<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=552061164965486&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

One loud clang of free weights hitting the floor in the gym is enough to scare most beginner lifters off. If it sounds intense, it sounds dangerous! Have no fear, though. A little knowledge about basic free weights is enough to get you started (safely).

Basic Free Weights 1

Types of Basic Free Weights and Lifting Equipment

Start your basic free weights journey by getting familiar with the equipment:

Dumbbells: Weights that can be held one in each hand.

Kettlebells: A ball-shaped weight with a handle that can be gripped with both hands. 

Barbells: A long bar that holds weight plates on each end.

Weight Plates: The weights that can be added to a barbell.

Benches: A raised, padded bench that can safely support you while you press weights. Many have parts that can be raised or lowered to help you lift at different angles. This kind of quick change works different muscles.

Power Racks: Racks that can hold barbells and weight plates. You can stand and lift or bench press relying on a rack to safely catch the barbells.

Platforms: A rubber mat you can drop or place barbells on. Benches are often placed on these too. 

Basic Free Weights

Basic Free Weight Exercises

Use these exercises to get the hang of basic barbell moves. Be sure to focus on your form before trying to load up on heavy weights. 

Bicep Curls.  Hold the barbell with your palms up and your hands about a shoulder width apart. Keep your elbows in place as you raise the barbell to your chest.

Bench presses.  Lie flat on the bench holding a barbell with your palms up. Raise the barbell directly overhead until your arms are extended.

Deadlifts.  Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart, bend at your knees and squat. Grab the barbell with your palms down and then stand up straight. 

Beginner Tips

When you begin working out with weights, it's important to recognize that you're a beginner. Jumping in like you're already a pro can be risky and do damage to your muscles. Use these tips as you begin:

  • Start with no weights on the barbell to perfect your form
  • Work your way up slowly to a weight level that challenges you
  • Ask for help as you learn the moves
  • Practice in front of a mirror so you can watch your form
  • Try personal training to get guidance
  • Sign up for a strength-based fitness class to learn new exercises
  • Ask someone for a spot (or bring a friend to spot your lifts) 

Using Gold's Gym's Free Weight Areas

Any Gold's Gym member can use the free weight areas at the gym. Just look for the racks of free weights and padded areas with benches to work on. Be sure to use the equipment properly and return the weights back to where you got them from. We keep our weight areas well stocked so you can go after your goal, no matter where your start and finish lines are set.

Begin your journey with a plan. Use our FREE New You in 28 Days Guide to set yourself up for success. 


Gold’s Gym SoCal is an association of separate clubs—click here for info