Lifting weights should be simple. You go to a place with a bunch of metal and pick it up and put it down until you look like The Incredible Hulk. But weightlifting—like any other worthwhile pursuit—requires study, planning, and care to succeed at, which sucks.
Weightlifting is also no fitness panacea. There are few things you can do at the gym that you can’t undo at the Taco Bell on the way home, and no amount of deadlifts is going to prepare you for a marathon. That said, it’s fun and exercise is good, so let me Sherpa your climb up the mountain of strength, past the filthy Ganges of Internet Broscience.
Let’s start with stuff. Lifting equipment falls into three categories, the stuff you’ll need, the stuff you’ll probably want, and the stuff you might eventually want.
Since I’ve started I’ve done a lot of research on form and so far I have really preferred taking tips from powerlifters over bodybuilders, they just seem to be no nonsense and focus mostly on lifting the most weight possible without hurting yourself. Listen to powerlifters in the gym; listen to bodybuilders in the kitchen.