When I say body building, what do you think of? Probably a colossal sized man, probably painted in bronze sludge and probably with muscles the size of Jupiter. Yes there's your stereotypical body builder. As a woman I've always shied away from the weights, I would hastily skip past them at the gym not looking back in case one rolled out and attacked me. The array of muscle men all fixated on the mirror, weights in hand and compulsory tank top wasn't too inviting either. I'm not one to let intimidation get me, but why would I want to use the weights anyway? I mean, I didn't want bulky arms. Duh.
WRONG. Oh how wrong I was.
My naïve, stereotypical views on weights are now laughable because girls, we aint gonna to turn into Hulk Hogan overnight. Trust me. As it turned out, my trusty fitness experts at the DVCC (whom I owe all new found knowledge to) informed me weights are pretty important for both weight loss and muscle. Yes excellent, those endless hours of slogging it out on the treadmill and wondering why I wasn't morphing into Adriana Lima FINALLY makes sense. I've been doing it wrong all this time. *Sobs into doughnut*
So with my new knowledge to hand, and expert lifting skills, I present to you some valuable information I wish I had learned five years ago.
Firstly, we need weights for weight loss. We all like an occasional Nandos (guilty) or a small, ok large, bar of chocolate (guilty again) but we want to shift those extra lbs to maintain a healthy body. The more muscle that we have has a direct effect on our metabolism (who knew) and it speeds it up, so basically we lose more calories resulting in increased fat loss. Winning.
It tones those wobbly bits. Yeah we all have them, unless you're a Victoria's Secret model, in which case I'm preeeetty sure you wouldn't be reading this. Toning was one of my major areas for work, I couldn't work out why my endless walking and cycling wasn't having an effect on my overall body tone. I expected that one day it would just all spring into place and firm up, yeah I was waiting a while. Weights are the way with this one, especially for those annoying areas that don't seem to budge, inner thighs I'm talking to you right now.
But apart from weight loss and toning, weight lifting has other positives; it makes you feel strong, and who doesn't want a strong body? It also does wonders for your confidence, especially as you start to see noticeable changes to your body, and girl you did that!
So where to start? If you're a novice to weights as I once was then it can be a daunting experience. Hence why many of us just pretend that this particular area of the gym doesn't exist. I personally weight train 2-3 times a week depending on my schedule. I usually spend around 45 minutes to an hour, with a mix of legs, chest, shoulders and back. I know, WOAH too much information already. I found what works for me with the help of a few personal training sessions, but consult a member of your gym staff and they should spend a little time with you to work out a plan that suits your desires.
AND YOU WON'T BULK OUT, trust me as females it's not in our hormonal makeup. We aren't designed to 'bulk out'. The only way of achieving this look would be by using steroids, which I don't suggest. Ever.
Now, those weights aren't going to lift themselves...Suggest a correction