Sometimes it feels like women never have it easy. We may do our best to control our diet and even get in a brisk walk everyday, but the flab may still begin to accumulate. With me it’s my hips, and for you it may be your arms or thighs or your waist. Wherever it is, flab is not appealing. Fortunately, there is a good answer to battling flab, and that is weight training. It is strange how many women still believe that weight training will make them bulk up like men. It is physically impossible, unless you pump yourself with testosterone hormones (the male muscle secret). All that weight training will help you do is tone your muscles, melt your flab and get that figure you have always wanted. Here are some ways to start lifting weights.
1. Start Slow and Let Your Body Adapt
If you are an absolute beginner to weight training, be wary of trainers and gym instructors who ask you to plunge in and feel the hurt. It is important to start light and lift well within your limitations. As a beginner, what your body needs is the opportunity to adapt to the new routine. That is challenge enough, at least for the first couple of weeks.
2. Emphasize on Correct Form and Posture
When you just start lifting weights, your emphasis should be on the right form and posture, rather than the amount of weight you can lift. Doing your exercises the right way is what will help you stay away from muscular injuries and achieve maximum success in toning your muscles. Once you are confident with your form and posture, you can begin focusing on the weights themselves.
3. You Need All-round Training
Your objective may be to tone your arms or your hips, but it is best if your weight training routine is not localized to a specific body part. There is no known method to burn fat from one body part specifically. You need an overall exercise regime, and this will help you improve your metabolism, get stronger and burn fat all around.
4. Lighter Weights, More Repetitions
The answer on ways to start lifting weights is different for men and women. Men who want to bulk up, endure very heavy weights and do fewer repetitions of each exercise. However, for a woman’s muscle toning requirements, it is ideal to keep the weights moderate, and focus on more number of repetitions for each exercise. Naturally, as you get fitter, you will be able to lift heavier weights than you do now. However, as a principle, you should lift weights equivalent to 60-70% of your potential, and focus on the repetitions.
5. Rest is Vital
The most crucial part of your weight training schedule is the period of rest you give your body. Remember, your muscles adapt and get stronger in the period of rest following exercise. Cut on that, and you will only end up with fatigue and injury. It is best if you limit your weight training to 3-4 times a week, and avoid repeating the same cycle on consecutive days. What you could do instead is work on your upper body on Monday, and follow it with core and lower body strengthening on Tuesday, followed by a couple of days of complete rest.
If you have this urge to workout 5-6 times a week, try to do flexibility exercises (try Yoga) and cardiovascular exercises on some days, rather than weight training. Every 4-5 weeks, gives your body a full week’s rest from weight training.
6. Weight Training for Busy People
If you are extremely busy and travel a lot, you may not have the time to visit a gym and in all likelihood, you will not be able to carry around weight equipment. However, this is no reason to be discouraged. You can easily start lifting weights without equipment, using your own bodyweight. Exercises such as pushups, squats, chair dips, sit ups, crunches and leg raises all work exactly the same way as lifting weights. Consult a fitness trainer to chalk out a 10-15 minute circuit for yourself, which you can even do in a cramped hotel room.
7. Dealing with Injuries and Health Problems
If you have had a history of injuries and health problems, or haven’t been active in a very long time, it is best if you consult a physician before exploring ways to start lifting weights. You may need a graded and customized program, keeping in mind your body’s limitations and requirements.
It is time you discarded your pessimism about losing your flab! If you commit yourself to these ways to start lifting weights, you should be able to transform your body in a matter of months. Your mindset is the most crucial determinant of your success: you need to set up a sustainable schedule, stay disciplined and patient, and expect gradual and permanent change, rather than something drastic. The experienced folk, tell us, how has lifting weights changed your body?
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