equipment when idle and not in use.

Lift the weight on your shoulders

As in every aspect of life, the heavy lifting of any activities or challenges starts with trying. Be a doer. You can complain in the process, but what’s important is to step your foot forward. Even if you will never be an Olympian, you would still be wearing the badge of honor of bringing yourself and pushing yourself to take on the new challenges.