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  1. #21
    quikky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayla2010 View Post
    What about getting into CrossFit, they do strength sessions and work on olympic lifting with a barbell.
    No mirrors, and if you find the right trainer who really works on form, and a good box, they are all very supportive, and it does amazing things for your body.
    The nice thing about CrossFit gyms is that they usually have real equipment: squat racks, bumper plates, lots of free-weights, barbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, etc. The questionable thing is how they do their programming and what your goals are. There are some CrossFit coaches that are genuinely knowledgeable and think hard about creating appropriate and effective programs. There are also those that basically just want you to do a bunch of stupid shit really fast so you can feel like vomiting in 20 minutes and feel like you got a great workout out of it. If you go to a box, make sure the coach you're working with focuses on quality over quantity - always.

    Remember too, strength is the foundation of fitness. If you're weak - get strong. Then add conditioning, and whatever other stuff you want to do.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    The nice thing about CrossFit gyms is that they usually have real equipment: squat racks, bumper plates, lots of free-weights, barbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, etc. The questionable thing is how they do their programming and what your goals are. There are some CrossFit coaches that are genuinely knowledgeable and think hard about creating appropriate and effective programs. There are also those that basically just want you to do a bunch of stupid shit really fast so you can feel like vomiting in 20 minutes and feel like you got a great workout out of it. If you go to a box, make sure the coach you're working with focuses on quality over quantity - always.

    Remember too, strength is the foundation of fitness. If you're weak - get strong. Then add conditioning, and whatever other stuff you want to do.
    Yes def agree with this. If you go for CrossFit, you will have to trial the place and see which kind of coach they are.
    Def stay far away from the ones who don't care about form. I know they are out there, and they give CrossFit a bad name.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    These credentials for personal training are rarely meaningful. If you want to know whether someone is a qualified medical doctor, then they need to have an MD and a license to practice medicine. If you want to know whether someone is a qualified lawyer, then they need to have a JD and pass the BAR in their state of practice. Does this guarantee the said doctor/lawyer is great at what they do? No, but it assures you that they have a certain level of competence. What is a certificate or credential that guarantees a personal trainer is qualified to teach you strength?

    If a doctor mistreats you, or mistreats his patients often in general, he/she can get sued and/or lose their license. If a lawyer represents you poorly, or represents his clients poorly in general, he/she can get sued and/or get dis-barred. If a personal trainer does a poor job strength training you, or strength trains his clients poorly in general, ...? They get bad word of mouth? Someone complains to the gym manager? Worst thing I could imagine happening is someone gets hurt and sues the gym - which can happen even with a good coach.



    Well, if you go to a lawyer that deals with family law, I can guarantee you that they actually do know how to represent you. In fact, you can look up the cases they've been involved in to verify they have the experience they claim they do. They might not be the best at it, and they might be inexperienced, but they will know enough about the whole legal process to provide you with ample legal representation. If they do not, you can take legal action against them, if there's clear neglect on their part. This is not something you can do with a poor trainer.



    I know what you're trying to say. My point is that it is very hard to do so. For example, you say to ask for testimonials from other clients. Well, this is all very subjective. Someone could say "Yeah, John The Trainer is amazing, we do Bosu ball squat curls and hip thrusters, and my curls went up 10lb last year, he is so great!". Or, "Trisha The Trainer is a phenomenal strength coach, my squat (actually half squat by neither I nor the trainer know the difference) went up 100lb!". If the clients are also ignorant, their opinions must be taken with a big grain of salt. Of course, if you are ignorant yourself, then you are trying to pick trainers without knowledge, and asking others without knowledge on their opinions of said trainers. I think you see my point...
    Oh yeah half squats
    Stay away from a trainer trying to get to you to them.

  4. #24
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    Here's what I did.

    I decided to do Starting Strength. There's just squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and power cleans (which I don't do.) I hired a personal trainer to show me how to use the equipment properly. I told her I wanted to do all free weights. She gave me an initial assessment of my flexibility and whatever and then helped me find good weights to start with (not too heavy or light). She showed me proper form, although not always the same as Rippetoe's form in his books. I had 3 sessions with her and that was it.

    I was glad to be taught by a trainer because it isn't always easy to know what your body is doing in space without someone to show you. After her initial help, I could better know what I was doing with Rippetoe's form. He has his own ideas, and they usually make sense (I don't like his new press form). I also videoed myself and got feedback on the Starting Strength forum.

    Progressive loading is what builds the strength. That means you put more weight on the bar every time (or try to.) Free barbells is what makes a lift effective because your whole core has to get involved to control the weight. The machines take that aspect away.

    Crossfit is expensive and can be stressful for some people.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

  5. #25
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    Another vote for Starting Strength. Read it cover to cover. It's simply the best.

    I think sbhikes' method for starting lifting is perfect. If you're coming at it as a true noob, with zero experience, having someone take you through the equipment and show you all the little details is priceless. For instance, it took me weeks to figure out on my own that the bar weighs 45lb and I should be counting that weight in my lifts! It only takes one or two sessions with a trainer to learn the basics. If you're just looking to powerlift (deadlift, squat, press), all you really need after that is Starting Strength, youtube, and discipline.

    If you want to get into Olympic lifts, this is where a trainer or Crossfit are useful. I only ended up joining Crossfit because I was teaching myself the oly lifts but was getting nowhere with the snatch, and decided I wanted to be coached. The value was immediate and immense, but if you're just interested in powerlifting, Crossfit's not really necessary (though fun!).

    The machines at the gym are utterly, utterly useless. I spent years pulling/pushing away on those things and saw zero gains. Don't waste your time.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayla2010 View Post
    They are OK for beginners for ease of use, and I don't think you can really get it wrong.
    But they isolate muscles. When you are doing things with a barbell like squats etc, its more of an all over thing, does that make sense?
    Plus they don't allow the natural movement your body makes when doing things like a squat, if you do it on a smith machine you can only go up and down, and not move slightly forward.
    Damn I hope that makes sense LOL. Someone who is better at articulating themselves than me, might be able to explain it better.
    That explained it perfectly - thanks! My co-ordination is actually pretty good from Yoga, so I imagine that will prob help my lifting.

    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    The nice thing about CrossFit gyms is that they usually have real equipment: squat racks, bumper plates, lots of free-weights, barbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, etc. The questionable thing is how they do their programming and what your goals are. There are some CrossFit coaches that are genuinely knowledgeable and think hard about creating appropriate and effective programs. There are also those that basically just want you to do a bunch of stupid shit really fast so you can feel like vomiting in 20 minutes and feel like you got a great workout out of it. If you go to a box, make sure the coach you're working with focuses on quality over quantity - always.

    Remember too, strength is the foundation of fitness. If you're weak - get strong. Then add conditioning, and whatever other stuff you want to do.
    Crossfit is a bridge too far for me right now...! Too expensive, too much of a commitment, too far away. My gym is a five min cycle, cheap, has a pool, and I can take things at my own pace But I used to do Bootcamp and Bikram Yoga (basically yoga bootcamp) and I enjoyed them, so never say never!
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  7. #27
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    Yogabare - another site you might want to take a look at is Gubernatrix — the joy of strength training - weight training, strength, fitness, weights, losing fat, women's weight training, bodyweight, free weights, powerlifting, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, bodybuilding, olympic weightlifting - lots of good advice there. She also runs a programme called Ladies Who Lift that I would definitely have looked into if I was in the UK - although I have no idea whereabouts in the country she is based!

    My experience - did Body Pump for ages, good in terms of getting used to some of the moves and learning form (was lucky enough to start out at a relatively small class where the instructor actually spent time showing us how to squat/deadlift/clean properly) but it is more of an endurance workout than strength/musclebuilding, so switched to Stronglifts 5x5 in October as a way to lift heavier things. DH has been weight training for years and knows his stuff, so now we train together (even this morning - great way to start Valentine's Day). I am loving the results so far - in 12 weeks of 5x5 I dropped 4% bodyfat, I'm getting some definition to my arms and my core is stronger than it's ever been.

    Agree with sbhikes and heatseeker that starting with lighter weights and getting form right is the way to go. Good luck and let us know how you get on :-)

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Here's what I did.

    I decided to do Starting Strength. There's just squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and power cleans (which I don't do.) I hired a personal trainer to show me how to use the equipment properly. I told her I wanted to do all free weights. She gave me an initial assessment of my flexibility and whatever and then helped me find good weights to start with (not too heavy or light). She showed me proper form, although not always the same as Rippetoe's form in his books. I had 3 sessions with her and that was it.

    I was glad to be taught by a trainer because it isn't always easy to know what your body is doing in space without someone to show you. After her initial help, I could better know what I was doing with Rippetoe's form. He has his own ideas, and they usually make sense (I don't like his new press form). I also videoed myself and got feedback on the Starting Strength forum.

    Progressive loading is what builds the strength. That means you put more weight on the bar every time (or try to.) Free barbells is what makes a lift effective because your whole core has to get involved to control the weight. The machines take that aspect away.

    Crossfit is expensive and can be stressful for some people.
    Brilliant advice. Thanks Diane! I've seen your posts about starting and you're actually part of my inspiration for giving it a shot. Plus this: 75 Ways Deadlifting Just Plain Rocks | DeanSomerset.com
    (specifically the third picture... but I didn't want to seem like a perv by posting it, ha)

    Quote Originally Posted by heatseeker View Post
    Another vote for Starting Strength. Read it cover to cover. It's simply the best.

    I think sbhikes' method for starting lifting is perfect. If you're coming at it as a true noob, with zero experience, having someone take you through the equipment and show you all the little details is priceless. For instance, it took me weeks to figure out on my own that the bar weighs 45lb and I should be counting that weight in my lifts! It only takes one or two sessions with a trainer to learn the basics. If you're just looking to powerlift (deadlift, squat, press), all you really need after that is Starting Strength, youtube, and discipline.

    If you want to get into Olympic lifts, this is where a trainer or Crossfit are useful. I only ended up joining Crossfit because I was teaching myself the oly lifts but was getting nowhere with the snatch, and decided I wanted to be coached. The value was immediate and immense, but if you're just interested in powerlifting, Crossfit's not really necessary (though fun!).

    The machines at the gym are utterly, utterly useless. I spent years pulling/pushing away on those things and saw zero gains. Don't waste your time.
    Thanks heatseeker - also great advice. Gutted about the machines though - you mean there's no easy answers? Kidding
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  9. #29
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    I have been lifting for over two years now - trying to work mostly with free weights but some machines too, just not the "isolation" exercises. When I started lifting, I used a book "New Rules of Weightlifting for Women" - it was great as a starter. I was also doing it at home, so no trainer possibility. After half a year my home weights had become too light, so I joined a gym and got the best trainer possible - unconventional ("ass to grass" squats, full range of movements, focused on building muscles and strength in women as well as men etc), strict "no-life-outside" and very knowledgeable. Now two years later I still lift (complex free weights, pretty intense programs which I change once a month). Two months ago I started Crossfit and LOVE it! I am not super strong - still cannot squat my own bodyweight or do more than 3-4 strict chin-ups but I certainly feel that I am stronger than I ever was and going the right direction. And my behind indeed looks pretty good - squats&deadlifts are the key
    So from my experience I would advise the following:
    1) Do mostly complex free weight exercises (squats, deadlifts, presses, pulls, rows), making sure that your technique is spot on. I would use a good program or book, like the ones mentioned, if a good trainer is not available.
    2) Rotate programs once in 4-6 weeks, concentrating on very heavy lifts/low reps(4-7)/longer rest one month, heavy lifts/higher reps (8-12)/shorter breaks the other month.
    3) Make sure you rest enough (I like split upper-lower body training because I don't always recover well enough from the more intense programs, but it is not essential)

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    Plus this: 75 Ways Deadlifting Just Plain Rocks | DeanSomerset.com
    (specifically the third picture... but I didn't want to seem like a perv by posting it, ha)
    I'm actually wanting to be able "to impregnate casual observers with nothing more than an icy stare". That would be kinda awesome for a woman to be able to do. Ha ha!

    Anyway, I find that deadlift, (which always looked so simple I was like huh??), really does work the crap out of you all over your whole entire body. I think this one lift does more than all the others for stuff like abs. I'm still not sure what lats are, but if it's the one I think it is, yeah, that get's a lot of work. And having a strong back is most excellent. It also beats the crap out of you. I'm starting to think I might not be able to do it once a week anymore! That's how much it beats me up.

    Oh, and this: "Women can deliver babies easier by having control of the creation of intraabdominal pressure, a strong pelvic floor, and can survive the rigours of delivery with fewer soft tissue injuries by having a strong deadlift prior to third trimester, and those who are very strong prior to conception will likely deliver a baby that slaps the hell out of the doctor and changes their own diapers. That’s science."

    Not that I'm going to have any babies since my hysterectomy, but the pelvic floor thing is nice. It's nice to not be peeing yourself silly when you do your sprints.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 180 x 2. Current Deadlift: 230 x 2

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