10.31.2012

Attention Women! It’s Time to Start Pumping Iron

Take a moment to pause on the hamster wheel, put down your celebrity gossip magazine and read this post. Here’s the thing, for a long time I was the girl spending the entire gym session on the elliptical or treadmill and then maybe dedicating 10-15 minutes to get on some weight machines. So, I get where your head's at. 

There were a few things holding me back from really dedicating time to weight lifting:

  1. I was concerned about what other people were thinking. Do they think I’m lifting too light/heavy? Am I doing the movement right? Are my pants see-through? All of these ridiculous things that go through my head...
  2. I was only comfortable doing the machines or movements I knew how to do. I went through the same “weight lifting” routine every time I was at the gym. Quad machine, hamstring machine, highly inappropriate ad/abductor machines (the ones that make you look like you’re at the gyno), a few curls, bench press with dumbbells, and a few other random exercises. Looking back, I realize how most of them were targeting a single muscle, not a whole group of muscles, and I wasn't lifting weights that were particularly challenging. So, I really was not working very efficiently in the time that I was weight lifting.
  3. I was primarily focused on the calorie burn! The cardio machines give you this lovely little number that tells you how many calories you’re burning. I was aware that the number was totally inaccurate, and yet I still lived by it. 400 calories!?! That makes up for the ice cream I ate last night, only 300 more to go to cancel out that bag of chips I ate at lunch. I couldn’t as easily “quantify” the calories I was burning during my weight lifting time, so it became less valuable.

Here’s where I was wrong (and I only learned to believe this when I actually started doing it. So I fully understand that you’re probably going to read this and ignore it). With weight training you will see results in far less time than you will on the cardio machine. Whether you’re trying to tone up or lose pounds, it’s going to happen faster when you get serious about lifting weights. I’m so tired of hearing the “lighter weights, more reps helps tone muscles”, “heavy weight, less reps helps build muscle” bologna. That’s just not true. Heavier weights = more calorie burn and muscle production. More muscle = higher metabolism and less fat. Boom.

Here’s the fact. You’re NOT going to look like this, unless you’re trying to look like this:


You can, however, look like this (toned and feminine):

Stop being scared, stop being a headcase, start reading some magazines that talk about weight lifting, and start lifting! One of my favorite fitness magazines is Oxygen - these women are strong, healthy, and toned, but they look perfectly normal and attractive in everyday clothing.

My husband recently sent me this article: 10 Things Women Weight Lifters Should Know I think it’s a good mental prep article. Although, I’ve never cried at the gym, and I’ve yet to pee myself...but at least I have those things to look forward to.

2 comments:

  1. Check out "The Female Body Breakthrough" by Rachel Cosgrove. It's a really awesome book that targets women's bodies, specifically, and gives you detailed instructions for routines that will get you in great shape and also make weight lifting totally accessible. I have stopped doing it for a while and am regretting it - I got so strong when I was using it! - but I'd highly recommend it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Laura, I'll have to check it out!

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