NEW YEAR, NEW GAINS: A guide to conquering your 2022 fitness resolutions

You don't have to be a bodybuilder to lift weights.

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  • If your goal is to get fitter in the New Year, strength training is a great place to start. 
  • Beginners can make major improvements in a short time, building full-body muscle.
  • Learn how to lift weights, do pull-ups, planks, and push-ups, and target each muscle group with our guide.

Strength training is a fantastic way to improve your overall health and well-being, with benefits like building muscle, boosting mental health, burning fat, staving off illness and even helping you age better.

Whether your New Year's resolution is to build confidence, add some muscle, sculpt a leaner physique, or just get fitter, we've got you covered. 

Grab a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells and get to work!

Introduction to strength training for newcomers

If you're brand new to lifting, don't sweat it — anyone can learn to lift weights, and any previous activity you've done, like cardio or yoga, can translate into the weight room. Being new to resistance training can even be an advantage, since beginners can often make huge improvements in a short time, known as newcomer gains. It doesn't take more than two exercise sessions per week to make progress, either. 

Workouts that target specific muscle groups

As you start working out regularly, it can be helpful to understand what parts of the body you're training, and focus your sessions according to your goals. Compound exercises work multiple body parts at once, which can be great for burning fat and building full-body muscle. Other movements focus on specific areas of the upper body or lower body — start there if you're aiming for shapely arms or legs. Experts typically recommend a combination of exercises for each muscle group, and balancing your workouts for best results. 

How to get better at bodyweight exercises

Whether or not you lift weights, don't neglect calisthenics, which is training that involves nothing but your own body and gravity. Foundational bodyweight exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, and planks are a great way to build muscle and strength at home, or with limited access to equipment. 

They can seem intimidating for beginners, but anyone can do them (and get better at them) by using variations to make the exercise more accessible or more challenging.  

This article was written by glandsverk@businessinsider.com (Gabby Landsverk) from Business Insider and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@industrydive.com.