How to Conquer the Gym: Part 1

If you’ve heard of “gymtimidation” before it may hit close to home when you walk in to a weight room with people all around you performing difficult exercises and lifting up-surd amounts of weight. A lot of times when I hear mainly girls talk about lifting weights I usually hear…

1) How they feel uncomfortable in the gym and

2) Weights are going to make them look HUGE

The other day I was in the gym and overheard a conversation that went like this:

Girl 1: What are you doing today?

Girl 2: I’m not sure yet..probably run two miles and then abs.

Girl 1: Oh okay. Cool I was going to do the elliptical and then abs. I wanted to lift weights but I feel super comfortable going in the weight room and I’m also trying not to get bulky or anything. I lifted weights in high school and my legs got way too huge. I’m trying to lean out as much as possible. Let’s just skip the weights today?

Girl 2: Yeah, cool. I don’t wanna get bulky either…

Okay, so if you’ve heard yourself say something like this before, hear me out before you rule out weights forever due to getting a feared bulky and dense figure..Since I’ve started lifting I can tell a difference in my body composition and I love how much stronger I feel! Also, the health benefits of lifting weights are crazy! Did you know lifting increases your metabolism ALL day, not just right after your workout?

Here are a few sources I checked out when I wanted to get started lifting

  1. Health Benefits of Lifting: One of my favorite websites for lifting and general health information!
  2. Check out this post from my favorite power duo based in Cali-The Tone It Up Team! The discuss the benefits of lifting and how it doesn’t make you bulk up, instead the opposite happens
  3. Finally, my favorite person to follow on social media and and on her website: Lauren Conrad! Check out what she has to say about lifting weights

Need help getting started? Here are a few #tips.

 

1. Go in with a plan and aim to lift weights 3 times a week...

… and stick with it! If you can only work out 4-5 times a week or less, make weight lifting your primary focus and try adding 15-20 minutes of cardio in on to the end. Look up the exercises on YouTube before you get to the gym! It will help put your mind at ease and give you a better idea of what you want to do when you get there.

2. Focus on specific muscle groups...

…for example, focus one day on arms (biceps and triceps), one day on legs and booty, one day on back muscles, and one day on chest and shoulders. Aim for 3-5 sets of 10-12 repetitions of each exercise and make sure you’re lifting enough weight that 10-12 is your “max out” weight (aka you can’t go any further!)

3. Don't forget cardio...

..mix in 30-45 minutes, 2-3x a week. High Intensity Workouts (HIIT) are proven to be the most effective at burning fat (and way faster than continuously running!) Try the 1:1 ratio– 1 minute fast sprints, 1 minute recovery, 30 seconds of sprinting, 30 seconds of recovery, etc. Do this 10-15 minutes and work your way up to 30 minutes!

4. Just try it...

…and you won’t regret it. Make a goal to stick with it! Recruit that friend to go with you and have a plan when you go in. Remember it takes time to see a difference in your body so keep with it and don’t get discouraged.

Questions or comments? I’d LOVE to hear from you. Contact me here or comment on this post.  🙂 Check back for another post on Conquer the Gym: Part 2  in the next few weeks for more details on what my workouts look like!