Monday, March 17, 2014

Strength Training - Just Start

It was about eight years ago when I went from being sedentary and overweight, to getting to goal weight and being unable to stop moving. Seriously, I have trouble sitting still. And while "steps" are an uber important part of my activity, strength training has been there from the start too. 

The theme for this Motivation Monday is Top Tips for Weightlifting.  I've talked about weights a couple times before in this blog ...

Those posts told about what I do. Today I'll talk more about weight lifting in general and offer a few recommendations. Not that I'm an expert by ANY means ... but over eight years, I've rarely missed a week of weight workouts.

Now the image/quote here ... there's a preconceived notion that women have a preconceived notion that lifting weights will result in big muscles like a body builder. Do women really think that? Did they ever? Well, THAT is not something you need to worry about. I also think women often avoid weights is because "weightlifting" is a tad intimidating. The machines at the gym that require instruction to use. The possibility of injury from incorrect form. Making comparisons with what other people can do ... 

That's my first tip. Don't be intimidated. Just do it. You don't need fancy machines. You can start with just a few dumbbells, or just your own body weight. There are so many moves for every muscle, just start with something simple.

My second tip is get a good visual. I'm a visual person. Pictures and written explanations are hard for me to follow ... I benefit much more from a video, or an actual example right in front of me. I was lucky enough to have my husband, who's been lifting for years, walk me through the various moves we decided on. Jillian Michael's 30DS introduced several easy to follow moves for me as well.

My third tip today ... again, just DO it. Start. Often, I don't feel like doing weights. I usually have an hour workout on deck, and at times that just feels like a big commitment. I'll tell myself "Ok, you don't have to do the full hour, just 15-20 minutes" and as that isn't as intimidating or time-consuming, I get past my mental block. Nine times out of ten, once I get started, I keep going. I do my full workout even though I'd given myself "permission" to shorten it. Just getting started is the hardest hurdle ... once you're doing it, it's a lot easier to keep going.

There are a lot more tips I could give too...  Shake up your routine, as with any exercise, the body becomes accustomed to the same moves over and over. Keep records, so you can see how you improve and progress.  Be sure to rest and give your muscles time to repair (I like lifting Mon/Wed and Fri ... but always try for at least once a week).

But I don't want to intimidate you.

Just start ... once you've begun, I bet you'll want to keep going.

Join with the Motivation Monday team
JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa

Share YOUR tips/experience ... or whatever motivates you!


  1. Thanks for sharing your tips, Jen! That quote/graphic is so true and a great analogy. I played tennis in college and some girls were scared they would get "too big" from weightlifting we did in the off season :) Have a great Monday!

    Amy @

  2. Great tips, Jen! Women really need to use weight lifting as part of their exercise routine.

  3. Great Tips :)
    I think once you take the first start enjoying it. I am considerably new to weight lifting but I love the challenge of pushing myself and the feeling of getting stronger..

  4. Your's is like mine and all the links aren't there. I put both codes on so everyone's would show up. The one's on my original one aren't showing up on everyone elses.

  5. Thanks for sharing! I have a newfound love for weight lifting, and the app I use (Gain Fitness) keeps me from being intimidated at the gym. It tells me exactly what to do and how to do it!


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