Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day 1 of Lifting Like a Girl!

Well not really day 1 as this was sort of playing at it.

I used an old barbell workout program for girils I found on pinterest which I had used before with low weights and I used heavier weights.

Understanding the weight you should lift as a beginner

This for me, was about seeing what weight I should start with. As a beginner nobody tells you how much you should be lifting (especially as a woman). So you have to use a little trial and error to be honest.

The workout I did is below but I did all the exercises from workout 1 and 2 today 5 (exercises) x 5 (reps) x 5 (sets).
I started off with the 15 barbell. I did the first set easily so I knew straight away that this was too light. I tentatively crept back into the men’s side of the gym to get the next weight up (17.5) and scurried back to my safe side of the gym!

The 17.5 was better but still not enough of a challenge, I again completed the whole set easily. I couldn’t face going back to the scary side of the gym so instead I carried on with the 17.5 but rather than doing 5 reps of each exercise per set, I upped it to 8.

The last set was really hard but still doable.

So I know I need to up the weight quite a bit next time in order to feel close to failure on the last rep of each exercise. The flip side of this is that I am currently using the readymade barbells, but they only go up to 20, so if I’m going up to 22.5 or 25 then it means I need to use the proper weights with a bar and separate weights.

Before starting weight lifting - be prepared

My learnings from today:
  • I am massively intimidated by the men’s free-weights side of the gym. I am quite a confident person ordinarily, but in this situation I’m not. I need to get over that!
  • This workout program is going to give me a good idea of the weights I need to use and I did build up a sweat, but it’s not enough to get me to where I want to go, so I need to look at a more intensive program like or 
  • To do some of the exercises in that program I need to learn how to use some of the equipment in the gym which I don’t usually venture near. For example, I would like to do pull-ups but I don’t think I would even be able to do one currently. I need to get someone to show me the pull up machine initially whilst I build my strength up and also show me correct form for the exercises. That means booking a program and telling someone that I am going to start lifting weights. That’s a bit scary!

Daily goals for a healthier life

Aims today:
  1. Drink two litres of water (not including the water in the gym)
  2. Only eat the food I brought with me to work – no cheating (that is 3 mini paleo quiches with an almond flour crust, a banana, 10 almonds, a tuna salad for lunch)
  3. Do a weights day at the gym
Happy lifting :)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Making the Decision to Lift Like a Girl!

I’ve made the decision to start lifting. I’ve been following a Paleo diet for a while now, initially I lost a lot of weight but lately I have been really struggling to lose anything. So I revisited my workouts.

I’ve been heavily focussing on cardio – 30 minutes a day, either running or on the cross trainer or stepper. I hate running, but previously it did work in helping me to lose weight, so I persevere. I am not fast and I do not have much stamina, I am also not fit! These things combined mean I’m not good on the treadmill. I’m not a ladylike gym-goer, I sweat and I was once told I run like a duck. You’re building a pretty flattering picture of me right now aren’t you?!

But with the lack of weight loss recently I looked into whether there was an alternative I could do with my workouts.

Everywhere I looked said that women should be lifting. Not just the little pink rubber 1kg dumbells you see in the girly section of the gym but lifting heavy weights just like men. I read more and more about how women would have to take a massive amount of steroids to bulk up, which is obviously  a huge concern for most women who are looking to lose weight not get bigger.

Research on lifting weights for women

The more I read and researched, the more benefits I saw, I won’t repeat them here but here are some of the resources I used which helped to convince me this was the right path:

A few things to understand before you start lifting

A few watchouts I’ve realised:
  1. Your body weight may not change at all. Some of the women’s stories show a dress size change of about 3-4 (downwards) but their weight may have only changed by around 5lbs. I think as my starting weight is quite high, I should expect to lose weight, but as I get towards a healthier weight it may not change significantly.
  2. To get really ripped takes years. But you can make a difference in a short amount of time. I don’t have much time (I get married in 7 months) so I just need to do as much as possible in the time I have, which means getting dedicated to this approach (sticking with it) and making time to do it (getting up earlier to fit in more at the gym).
Wish me luck :)