Up until recently, many of us were under the misconception that weight training was the reserve of bodybuilders and serious gym bunnies, but thankfully the tide has turned in this regard.
Research has shown that weight lifting is a vital part of any fitness regime and absolutely paramount if you’re hoping to boost your metabolism, shed stubborn fat, burn calories and create muscle.
For decades, the weight section of any gym was filled predominantly with men, but no more! Nowadays, women are giving men a serious run for their money by twirling barbells over their heads and knocking out three set of hammer curls without so much as breaking a sweat, so why not join the gang?
Still not convinced weight lifting is for you? Prefer to stick to a tedious hour long slog on the treadmill over a 30 minute intense weight lifting sessionor concerned weightlifting won’t have the desired effect on your body?
Like all the best gym trainers say, weightlifting doesn’t make you bulky, eating cake does.
Well, that’s us told!
Fancy taking the plunge? Here are five tips to keep in mind.
1. Ask for advice
Approach a gym instructor, outline your body goals and allow them to create a weight lifting programme tailored specifically for your needs.
Going blindly into weightlifting as a beginner is a recipe for disaster so don’t set yourself up for failure.
Slow and steady wins the race!
2. Don’t overdo it
Yes, you may be able to lift the heaviest weight in the gym on your first day, but believe us you won’t be able to do it for long if you haven’t trained properly and gradually reached that level of strength.
You should feel like the exercise is a challenge, but you shouldn’t experience intense discomfort.
Listen to your body and drop the weight if necessary.
3. Stick to your reps and sets
Some days you may think you could bang out another couple of sets, but as a beginner you’re advised to stick to your programme and gradually increase your sets and weight as time goes on.
Doing five sets on a Tuesday and being unable to look at a dumbbell for the rest of the week won’t do you any favours!
Consistency is key.
4. Make weightlifting fun!
There are a huge amount of weightlifting classes available to women which are upbeat, fun and will definitely keep you on toes.
As well as ensuring there is an instructor on hand to check out your form, classes are also motivational and will always leave you pumped and wanting more, no matter what you may feel halfway through!
From kettlebell classes to barbell sessions, you’re bound to find a class guaranteed to suit your goal and mood on any given day.
5. Break a sweat
Like all classic gym bunnies preach, go hard or go home!
The effort you put into weightlifting is up to you, but why waste your time?
Aim to break a sweat and reach for your water at least every five or six minutes to ensure you're putting your body through the paces it needs to reach its goals.