Weight Training 101.

19 Sep
A complete weight training workout can be perf...

A Complete Weight Training Workout Can Be Performed With One Set Of Dumbbells. You Can Get A Pair For Super Cheap Even Free On Some Websites.

I have always been active and athletic. By athletic I mean organized sports for the most part, not lifting weights. When I got my first gym job in 2000, I was super excited, I loved working at the gym and I tried to do as much cardio as I could. Cardio is what I firmly believed held the key to my weight loss goals. In 2000, I was 20 and I was also the heaviest I have ever been, somewhere around 180lbs. At 5″4 this is not a good look at all. Needless to say the cardio did not work as I hoped it would have. I DID lose some weight, but not as much as I wanted to, so I shelved the gym until 2003 when I took up Kickboxing and Spinning at Golds Gym while living in Annapolis, MD. I loved both of these classes and had myself in pretty good shape (a solid size 6 I would say). After a year, I moved on and once again ditched the gym. It was not until 2006 when I decided to join the gym again. So at 25 I did, and once again I JUST did massive cardio… this time seeing more results, but ones that were quickly offset by my affinity for drinking at the time 😉 By 2007 I was ready. It was time to get serious and learn how to change my body for real. I started lifting weights then and have never looked back. The body I have now is one that I would never imagined it would be, and without weights I would not have it. I was sacred to even venture into the ‘mans’ part of the gym, but I am happy I did.

I understand that the thought of lifting weights to some is down right scary. Especially to women. They automatically assume that lifting weights will make them look like some “she-male” body builder. This is SO NOT TRUE. Women do not have enough testosterone to look like men. I do not care how heavy you lift, you will not look like a man without the help of some illegal substances. Now that we have this squared away lets continue. The benefits of weight training are beyond impressive. Lifting weights changes almost everything about your body from, your muscle tone to your metabolism. It even makes your bones stronger and actually helps you lose weight. Cardio may help take some of the weight off but lifting weights is what keeps it off.

You may wonder how building muscle, aka adding mass, actually will make you skinnier in the long run. Well it goes a little something like this. One pound of muscle burns about 6-10 calories per day, where as one pound of fat burns around 2. These do not seem like big numbers, but the more muscle you build does add up and in the long run does help to make and keep you slim and toned. Lifting weights also helps to strengthen the connective tissues in your body along with you bones and muscles. This is very important as we age and our bones naturally get weaker. One of the best things about weight training, in my opinion, is that it keeps your metabolism up for about 4-5 hours after you work out as opposed to the 30 minutes to an hour that cardio does.

If you belong to a gym or are considering  joining, one the machines are the best way to start learning how to lift. Machines provide the most support and perform the moves with perfect form, as opposed to free weights where you have to support the movements and control your form. Working on machines will also help you perfect your balance and body alignment during the exercises. When you are just starting at the gym also opt for a piece of low impact cardio to start out on, like a stationary bike or an elliptical trainer. If you have been tinkering around on the machines at the gym for a while, then do not be afraid to step it up to the free weights. Free weights will really help you tackle the last 10-15 you are trying to lose, but bear in mind you will be building muscle so rely on how your clothes fit as opposed to what the scale says. While you are using free weights your muscles never fully get to relax like they do when you are working on a machine. If you think you are ready then go for it, just be sure you are using a proper amount of weight and do not over do it. Aim to complete 10-15 repetitions of each exercise you choose to do.

At the end of the day, I FIRMLY believe that lifting weights is the only way to get a FIRM body we all desire. Well, one must also eat right, but you get what I am saying. There are lots of great resources on the internet for difference exercise ideas and lifting tips. Never be afraid to seek out advice from the people working at your gym, trust me they would love to help you. And do not write off hiring a personal trainer for a few sessions. They can show you the ropes so once your on the floor by yourself you will look like a seasoned pro 😉

Work. It. Out.

http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding/bodybuilding16.html Benefits Of Weight Training

http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/women/a/aa051601a.htm Why Women Should Be Lifting Weights

Supervised physical therapy may be helpful to ...

Machines Are Great For People Who Are Just Begining To Lift Weights.

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2 Responses to “Weight Training 101.”

  1. Kathleen Brady November 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    great post! I have a very similar story to yours. Tried to change my body for years through cardio, cardio, cardio. Never really got anywhere – though I sure had a healthy heart!

    After only 6 months of lifting twice a week my body has radically started to transform. It is amazing how much this is helping me keep weight off. I’ve moved from a pear shape to more of an hourglass and I feel amazing.

    Anyway, happy to hear you have discovered the magic of weight lifting too!

    • Melissa. November 27, 2010 at 11:33 am #

      That is awesome to hear Kathleen, keep up the good work. I have been on the lifting kick for about 4 years now and I must say that I have a totally different body then I ever imagined I could have. In my humble opinion lifting is the only way to keep the weight off, burn calories and look good 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Happy Holidays.

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