Women and Weight Lifting
I have been weight lifting almost three years now. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it feels like an eternity. I have heard my more experienced gym partners say it takes about two years to get the basics of weight lifting. That blew my mind as a noob. Now, I see what they mean.
My weight lifting journey has progressed like so:
1. Give up the never ending cardio loop of failure
2. Be dragged onto the weight floor by my brother and gym partner
4. Spend another year watching, researching super sets and muscle groups, working out tethered to a gym partner, too scared to go solo
5. Year two- building mind muscle connections and really slow down movements to perfect form
6. FINALLY, have confidence to step on the gym floor, build my own routines and branch out solo
During my time lifting, I noticed the absence of women on the weight floor. I began to place females in a gym category without realizing it.
I started asking my friends why they thought the gym was torture. Why do they stick to an elliptical or treadmill… Why do they give up?
Here are some of their reasons:
1. Comfort zone– they know how to operate an elliptical or treadmill they have plenty of experience with cardio
2. Judgment– they don’t feel like they belong next to iron pumping dudes
3. Bulk– They don’t want to touch a weight and turn into Arnold- Here is why this is false!
4. Confidence– They don’t have the self-confidence to step off the cardio deck and into weight world
Of all their reasons, a common link was a lack of confidence. Whether a lack of physical confidence or confidence in knowledge, both presented a road block.
I can sympathize. At first, it was hard for me to know what to do on my own. Do I rotate from machine to machine and do a little of everything? Am I even lifting this weight correctly? How heavy should I go?
I was lucky enough to have a patient brother who didn’t embarrass me or judge me (well, he did judge me but that was motivation).
Here is an easy trick I have learned to put routines together and have visuals when working out solo.
INSTAGRAM baby! Think about it, you don’t want to look like a dork carrying around paper routines or checklists. It takes time to look up each exercise to research form. All of those steps are important but you don’t want to reveal your noob status on the gym floor. Do that at home!
Use your social media! Most lifters have their phones out for music and selfies, you will blend right in.
This is what I do. I have selected three weight lifting women on Instagram that regularly post routines. I like to break my workouts into muscle groups such as back day, chest day, leg day, and shoulders/arms. On Instagram you can create saved folders. I label my folders for each day and pin workouts often, so I have a ton of resources to pull from.
The best thing about it is, most of the women I follow break each move down in the description and have a video for each so you can check your form between sets and adjust!
Here you will find the three ladies I follow routinely:
- Ashlen Sandefur @ashlensandefur
- Sam Sweeney @mrs.sweendogg
- Haley @iamrecharged
This has taken a lot of stress out of solo workouts. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your own research and add or substitute moves that you like or that work better for you. But it is a good place to start and a security blanket if you have finally decided to try something that works.
Adding weight lifting actually helps you lose weight, boost your metabolism and keeps you coming back to the gym. Can an hour on the treadmill do that?
What do you do to build your confidence on the weight floor?