Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Women of Iron

It is a very common for women and men to approach me while at the gym and ask me my ‘secret.’ Usually if I am with my husband, I look at him and say I try to lift as much as he does and let me tell you, my husband is a big ol’ buff dude with super hero strength. All jokes aside, that really is the way to build muscle and create the canvas for your physique. Lift weights, eat properly and you will be amazed at what you can achieve. There is a very big misconception that some women have when they think of weight training. The most common remark I hear is “I don’t want to look bulky or like a man.” Ladies, we do not have enough testosterone in our bodies to look like a man and build the muscle that they are able to. Yes, our bodies do possess lower levels of testosterone that allow us to build muscle, increase our metabolism, and burn body fat if fueled adequately. I lift my tush off (not literally, I am actually trying to build that area lol) and I do not look anywhere close to a man. I will tell you what, if you start strength training and end up all “big, bulky and manly” even with having a healthy level of body fat, give me a call and we’ll meet up so you can scissor kick me to the head. That’s how confident I am. So what now? If you are wondering where to start with strength training, I have compiled my top 8 strength training tips that I tell my clients when they first get started.
  1.  Learn proper form- This is the most critical advice I can give! Devote the time to learning how to properly execute a lift versus copying someone you may have seen doing it. Not only will you prevent injury but it is much easier to learn properly from the beginning than try and break bad habits later on. I would recommend seeking the help of a trainer or doing your research using a strength training manual for women.
  2. Do not be intimidated- I often hear that the gym can be intimidating to women who are new. Do NOT be frightened by a weight room filled with men. If anything, they will admire you for being a woman of iron. Do your very best and know that you are there for a purpose…you are there for YOU. Best thing I can say is Suck it up Buttercup :)
  3.  Learn the equipment- It is good that you know what machines to work for each body part and even more important that you know how to adjust the equipment so that it is fit for you in order to prevent injury and achieve results. Nothing worse than putting in the effort at the gym and not reaping the benefits because the equipment is ill-fitted for you. Most gyms provide equipment orientation, just ask.
  4. Start slow- If you are a beginner, you should most certainly follow a beginning strength training program. If you seek help from a trainer at your gym, they should set you up with a proper program. If you are trying to do this on your own, please do your homework.
  5. Set goals- Set achievable goals that are motivating. Staring at the wall while riding the bike 4 times a week does not sound motivating. Challenge yourself with goals that sound like fun and that you will WANT to do. For example, if you are unable to perform one push-up on your toes, set a goal to do 5 on your knees 3 times a week. Next week, increase that number by 2. Pretty soon you will be able to do 15 pushups on your knees so up the ante and try a push up on your toes! When you see the results, it will keep you motivated. Keep in mind proper form while performing all moves.
  6. Stay consistent- Consistency is key! As a society, we want instant gratification and want to see results within hours of starting something. A goal of mine is to do 10 wide-grip pull-ups unassisted.  I have been consistently strength training for 3 years and still cannot do all 10 in a row. But it sure gives me something to shoot for every time I perform a pull –up.  Start with strength training 2 times a week or that according to your beginning plan. Stay consistent and celebrate the small accomplishments as you work your way up to the big ones!
  7. Ask questions- If there is an exercise that you have seen and are dying to learn, find a trainer or seek out a friend with strength training experience. If you do not know how to do something or how something works, find someone and ask. There is no such thing as a silly question if it prevents you or others from getting hurt. You might just find that it is your new favorite exercise or piece of equipment.
  8.  Have fun- This is critical! Weight training is uh-maze-ing not only for your body but for your soul. Weight training can help you build confidence, lose weight, up your energy, feel stronger and reveal what you are really made of. I was always a “cardio girl” meaning I would much rather go for a run or jump on the elliptical than lift cold iron. When I found weight lifting, I found my happy place. I love the challenge, the feeling of a great workout and the looks I get when I out lift the guy next to me!

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me. I am here for you.
Take care of you,



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