13 Things You Should Know Before You Pick Up A Barbell


Tips on how to safely lift to your ~swolest~ potential.

While weightlifting is great for your overall health and fitness, using a barbell is no joke and it’s important to know what you’re doing before you pick one up for the first time.

While weightlifting is great for your overall health and fitness, using a barbell is no joke and it's important to know what you're doing before you pick one up for the first time.

That's why BuzzFeed spoke with Albert Matheny, advisor for ProMix Nutrition and certified strength and conditioning expert at Soho Strength Lab, to figure out everything you need to know before trying barbell exercises.

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And here you can find the instructions and visuals for three basic barbell exercises that will help you improve your overall strength and fitness.

If you’ve never lifted a barbell before, make sure your body is ready for the weight.

If you've never lifted a barbell before, make sure your body is ready for the weight.

An empty barbell will weigh anything from 33 pounds (for a women's bar) to 45 pounds (for a men's bar), so Matheny says it's important to start out doing exercises that mimic the moves you'll be doing with a barbell, such as bodyweight squats, dumbbell goblet squats, push-ups, barbell press, etc., so that you can build up the flexibility, strength, and stability you'll need when trying the exercises with a barbell.

Photos by Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed / Design by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

Always check that your weights are loaded evenly.

Always check that your weights are loaded evenly.

Just make sure you're paying attention when you're putting on the plates. If you accidentally load different amounts of weight on either side of the barbell, the barbell could become wobbly or unstable and can lead to injury.

Lance Goyke / Flickr

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