I don’t talk about it much on here, but I love weight lifting. I’m one of the people who’s there usually when the gym opens or within 30 minutes of opening with all the hard core guys lifting heavy. When I first started (back in February/March), I didn’t have much structure to my routine, didn’t have good technique down, and just kind of went with it because I was new to it. I mainly used dumbbells and did body weight exercise, sometimes throwing in some kettle bell exercises for good measure. I still did some cardio (elliptical mainly because it’s “easier” than the treadmill) trying to keep my weight from increasing.
Rewinding a little bit, I used to be a runner. I’ve done quite a few 5Ks, an 8K, and two half-marathons (13.1 miles). I’d run 5-6 days a week, did hill work some days, long runs other, sometimes sprints. I enjoyed it (parts of it anyway), but knee trouble and the winter months plagued me a little so I switched to something else. I don’t think I’ll go back to running or chronic cardio ever again because my goals are totally different now.
Back to lifting. When I first started I had no confidence in myself or my routine. I preferred working out in the upstairs part of the gym which is much less crowded than downstairs in the “weight room.” Slowly as I started lifting heavier I start using the equipment downstairs, loading plates on machines instead of doing only weights with dumbbells.
I finally got up the courage (nerve?) to venture into the “boys” side of the gym and start lifting with the barbells. If you really want to progress in lifting, barbells is where it’s at.
I started out with squats because from my days of ice skating I’ve always had sort of powerhouse legs. I slowly added in doing deadlifts, barbell rows, bench press, and military press into my routine.
Now I feel like I’m one of the regular lifters at the gym – much more confident. And they help me out by spotting or giving pointers or alternate exercises. Sometimes I use them sometimes I don’t.
The biggest thing that lifting has give me is confidence. I’m much less self-conscious now, and much more proud of my body. Sure I have trouble spots still (who doesn’t….even Jillian Michaels does), and sure there are days when I like how I look more than others, but my shoulders and arms are starting to fill out and my legs are becoming more toned. I’m getting rid of that “skinny fat” look I used to have and always hated!
Moral of the story? Love yourself, love what you do, and have confidence in yourself! If you don’t, who will?
(Do you guys want me to talk about lifting more on here (routines, lifts, progress, etc.)? I definitely can…I’m addicted to it!) 😉