Sir Gym and I have had a *mostly* healthy relationship for about 10 years. I say mostly because there have been days where I avoided him at all costs LOL. In the beginning of my fitness journey I was convinced that if I lifted weights I would end up looking bulky and less feminine. It took a while for me to learn that was so far from the truth. Lifting weights helps you achieve the "toned" look that many women want without making you look bulky. Trust me, it takes much more hard work and dedication than just lifting weights to achieve the muscular bulk of a body builder. I applaud those who do compete because they have way more discipline than I do!
I started my weight lifting journey in my early 20s. Back then it wasn't nearly as popular among women as it is now, and you rarely saw other women lifting weights in the gym. Instagram was only a year old so you surely didn't see women sharing their workouts on social media yet. I had a guy friend who lifted weights and he showed me some different workouts to get me started (once he convinced me that I in fact wouldn't get bulky). Pretty sure I was hooked instantly! I had been running for years by that point, but nothing quite made me feel as strong and athletic as weight lifting. Here we are 10 years later and I still love to talk about this topic.
If you're someone who has thought about lifting weights but there's some hesitation, let me tell you that you should at least give it a try! Start small with light weights and see how it feels. This is a great way to work on form/proper movement to avoid injury. Plus you can see what amount of weight you're able to handle. You're already strong, you have the muscles - this is just going to enhance them and make you stronger!
It's completely normal to feel tightness and soreness in your muscles after doing new exercises, especially if you're new to adding weights to your workout. This is completely normal. However if you start to feel real pain or something doesn't feel right - rest and make sure your form is correct. I researched and watched a lot of form videos on bodybuilding.com before really getting into lifting. There are a lot of great reference videos on YouTube as well.
When done properly, lifting weights can do more for your body than hours of cardio. Your muscles will keep burning fat much longer than a cardio sesh. And remember that you cannot target fat loss. Just because you do 100 squats doesn't mean that your butt will lose fat. It will however help round out your glute muscles (along with other muscles in this area of your body) and as your muscles grow it'll help burn fat in that area. This is why an allover body routine is important. As you're growing your muscles all over your body, those muscles are in turn burning fat all over your body, leading to overall less body fat. Of course, everyone is different and specific results vary from person to person (and also heavily rely on an individual's diet! You can't put in hard work and then not worry about how you're fueling your body, otherwise you'll be disappointed by the lack of results. When I say fuel your body, I mean it! Don't restrict, don't do a fad diet. Instead eat intuitively and don't overfill yourself. If you want a cookie, eat it. Just don't eat a dozen of them and you'll be fine.) For example, my upper body burns fat quicker than my lower body (probably more typical for a woman) but I don't want to only focus on my lower body - I want to have a well-rounded routine that targets all the muscle groups. Be patient! It's certainly not instant and takes weeks if not months to see a real change!
Have questions or comments about weight lifting? Let's chat!
*I am not certified as a trainer or nutrition coach (maybe one day!) All information is a result of my own experience.