Learning to lift ladies? I get it. Trust me. Being "new" at anything is not fun. You can feel overwhelmed, uncomfortable and pressured. On top of these feelings, you are surrounded by grunting and groaning, If you're new to weight training, you might feel completely discouraged by the equipment, the grunting and groaning and the plethora (look at me using big words) of contradicting information out there which almost leaves you feeling paralyzed.
So, time to cut the crap and focus on some KEY basics around lifting to ensure you are progressing towards your goals.
I wanted to start by dismissing ANY and ALL rumors, concerns or chatter about women who lift getting bulky. You can read all about that in my recent GIRLS THAT LIFT post here.
TIP 1: BACK TO BASICS
Your body is an incredible thing. It is made up of major muscle groups such as pecs, back, shoulder, biceps, abs, glutes so on and so forth. Each of these muscle groups also have multiple individual muscles. Example: Bicep has two heads. Quads have four distinctions etc.
Where am I going with this? Is anyone else picturing monster heads coming out of their biceps? Haha, me too don't worry. HOWEVER, bringing your exercises back to the basics and concentrating on the MOVEMENTS is the process you should be implementing to learn how these muscle groups are worked. Instead of jumping over to the free weights, try working on a machine that usually has instructions on it which will coach and train your body into the correct technique.
As soon as you start to feel more comfortable on the machines, I would recommend you go and try out the same MOVEMENTS but using dumbbells. Why? My favourite reason, beyond the muscle building benefits of free weights is that you never have to wait for the machines that someone is sitting on while they finish their group text messages. Don't be that guy.
TIP 2: Loads and Reps
Alright, now you have the movements and technique down. #NAILEDIT. How are you to determine how much weight and how many times to do a certain exercise? I NEVER THOUGHT YOU WOULD ASK !
When you first start, go light. I would say aim to be able to complete the movement 10-15 times without compromising that form.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is they load up the bar and try to lift as heavy as possible. This will ultimately lead to an injury due to poor form.
As you advance and now feel comfortable with the weight, go ahead and increase this number.
Reps are the number of times you perform the movement. If you are increasing your weight, you will most likely find you cannot do as many reps and that is okay! You can also try superset weight training to burn the fat faster!
TIP 3: RECOVERY
So you have crushed a few back days, chest days and your feeling pretty good! Want to elevate your recovery time? I recommend trying out a BCAA product. My personal recommendation can be found here and of course I got you covered with a discount. Use "DUNNEBELLS17" at the register and save some $$$.
It is important to combine this product with TIME. Your muscles require time to repair and if you don't wait long enough between working out that same muscle group, it can do more harm than good.
Normally, you should feel sore for 1-2 days after a good heavy session however the soreness should never be debilitating (except maybe when we talk stairs after leg day) so keep a close eye on how you feel the days following your lifting sessions!
Tip 4: PATIENCE YOUNG GRASSHOPPER
I definitely know the feeling that when we are learning something new, we want to just sprint to the end and be masters. When it comes to lifting, this could be the worst thing possible.
Use light loads and really focus on technique. Over time, you will actually feel stronger and this is when you can increase the weight. It doesn't happen overnight however, it doesn't take years so don't worry!
In this post, I discuss some other barriers we can be faced with when we are getting into lifting, these are more on the "mentality" side of things for all us emotional women out there! Don't deny it. We are women.
At the end of the day, you have what it takes to learn, grow and become the best version of yourself. If you would like some support and accountability, my next 8 week program is launching soon so don't miss out apply now.
I cannot wait to hear how your journey progresses and encourage you to comment below so we can all share our goals, progress and stay on track together!
Stay strong. Be the fire.