JOIN US ON THE 'STRENGTH' SIDE: weight training myths debunked
It's not uncommon for people to feel uncomfortable when first starting out with weights.
You may have a pre-conceived opinion of bodybuilders, weight lifting areas or not having ever entertained the thought that weights could beneficial to your fitness journey.
is one of those tools in the armoury of fitness that has so many benefits for men and women at any age that should be harnessed for your fitness journey.
1. It helps tone your body and add definition to your muscles (aka The pump).
Hypertrophy isn't achieved over night. It's the sum of many muscles adaptations over time through weight training with compound exercises (multi joints & muscles are worked in compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses weighted lunges) & isolation exercises (when you work a single muscle ie bicep curls), consistently performed at different intensities over time. With progressive loading aka adding more weights to the exercises, in simplistic terms, you can slowly but surely build a defined, toned sculpturesque physique.
2. it's absolutely brilliant for both men and women. For us ladies, weight training improves not only strength and power but helps with toning up which, let's face it, can be the most lengthy part of the fitness process.
3. It helps keep muscles and joint healthy! As we age and we reach physical maturity, we start losing around 1%-2% muscle mass and bone density. However, thanks to strength training we can kind of help delay this fact of life, helping us keep mobile, strong and able to move way into our old age! EPIC
4. It boosts your metabolism, enabling us to burn more calories when at rest. That's always a good thing right.
5. State of mind- Achieving a new PB aka personal best is such a great release of endorphins (happy hormones) and who doesn't want more of that :-)
Just to name a few....by the way.
BUT despite the benefits, many are too intimidated or scared to join us in the weight areas of our gyms.
Look it can be a scary place at first.
Common misconceptions about strength exercises are:
- 'i look stupid lifting little weight'
- ' I don't know what i am doing'
- ' I am scared everyone will stare at me'
- ' I don't want to get bulky and look like a man'
-' I can't see any results immediately so it must not be working'
1. We all have to start somewhere!
So your start weight on any free weight exercise (for example barbell squats, kettle bell goblet squat, dumbbell shoulder press and so on) or resistance machine (they are useful! Why would they be in the gym if they didn't have a purpose lol- examples of resistance machine include smith machine, adductor, abductor, leg press, lateral pulldowns, assisted chin ups) is low... it doesn't really matter. That's your starting point. You build it up over time. Your first concern is to get the form right: that is how you perform the exercise first. Then you start building the weights and with that your competence and confidence.
2. If you are not familiar with weight training, there is a wealth of video material as well as websites and blogs, explaining the exercises in details.
Places i turn to are YouTube, bodybuilding.com, Livestrong.com, Women's Health magazine & website, TRAIN For Her & Him. Honestly, even just to get yourself familiarised with the movements, take a look at these sites for inspiration and guidance.
ASK a trainer at the gym to help you with the choice of exercises and show you how to do them correctly if in doubt :-) That's what we are there for!
3. If you are conscious (especially as a woman) that everyone is going to stare and judge, don't be. Like i said. Everyone had to start somewhere and since you pay the gym membership, you have as much ownership of that weight area as anybody else.
You'll find some people will be dismissive that is a given in many walks of life, but the vast majority of men and women in the weights area are very helpful and they can also be motivation to get stronger.
When you get in there, remember, it's not you vs the world....it's you vs you
4. Ladies....it's simple. You won't look like the hulk or bulk up (overnight). Body building takes years of dedication, controlled nutrition and many many many training hours to achieve.
What weights do for us though is speed up our metabolism, make us tone up, drop inches fro everywhere, help with that elusive flat tummy we are chasing and.....maybe get back to me when you get your first PB (personal best) with a weight exercise. Let me know how that feels
5. Results aren't immediate. It takes time. Why not measure your arm, neck, chest, hip, waits, thigh and calf, do 6 weeks of strength training and measure again. TIME. With all journeys. TIME, CONSISTENCY AND GREAT NUTRITION.
You will be amazed just how much your body will change :-)
I hope you find this mini guide helpful. I am always a message away if you want more tips.
Leave your comments below and i'll be sure to answer
See you on the STRENGTH SIDE very soon