July 14, 2017( Comments: 0 )

Girls in the weights room?
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Ladies we need to have a chat.
Recently I’ve been talking a lot in the gym about busting the fear and uncertainty that women feel around the weights area at our gym and I feel strongly that we need to bust down the weights/cardio area gender divide.

When I’ve raised this with some of you I have received the response again and again “Oh, I thought that was only me!” I am here to let you know that you are absolutely 100% definitely not the only women who day after day, week after week, walks past the weights area, up the stairs, to the cardio or group class area to stay there for the rest of your workout because you are not feeling confident enough to rock it in the weights area.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’ve not always been comfortable in the gym either and prior to becoming a PT I spent a long time being too afraid I would do it wrong and get laughed at if I tried to do weights. When I did get my courage up I’m sure my face was bright red with embarrassment as I fumbled my way through trying to figure out how various machines worked, often casting a glance around to make sure no one was watching before I just gave up and walked back to the cardio area. As I slowly worked the weights area out I still didn’t feel at home amongst all the guys, often the only girl in the weights room, and I felt compelled to compete and keep up with their weights to ‘earn my right’ to be in the weights room.

I’m glad I’ve finally found peace in the weights area and I am determined to help other women find that same confidence. Just a few reasons that we, as women ought to be doing more weights, are;

– More muscle mass = higher metabolism
This means you’ll burn more calories just by sleeping and sitting at work!
– Improved bone density
Osteopenia and osteoporosis effect women at a much higher weight than men. Lifting heavy weights (5-8 rep range) is one way to prevent loss of bone density.
– Variety
I don’t know about you, but there is only so long I can spend on a treadmill before I get bored. Using different weight techniques we can get a cardio workout alongside a resistance workout to burn the same, if not more calories, and you can mix it up every time you come into the gym.
– Hitting aesthetic goals
As well as helping with weight loss, weights can help sculpt those ideal glutes, tone the problem spots on the arms and build killer legs.
Technique is important in the weights area and understandably many women I talk to have been too afraid to get it wrong to give it a go so a few of my tips for how to get started in the weights area are;
– Ask for help
If you are really unsure when to start invest in a few personal training sessions to learn some techniques and how to use the equipment or come to the Tuesday 9:30 Women’s weights hour.
– Don’t be afraid to look silly working the machines out.
Even after getting my personal training certificate I had to work out, examine and get it wrong on each machine at the gym factory before I got them worked out. If it took me a bit, don’t be afraid to read the instructions and have a good look before jumping on it. (Handy hint, most of the machines have yellow where they adjust)
– Grab a friend
it’s always less daunting and more fun busting out of your comfort zone with a friend
– Remember everyone started somewhere and was in your shoes at some point
– There is no such thing as too old/fat/weak/unfit to be in the weights area
Don’t fool yourself with this, cut the negative talk and remember we have 1kg weights for a reason, because it’s perfectly acceptable to lift them.
– Have fun with it
Yes, there is often lots of pained faces and grunting in the weights area, but laughter is allowed and encouraged too. Pick a few exercises you know and love, throw a medicine ball at a wall, try to bust out some jump rope moves from back in primary school, give the monkey bars ago. Moving is supposed to be fun and natural, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have an intense serious session every time.
If you are still feeling unsure but want to give the weights a go you can always ask me, or any of the other trainers around the gym.

Looking forward to seeing you lifting some weights!!

EM

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