The Weight Room: A How-To
I wanted to drop a couple tips for ladies who are anxious about getting started with weight training. I know the deal. The weight room is full of grunting, sweaty men making lots of noise, banging around excess weight. The whole thing is very intimidating.
I remember I used to train a big box gym that had a weight room that was downstairs and very much out of the way. Whenever I took female clients down there I might hear something like “ooh, I've never been down here before” “the guys working down here all seem super intense.”
It’s a shame and it breaks my heart because the benefits of weight lifting are plentiful, especially for women!
Here are three tips to help you make that transition from cardio machine to the weight room:
1. Training Wheels
Start with the machines. Study the diagram on each machine carefully and start with the lightest weight and keep adding until a set of 10 to 15 consecutive reps generates a nice burn. A general rule of thumb is that you want any joints to be lined up with the axis of the machine. In a hamstring curl, this means your knee is lined up with the pivot point of the machine.
2. Get in the ZONE
Get your most badass playlist together. Headphones in, world out. You’ll worry less if you’ve got some musical courage to get you motivated. Some people like wearing hoodies or hats.
3. Don't Sweat It
Sometimes, lifting weights won’t make you sweat. That doesn’t mean it was any less of a workout. My favorite thing to do is line up 3-5 exercises and do them all in a row as one set. This can really get your heart going so you get the best bang for your buck, especially if you’re crunched on time.
I love lifting. I’ve said it before: watching your strength increase is way more fun than watching your weight decrease. It’s also super important for the ladies, as weight lifting is associated with reduced risk of certain cancers, and better bone density. And having more muscle means you get to eat more, and that makes life more enjoyable.
Any questions? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a Comment below.
BONUS: What To Do, and When
How you break up your workouts largely depends on how often you can get to the gym. If you can make it there up to 6 times a week, I recommend what's called a "split" schedule. This means you spend the entire workout focusing on just one body part, i.e. legs, chest, back. If you can only make it to the gym up to 3 times a week, I recommend doing total body each time. Hit a little bit of everything, making sure that you're repeating each routine weekly to monitor your strength gains. :-)