But I don’t know how to lift weights: Every girls’ nightmare

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Blog #2. 1/3/18

It’s been on your mind for quite some time now. The idea of a gym membership. Beaches and bikini’s and a body you used to have 10+ years ago. Though you can’t seem to shake this one nightmare.

“I heard I was supposed to lift weights if I go to the gym?!”

This terrifies you. Throughout many female sports, aside from the college level, there wasn’t any real weight training, rather just the sport itself. Maybe you didn’t even play sports, so the only type of fitness you know either consists of A) Running, or B) A workout DVD that had you bouncing around in your living room. Although both of those will get your heart rate up and increase your baseline fitness from “couch-fit”, neither prepare you to deal with this concept of weights.

Why weights? Can’t I just cardio-it and be good?

Let’s keep it super simple here.
Prior to even telling you why weight training is good regardless of sex, let me cover the myth that you’ll get bulky. WRONG.
Here’s the best way for a female to get “bulky” to the point where your mother-in-law thinks you look too manly.

  • Quit your job.
  • Spend 4+ hours in the gym daily.  (The rest of your day is spent eating and sleeping).
  • Follow a routine that is 95% heavy, hardcore, intense weightlifting. (Like Arnold Schwarzenegger type stuff).
  • Eat red meat for every meal of the day.
  • Spend as much on protein supplements monthly as you do on your car payment.

So, unless you’re doing all of the above listed things, following an exercise routine with “some” weight lifting will NOT make you look bulky. Cool? Cool!
Back to why weight lifting  a.k.a. resistance training, is important. Lifting weights puts a stress on the muscles not normally experienced in day-to-day activities. This demands that the muscle grows, in strength, and maybe a tiny bit in size. When your muscles are forced to simply “be better” they will help to increase your body’s  metabolism. Metabolism is how much energy it takes for your body to be alive. A higher metabolism means that you’re burning more calories when you’re doing nothing, like sitting at your desk or scrolling through instagram. Simply put: Fat loss at rest.

Learning to lift weights is simple stuff when you have a coach who knows how to teach you. Basic movements you want to learn are Squats, Presses, and Deadlifts. These don’t have to be scary-heavy. You can start with dumbbells or kettle bells and once you feel more comfortable you can move to a barbell. At CrossFit Rampage we have everyone start with just a PVC pipe to learn how to move their body in the correct positions while acting like holding a barbell. We then graduate to a 15lb bar and go slow from there. Being a female and lifting weights seems to be quite empowering, from what I see on a daily basis. Not only does it feel good while doing it, but it’ll ramp your exercise game up ten-fold compared to that living-room DVD of 2005!

A FEW TIPS:

  • Start super light.
  • Learn from a professional.
  • Go at your own pace.
  • Full body movements (squats, presses, deadlifts) give you greater results than single muscle group exercises (Curls, Tricep Extensions, Flyes).
  • Low reps (1-5) build strength, Medium reps (8-15) build size, High reps (20+) build muscle endurance.
  • Focus on a variety of the above listed rep schemes for best results.

If you want to lose weight, what you really want is to lose fat. Losing muscle is not good, and thats what happens when a workout routine only consists of cardio and super high-rep bodyweight exercises.
Weights will help with maintaining, and improving, muscle tone, along with decreasing body fat. That’s a win-win for all!

If you’re interested, but aren’t sure where to start, click here to book a No Sweat Intro to have a chat with one of our coaches so we can find out how we can best help you.