Pulling Your Weight
What thoughts are conjured up when you hear these words? –
‘throwing weight’s around’
For a long time, lifting weights was something women wanted to avoid and these were the reasons normally given:
- ‘lifting weight’s will make me bulky! I don’t want to look like that’
- ‘I want to lose weight so I need to do cardio right?- Can you show me how the treadmill works?’
- ‘a lot of the weights I want to lift are in the “Men’s Section” and I’m just too intimidated to go in there
- ‘those resistance machines look way too scary! I can’t use them. Plus I’ll look silly using them’
Now these may sound ridiculous to some, however for those women they were totally legit reasons at the time. But, things are shifting as more women become better educated on the benefits of weight training and gym floors are becoming more user friendly and offering more options when it comes to lifting weights.
Resistance Training Doesn’t Just Mean Lifting Dumbbells or Barbells!
Resistance training can include anything which causes your muscles to have to work against a force resulting in improvements in strength and endurance. This can include resistance bands and even your own bodyweight! But, the chose is wide and varied. We now have Kettlebells, TRX – suspension trainers, ViPRS, weighted bags alongside the more common dumbbells and barbells. If you haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about take a look at some of the images on this page.
Benefits of Weight Training
For those who are still unsure as to whether weight training will benefit them, here are some really good reasons why you should add it to your workouts.
- better weight management – for those who think that JUST cardio will help them shift the weight, consider this. The more muscle you have, (and I don’t mean bulky) the more calories you will burn at rest.
- improved bone density – decreases your risk of osteoporosis.
- improved posture – this will not only make you look taller, it will also help with breathing better and this has a direct link to your pelvic floor and core function!
- prevention or control of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity
- better stamina – as you get stronger you won’t tire as easily
- improved mobility and balance – key as we get older and we want to prevent catastrophic falls
- helps reduce or prevent cognitive decline – again super important in older people
- improved muscle strength and tone – not only does it make us look good but helps protect the joints from injury.
Now that you have seen the benefits why don’t you give weight training a try. You and your body won’t regret it – well maybe after the first couple of sessions you may, but it does get better I promise!
Advice Before Lifting A Weight
In order to gain the benefits outlined above its important you follow the advice below:
- If you are new to lifting weights, check with a health professional that you are okay to do so before starting
- As you do with any exercise, warm up the muscles you plan to use before you start
- Start off with lighter weights and then build up gradually. Increase your repetitions and then sets before moving up to the next weight. Then repeat.
- Rest between each set. If looking to tone, you would lift lighter weights with shorter rest periods, approx 20-30 secs. If lifting heavier to improve strength and muscle size you would require longer rest periods between sets, about 60-120 secs.
- Keep your workout to between 30-45 minutes, no longer. There is no benefit to training tired muscles.
- Ensure you stretch after you have completed your workout.
- Rest for a day or two between workouts so that your muscles have a chance to recover.
If this all sounds a bit overwhelming and you would like some support with this type of training I have two personal training packages that would suit your needs. ‘Lose the Lumps’ or ‘Spring into Star Jumps’ both use light resistance and body weight to help strengthen and condition the body. For details, please click here.
Sessions are available in either blocks of 3, 5 or 10 x 1 hour sessions.