Weight Training and weight loss go hand in hand. So a big part of my weight loss journey is going to the gym. I have a gym membership and a small gym in my basement. I absolutely LOVE weight training but I cannot STAND cardio! To be clear, I hate it. Loathe it really. I get on the treadmill and put in 20 minutes. I look around, put on my headphones and sing along to my playlist. Then I look back at the timer thinking a good 3-5 minutes must have gone by now and it’s been a big ole 27 seconds. After so long, I usually hit a mental wall and never make it to the full time limit. That’s something I really need to work on for myself.
What I am good at is weight training. I love going into the free weight area and lifting weights.
Building muscle is a huge component for speeding up the metabolism and burning fat. One reason is the after affect. Weight training burns more calories for up to 36 hours after a workout. Cardio you may lose a few more calories after a steady paced session.
Weight training also helps shape your Body vs just shredding fat off. If you want the nice shapely arms that look good while wearing a tank top, you have to work out your shoulders, biceps and triceps. You don’t have to worry about getting big and bulky. In order for a woman to get “bulky” she has to take in extra testosterone into her system. We ladies don’t produce enough to get the “bulk” look without trying for it. Also as a rule of thumb, if you are wanting to tone up you don’t lift at the heaviest levels like men do. We lift with light to moderate weights at higher reps.
For example a man doing bicep curls will do three rounds and the weight increases with each round and the reps go down with each round. So, first round he may use a 50 lb dumbbell and do 10 reps, the second round lifts 55 lbs and gets in 8 reps. The final round he will lift 60 lbs and should struggle to get the 6-7 reps. While we ladies wanting to get toned up can use the same weight or go higher if we start light but we do 15-20 reps with each round.
So let’s talk about the weight room. If you’re intimidated to go in, DON’T BE! I am pudgy right now and go right in. Honestly, no one cares that you’re in there. They all started somewhere. They know your confusion and more often than not they WILL help you if you need it. Ever notice all those people with earbuds on? It’s because they are focused on what they are doing and not really watching to see if you are doing something wrong. However, if your lack of knowledge keeps you from entering here’s a few tricks you can do.
There are several bodybuilding websites that have full workout routines on them you can make a list, watch the videos that show you how to properly use the machines or free weights. There’s also a few apps that I absolutely LOVE. You can select which body part you want to work and a huge list of exercises to do with each and a break down of each move. The apps are nice because you can take them into the gym with you.
Now along with my two beautiful daughters there’s one more thing I was lucky enough to get from my ex-husband, my gym knowledge. He was a body builder and taught me a lot. Like to never date a body builder again hahahaha! No I kid! (kind of). So I will break down a little of my weight training knowledge for you and hope it gives you the confidence to go inside and lift some weights.
First off I like to break down my body parts for different days of the week. When you work legs it’s the largest body part to work in one session so I do it by itself and no, I don’t attempt the dreaded cardio on leg day. It’s also the day I am on a high carb day. On leg day you work your calves, hamstrings which are the backs of your thighs, quads which are the front, abductors which are the outside of your thighs and adductors which are on the insides and finally your glutes.
We all want sexy shapely legs and a round perky butt. NEVER skip leg day! You can’t build a house from the top down! It should be your hardest working day. You shouldn’t be able to sit for a couple days after without feeling like you’ve done something! The best possible leg exercises are squats and lunges but there are a ton of other exercises for your legs with or without weights. Body weight is really all you need for your legs. Adding weights is just a bonus.
The next day I may do Chest and Triceps or Back and Biceps. Arms are small so I mix them with larger muscles. It helps to burn more fat that way. Just remember it’s back and bi or chest and tri. After that the only other muscles you need to work in are shoulders and abs. I don’t do abs every day, maybe every other day. I also do them at the end of my workout session. But truth be told, abs come from the kitchen!
Most gyms will also have a day or two of free consultation. That means a trainer walks you around and works out with you or shows you how to use the machines if you don’t know. The machines look like crazy contraptions but most have a visual on them as to how to sit and use the machine and where to make adjustments for it to fit you. They can be very intimidating if you don’t have the fainest clue on using them. Just ask someone. Lots of people ask the person next to them at some point or another.
So I pick about 3 to 4 exercises for each individual muscles in the body part your working. Make sure you take a small break in between each rep and get off the machine and move around. Never remain seated during your break. Let the blood flow through your body. I never rest longer then 1 minute or 2. It helps keep the heart rate up.
Your movements shouldn’t be sloppy. When it gets ugly you’re done. What I mean by that is, you shouldn’t use momentum from other body parts when working on isolated muscles. There should be a slight one or two second pause at the top or bottom of each rep. An example of this is a bicep curl. You will need to sit on the bench, spread your legs and rest your right elbow against the inside of your right thigh. Hold the dumbbell toward the ground and raise it up to your shoulder, pause and lower all the way down. There’s no movement from any other body part. When you start rocking or lifting your left foot to raise your dumbbell, your done. That’s your max rep.
So the best thing to do is get into your phone and go to your app store and type in workout app. There’s some for men and women. Some for both. Take a look through and see if any of these exercises are making a little more sense now. If you have any questions about the gym, feel free to comment below or email me and I’ll get you the answer.
Again, I’m no expert or have any type of certification. These are just things I’ve learned along the way and may not work best for everyone.
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