In the 70’s and 80’s, fitness experts were instrumental in encouraging women to perform aerobic activity and to lift weights… light weights, with high reps. This supported the idea that if you were to lift heavy weights, you’d only get brawny and masculine muscles. Today, this fear still lingers among many women, but I’m so glad the misconception is being seen more and more! Weight lifting does NOT have to mean bodybuilding. I am not a “bodybuilder” and I don’t have any intentions of becoming one.
If you want to increase muscle strength and/or size, tone your body, train for sports or a specific activity, you will see better results if you incorporate some kind of weight lifting. And I’m not talking light weight/high reps. I’m talking about lifting heavy enough to create a physiological response in your muscle tissue: you have to tax it enough in order to build it. A muscle will only get bigger, stronger, and more defined, if the loads are greater than “normal.” So how do you start, you might ask? Head to my blog to find out.
Not only is weight lifting helping your physique, it’s increasing bone strength (so important for women!), definition, better posture, and endurance. Strong is the new skinny!! You may burn more calories more quickly on the treadmill, elliptical, or out running the road, but resistance training burns calories LONGER after the exercise session has ended.
The more muscle mass you have on your body, and the more muscle fibers you can recruit into your workouts… stronger muscles are metabolically expensive—meaning that they cost your body a whole lot more calories in order to keep them in tip-top working order. Muscle burns up to 10x more calories than fat! Are you convinced yet?
So, here's the real question. How do you start?
Here are my top tips for you!
1. Start with something you know how to do.
Push-ups, squats, planks… what do you know how to do? Start there and first use your body weight for resistance. Most of my videos involve body-weight moves, and they are things you can do anywhere, anytime. I have tons of them on my Instagram feed, you can subscribe to my YouTube Channel, and they can even be found on Pinterest, under Momstrong (which gives you an easy way to keep them organized). I continually am making those videos for YOU. Start there and get comfortable with the basics before adding any additional weight.
2. Get some basic equipment.
Do you have a resistance band at home? Do you have a pair of dumbbells? Get some. Even just these simple tools can help you to start getting used to feeling more resistance as you train. The more you get used to doing simple movements like a shoulder press, or a lunge with added weight, the more you’ll feel comfortable adding even more weight to your routine. As your muscles break down and rebuild stronger, you’ll be able to continue to add more weight and the stronger you’ll become.
3. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
Two years ago, I walked into the weight room and I felt so intimidated. It wouldn’t be long before I was back in the cardio room on the treadmill… not because I didn’t like the weight room… in fact, I loved it… but I was nervous to try new machines, in fear I’d look “stupid.” I’m an athlete, and I like being good at things from the get-go. Don’t we all? And learning something from square one and having to look stupid while doing it, intimidated me. But as I’ve learned to embrace failure and find is as an opportunity for growth, I’ve grown so much more. Just the thought of that silly fear makes me laugh now. That first time of walking into the weight room and being too intimidated to try, led me to coming home, looking up tutorials online of how to do certain moves/machines I saw other people doing, diving into books and articles, and has led me to where I am now… eager to teach and share all that I’ve learned with YOU.
When I finally got the guts one day to just put my pride aside and try, I felt so empowered! The more I tried, the stronger I felt, and the stronger I became. The more I went to the weight room, the more people I would see doing different things, and I started getting new ideas. You can learn SO much from just watching other people. Find people who know what they’re doing, and watch them (without being too much of a creep! haha).
So here’s the scoop. Look at failures as opportunities for growth. Don’t be afraid to try something new in fear you’ll look stupid. That’s the dumbest reason in the world, and you know it. Who cares what people think! Just go for it! Those little efforts you give, the more questions you ask, and the more you’re willing to look “stupid,” the more you’ll grow.
4. Lastly, find a buddy!!
Everything is more fun when you have someone by your side… pushing you to try something new, encouraging you to go harder, and holding you accountable to your goals. (It’s also the reason I’ll primarily be training clients in pairs this summer. I want my clients to have a support team.) This person for me, is my husband Bry. He is constantly pushing me to try new things and to get over my fears… and I’m so grateful for that. Find that person and get them to come workout with you! The support will carry you far!
I can’t wait to be taking clients this summer! Because here’s the thing… I’ve been in your shoes before. I know what it feels like to not know where to start. I know what it feels like to be afraid of lifting weights. I’ve been there! We’ve all been there! And the best part about it, is that I’m still learning and always hope to be. If training, building strength, learning proper lifting technique, and knowing how to maximize your strength training is something you’re interested in, email me! I’ll add you to the email list, and when I have pricing/scheduling details, you’ll be the first to know. I’d love to work with you.