I’m amazed at how many women wish they could ditch their dinner lady arms, fat tummies and thighs yet are afraid to lift weights in case they end up with looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. This cannot happen unless you train to look like that, eat a hell of a lot of protein and and take supplements specifically so you can look like that and it takes years.
Strength training holds incredible benefits such as:
- building muscle mass
- improving performance
- burning fat
- strengthening bones
- preventing injury
With benefits like that, it’s a wonder more of us aren’t lifting. For those of you who haven’t tried weight training before, here are a few tips to get you started.
Form, form, form!
In strength training, form is everything. Proper form ensures that not only are you targeting the correct muscles, getting the most out of the exercise, but that you’re guarding yourself against injury.
Don’t be too fancy
What I mean by this is – stick to the basics. As with anything, there is a huge variety of strength training moves you can perform. Don’t get tempted to be doing all types of advanced compound movements right away – you’ll get there. Stick to the basics to begin with. They’re timeless classics and will deliver results just the same.
Here are some classic moves to incorporate into your routine.
- pull downs
Build up your strength
Focus on getting stronger, not performing a ton of reps. If you focus on getting stronger, you can gradually increase weight while keeping your form in tact. You should lift at a weight where you are only able to complete 5-10 reps so that you can set a solid foundation and build strength for different types of workouts.
Don’t believe the myths
By lifting weights, you will NOT get “bulky” or “manly.” Extra fat is what makes women appear bulky, not muscle! Muscle burns fat, so by building muscle, you will begin to shed more fat. That means, you’ll looked more toned. Not like a rugby player. Try to keep away from the scales for a while. They will do your head in at first.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed …… most things in life don’t happen overnight. Stick to strength training to see results. It takes time, but is worth it.
I know that making your way to the weight area can be intimidating. I’ve felt it but don’t let that get in the way of your workout. The only way to deal with the intimidation factor? Just go do what you came to do. Listen to your music, be in your zone. You’ll get more comfortable. All that matters is you’re in there doing your best. I’ve also found that there are a lot of guys willing to help if you ask. Don’t be intimidated.
Follow a programme and keep a log
Ask the experts if in doubt. This will also help you commit to your goals and stay on track. You can arrange a personal trainer session or, if you’re looking to save money, review some of the sites online, there’s plenty of them and some have great video tutorials to follow.This is one of my favourites:-
Keeping a log also means you can see how you are improving. I keep a log of my sets, how much I can lift and my measurements.
You’re doing something so great for your body. Weight training is satisfying and fun. Embrace the burn and enjoy the process.
So, have I convinced you? Let me know how you get on!