Girls Lift Too! Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Weightlifting

There’s a common misconception that weight lifting for women can make them bulky and manly looking…a belief that I also had in the past.  Many of us have seen the women in body competitions with bulky arms and legs walking around the stage wearing heels.  While this is a great accomplishment for some women this is not the look everyone is going for when trying to get leaner.  This is why many women get turned off from lifting weights.  After losing around 20 pounds and not wanting to lose much more I knew I needed to do something to tone and build a little muscle.  So I started looking to weightlifting as a possible solution.  Since starting, my arms have become more shapely and toned.  I’ve also noticed that my abs have tightened up and I’m even beginning to see a pack (great accomplishment after having two kids including a C-section!).  So I’m really enjoying the benefits of weightlifting and encourage other women to try it.  Here are a few tips I suggest based on my research and experience:

  • Start small and work your way up
woman lifting weights

Pic courtesy of: Molly Galbraith (Certified Personal Trainer). (2016). How To Feel Less Intimidated In The Weight Room: 6 Ways To Kick Gym-timidation to the Curb. [Online Article]. Retrieved February 14, 2016 from http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1971.

Don’t try to lift something like 50 pounds when you’re just starting out…you can injure yourself with too much weight!  Start small and work your way up. What I found worked well for me was starting off alternating between 5 and 10 pound arm weights then working my way up to 15 and 20.  When I’m at the gym where they have more of a variety than what I have at home I like to work with some of the machines using 30 to 40 pounds.  And my latest venture at the gym is deadlifting barbell weights!

  • Learn the proper techniques
deadlift_girl_clean

Pic courtesy of: Alan Koger (Personal Trainer). (2016). Weight Training For Women 101 – It’s Time You Learn The Facts. [Online Article]. Retrieved February 14, 2016 from: http://redefinerva.com/blog/weight-training-for-women/

It is important that you learn and utilize proper form when lifting weights to decrease your risk of injury.  The most common injury resulting from weightlifting is a muscle strain (pulled muscle).  A muscle strain can range in pain from mild to severe and is often caused by small tears within the muscle as a result of overuse of or too much stress during weightlifting.

 

  • Try to push yourself just beyond your comfort zone

If you can do a set of 10 but start struggling at 8 it’s OK…just try to get one more in to make it 9 then rest.  Pushing yourself a little challenges your muscles making for a more effective workout and better results.

  • Nourish your body as needed

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Many of us know protein helps to build muscle.  But don’t shy away from carbs (provides much needed energy for your workouts) and fat (cushions vital organs and helps to absorb vitamins).  Always keep in mind that it’s important to fuel the body with the right foods and that with any eating moderation is key.

So ladies don’t be afraid of lifting weights!  It can provide a number of benefits…I’m a living witness!  Building some sexy muscle tone and even tightening of skin in my ab area (perhaps a result of building muscle and decreasing fat) are just a couple of the benefits I’ve enjoyed from weightlifting.  So give it a try when you think you’re ready…girls lift, too!

 

NOTE: This blog post is a modified version of a similar one I wrote for the digital magazine, Everything Girls Love, where I am a wellness blogger.  Check me out there sometimes, as well!

 

About Keke

I'm a wife, mother, IT career woman, MBA, fun, loving person who enjoys wearing multiple hats and living life to the fullest. I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and have been working in the field of technology for over a decade, which I enjoy very much. Additionally, I'm passionate about fitness and eating well so I'm always researching related topics and enjoy sharing this information with others. My blog merges the things I'm passionate about by turning these topics into what I hope you find are interesting blog posts. So glad you stopped by and hope to see you back here soon!

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