I hadn’t managed to fit in regular weight lifting for a month this summer! It was always in the back of my mind, but I was preparing and practicing to film all of the workouts on our trip across America, which were mostly cardio type workouts. I hit the weights hard one day to get back on track. I knew I was in trouble when my legs were shaking like jelly only one hour after working out.
Saturday I woke up, got out of bed, and I wanted to cry! Going down the stairs nearly killed me. (I’m sure you’ve been there before.) This was serious soreness (DOMs) like I hadn’t felt in awhile. I pushed through a cardio session and my legs felt like led. Luckily, the next day was my ‘rest day’.
It got me thinking about the concerns I’ve heard from my participants about weight training, and ultimately why we all need to make room for weight lifting in our lives.
1) I don’t have any weights. Legitimate problem really. Here’s my idea. If you’re brand new to weight lifting, start by purchasing a pair of 3 lb. dumbbells, priced at about $5.00 a piece at Target. Then once you’ve built up your strength, over the next 2-4 weeks, purchase a pair of 5 lb. dumbbells, then next a pair of 8 lb. dumbbells, and so on. Buy as you go and you won’t have to break the bank.
2) I don’t want to get bulked up or look like a body builder. I hear this most often from my women participants. In order to look like a body builder, you have to train like a body builder, lifting heavy weights and targeting specific muscle groups each day, coupled with a very strict diet that helps increase muscle growth. You won’t bulk up on accident. What weight lifting will do for you however, is give the overall appearance of a more lean physique. This is because muscle tissue is more dense than fat. In other words, 5 pounds of muscle takes up less space than 5 pounds of fat. If you’re able to fit in two 30-60 minute weight lifting sessions per week, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the strength benefits you’ll see.
3) I won’t burn as many calories with weight lifting as I do for my cardio sessions. This is where it gets interesting. After a session of weight lifting, you will actually continue to burn more calories throughout the rest of the day. The more muscle your body is composed of, the higher your metabolism will be. In other words, the more consistent you are with weight lifting, you’ll actually rev up that metabolism and burn calories longer through the day–even when you are at rest!
4) I’d rather do cardio. Ok, so I’ve heard this one a lot, and honestly I get it! Cardio can be fun and invigorating and if you’ve done enough cardio workouts you’re probably familiar with the ‘endorphin high’ you experience afterwards — feeling like you could conquer the world! It is a great feeling! Guess what, after a session of weight lifting you can also experience those endorphins as well as decrease stress levels. Actually you’ll be more effective in weight loss and building strength if you incorporate both cardio and weight lifting into your workout schedule each week.
5) I don’t like weight lifting because it’s too hard/boring. There’s no doubt weight lifting is an endurance workout. The cool thing is, when you’re consistent, you can measure your personal strength progress. Maybe to start out, you could only manage 8 pound weights for bicep curls or side lateral raises. After a few weeks, you’re able to step it up to 10 pounds or even 15! Weight lifting increases the quality of your life. You need strong muscles to lift those grocery bags, to pick up your child, and to go up and down stairs with ease. When you get your weight lifting session done, you’ll be amazed at the growth in your personal strength, and how much more you’ll be able to do day to day.
If you’re new to weight lifting, or if you haven’t done weight lifting for awhile, I’ve posted a total body weight workout below for you to try. You can knock it out in 35 minutes, then be on with your day stronger and happier!