I’ve been dancing all my life which means that I’ve been doing lots of body weight related strength movements: plies, jumps, pushups, sit ups etc. I’ve never really taken and interest in lifting weights. I always said “I’m too muscular already, I don’t need to get any bigger”. So. Untrue! First of all, a woman who wants to really “bulk up” has to try really hard to do so. She has to train in a really specific manner and eat in a really clean, protein heavy way. You don’t look like a figure model by accident. They work super hard to work like that. Second of all, lifting weights will make you “thinner” overall. At this point, I’ve given up (or am attempting to give up) my obsession with the number on the scale. I would rather feel tight and toned and strong than be that magic, pretend number in my head. Lifting will change the composition of your body. It will make you burn more calories overall and help achieve that tight body!
Over the last couple of months I’ve picked up some tips that I thought I would share with you!
1. Google it. Check out blogs, youtube fitness videos, online workout regimes and find something that looks exciting to you. I recently found Zuana on Youtube and I love her. Write it down and try it next time you’re at the gym. And as always, pace yourself, take it slow, don’t use too much weight the first time. Just try something new!
2. Write it down, plan it out. I feel really silly wandering around the weight room wondering what to do next. Look up some exercises and write up a plan. You don’t have to take the piece of paper in with you, just writing it down will give your brain some help remembering what to do next!
3. Work the big muscles first. Then the “opposite” muscles. Then move through the smaller muscles. For example:
If you wanted to do a full body strength session:
12 reps of a chest exercise (push ups on bosu ball)
12 reps of leg exercise (squats with weight)
12 reps of a back exercise (cable machine pull downs)
12 reps of a different leg exercise (walking lunges)
12 reps of a bicep/tricep exercise (curls or skull crushers)
1 minute plank on exercise ball
NOTE*** You should be able to get to 12 reps with the weight you’re using but only barely. If you can’t get through 8 reps, it’s too heavy, if you can breeze through 12 it’s too light. Or pick whatever number works for you. You could say 8, 10, 15 reps if you wanted and adjust weight accordingly. Please always start small and move up slowly.
4. Take a class, grab a friend, try a video. Three quarters of what I know about weights came from taking group classes. It’s a great way to just just off the deep end. If you know someone who uses weights already, ask them for a quick tutorial. Or if all else fails, hit up the library and grab a workout DVD and use some soup cans just to get the idea of what you can do next time you’re at the gym.
5. Switch it up. I’m super into jump training lately. I’m loving any leg workout that involves jumping onto the bosu ball or burpees. Find something online that makes you feel crazy good, then do it!
6. Know that no one is judging you. When I see people at the gym who maybe look new, I think, “congratulations, good for you, keep at it!”. Yes, it’s naive to think that EVERYONE is always that positive at all times, but why not just imagine they are. The big men grunting away in the weight room are too focused on their own muscles in the mirror to notice you. And the normal men who are just there to work out are probably happy to see a woman in the weight room who isn’t intimidated!
Hope that helps!!
Do YOU strength train? What is the one thing you wish you knew before you started?
DISCLAIMER: I am CERTAINLY not an expert when it comes to this topic, I am merely summing up my recent experience with weight lifting!
This week was all over the place. When I actually see it all laid out like that, it looks like I was more active than I feel like I was. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I was in for 10-6 rehearsals. Which means we were doing lots of dancing and running around. Tuesday and Saturday I was in for a couple of hours doing private tap rehearsals. Overall, I’m happy with the consistency. That’s what I’m going for. Not blowing myself out of the water one week and then not doing anything the next week. Which is something that I tend to do when I’m not paying attention.
The weather around here has been spectacular. It’s been such an early and amazing spring. Let’s hope it holds out and doesn’t surprise us with a late March snow fall!
What workout are you most proud of this week?
Here’s the stats from the last week. I made a little more of a running effort, but let’s be honest, I hate treadmills. 2 miles is torture. It’s probably for the best, though. If I want to start running and racing again this summer I don’t want to burn myself out by starting too fast. My stamina seems fine, it’s just my legs that get tired faster. Rehearsals are really like interval training. Your heart rate sky rockets for a couple minutes, then recover. Repeat 5 or 6 times throughout the show. Also, I’ll mention that “rest” days at this point are also rehearsal days.. lots of tap dancing and general merriment.
I think a new summer goal has emerged for me! Do 2 body pump classes a week! I am starting to see muscle development after starting the class last month, and I’m loving it! I love the way the class is structured. Fast pace, challenging. But if you’re not feeling it that day, hold off on the weights you’re using! Easy as that.
No yoga this week, though. I’m kind of okay with that.
What was your favourite workout of the week?! Mine was my Friday CRX class. Great ab work!