Ladies who lift
Much to my past self's surprise, I've decided to start lifting. I've reached a plateau in Yoga and want to mix things up a bit. I did some reading about deadlifting and it sounds like an amazing way to build strength. But mainly, I want the bum ;)
So today I joined the gym! Other than that, I have no idea where to start. What weight free weights should I use initially? What are the best free weight exercises to do (links with pictures)? Are the resistance machines a waste of time? How do I deadlift without killing myself?
I would also really appreciate if the ladies who lift could share their experiences. What were your goals at the outset? How did you begin and progress? What effect did lifting have on your body composition?
No bitchy comments please from those who have no tolerance for newbies (you know who you are ;)).
Btw, just had to share my gym instructor's helpful comment during the compulsory induction when I asked him what the point of the arm bicycle was... "It's cardio... for your arms." LOL.
Fitness level: I do about 4 hours of Yoga a week, cycle / walk for an hour a day, sprint once a week. I can hold a plank for 3 minutes, can do infinite numbers of squats (strong thighs) but can't do a pull up to save my life.
I'll have to pay attention to this thread! Most specifically I want to start getting into squating/dead lifting with a barbell, as well as benching. The problem that I run into though is that I'm a little hesitant to start embarking into all of that without having a spotter.
if you want to lift weights, i think a progressive barbell program is the best way to go regardless of sex. take a look at starting strength stronglifts. they both focus on big movements, starting light to focus on form, adding weight each workout, and physical strength rather than body building.
[url=http://muffin-topless.com/exercise/workouts/]Workouts « Muffin Topless[/url]
It might seem expensive, but you might invest in a trainer at your new gym, if only to learn the correct techniques for lifting whatever. It's not as easy as it sounds (!) and you can injure your joints with bad technique...
[QUOTE=drjoyous;1094387]It might seem expensive, but you might invest in a trainer at your new gym, if only to learn the correct techniques for lifting whatever. It's not as easy as it sounds (!) and you can injure your joints with bad technique...[/QUOTE]
I'd advise against this, especially at large commercial gyms. The trainers usually know a smidge more than nothing.
I would second the suggestion to read Starting Strength by Rippetoe. I wouldn't bother with Stronglifts.
I agree with barbells :) machines are just not needed
[QUOTE=quikky;1094456]I'd advise against this, especially at large commercial gyms. The trainers usually know a smidge more than nothing.[/QUOTE]
I do not agree with your statement. Certainly there are poor trainers that lack certification and/or a clue, but they can be found anywhere. And the same thing can be said about many industries - there are lawyers and doctors out there without a clue too. If you do the proper research, then you can find a decent trainer. If you know what questions to ask you can certainly find out whether you are speaking with someone who knows what they are talking about.
I belong to a commercial gym and have a trainer who is a former power lifter with all the right credentials, education and background. We focus on form and quality - not quantity. I've been with him for over a year now - lost over 40 pounds and have increased my lifts into the advanced/elite categories, never injured - not once. And I come from a background of being chronically overweight and was never an athlete and had never lifted a weight in my entire life.
OP: If you are interested in learning how to lift, I would suggest speaking with your gym and finding out whether the trainers there have the proper credentials. Ask about education, certifications (look up which ones are legitimate and which ones are online certifications and learn the difference), ask for testimonials from former/current clients, etc. If you are not impressed, don't hire them. I can tell you from experience that as a woman interested in learning how to weight lift properly -- that hiring a trainer was the best thing I could have done. It helped to boost my confidence in the weight room (a struggling point for most beginning female lifters) and I picked up everything must more quickly than if I had tried to teach myself.
If you are more interested in self-teaching (which is also great! Just something I could not have done myself over a year ago) - check out this site: [url=http://www.stumptuous.com/]stumptuous.com[/url]
Lots of great articles, videos and tips can be found there! It's just one of many many resources out there - but this one is specifically written for the ladies.
Start with practicing your form. It doesn't matter if you can deadlift 200lbs if you wreck your back in the process. Pick a few lifts and go light at first until you are sure you are doing them correctly. People who don't know how to do a good air squat, for instance, shouldn't add any weight at all until they get the squat down. Chest up, butt down, weight on the heels, all that.
As far as goals, I have a blend of fitness and vanity goals, haha... I want to BE strong, and I also want to LOOK strong. I want that defined, toned look in my upper arms, abs, etc. (Don't worry about looking like a manly bodybuilder with biceps as wide as your head -- you'd have to do steroids to get muscles that big. Another common misconception about strength training for women.)