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Moonside wrote

Honestly since everyone went into the advice mode, so will I:

  1. The mental health benefits of cardio are better supported than that of resistance training, but you shouldn't neglect the latter. The WHO recommendation for resistance training is twice a week for 30 minutes at a time, so that's where you could start.
  2. Be wary of dichotomies. Free weights aren't for experts and machines aren't for beginners. Compounds (multiple joint exercises) and isolations are both useful.
  3. Weight training is generally the safest recreational athletic activity. There seems to be a form of contagious worry about it though where people who don't have any expertise in it are trying very hard to warn others of its dangers. Disregard these and seek input from experts instead.
  4. People generally give very little shit about you in the gym unless you're using equipment they want to use.

If you can't get coaching and want to learn a lift, then there are a couple of strategies.

  1. First is learning easier variations first. For example to learn back squatting, you could learn goblet squats first and then progress to front squats. Goblet squats teach you good habits and it's a weaker variation in the sense that you can't use as heavy loads as with the back squats. Front squats are stronger than goblet squats, but weaker than back squats.
  2. You can get more practice in a movement if you i) do more reps per set ii) do it more often iii) you use variations instead of grinding the same exact movement. So to learn bench pressing, you could do it three times a week. On Monday do three sets of 10-20 reps of normal bench press, on Wednesday do three sets of 10-20 reps of incline bench press and no Thursday do three set of 12-20 reps of dumbbell bench press. Try to increase reps every week and if you hit 20 reps, add weight the next week. High reps are good for your joints and lessen accident potential by lowering the load and you get more opportunities for practicing the movement as well.
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1vs wrote

Ooh thank you, this is helpful and I appreciate this a lot

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Moonside wrote

You know, I got enough time 'under the bar', enough regrets and read too much internet writing on lifting that these kind of things just write themselves. Good luck and enjoy your mental health gains! Exercise really does help, after a while.