Most gym-goer’s goals are to lose weight, tone up, or build muscle. There are various amounts of workout plans, programs, and DVDs available on the internet, in stores, and at local gyms, but the problem is; where do you start? Here we will provide a guide of common tips to get your workout plan started off on the right foot! Not sure where to start or how to get involved in certain areas in the gym? We’ve got you covered in this guide to beginner weight training for women.
Where It All Starts…
Any health or fitness program begins in the kitchen. You need to fuel your body during workouts, and not ruin all your hard work in the gym by pigging out in the kitchen. Ever heard that “you can’t out-train a bad diet?” — this is 100% true.
No matter the work you put in at the gym, you can’t out-exercise bad eating habits! No amount of sit-ups, burpees, and laps around the track will save your six pack if you are throwing down greasy cheeseburgers and chili cheese fries! Stick with lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and complex carbs. The fitness rule is 80/20: 80% diet, 20% exercise.
Getting Strong Isn’t Scary
Strength training sessions are a perfect addition to any plan. Some women are apprehensive to begin a weight training program for fear of “getting bulky” – we now all know that it just isn’t the case. Our bodies don’t make even a fraction of enough natural testosterone to carry the amount of muscle mass seen in bodybuilding competitions. Weight training also helps with bone density and retaining muscle mass which is important as you get older.
After each strength training workout, your muscles need the energy to repair, boosting your metabolism, blood flow, and work from your heart. This is why having more muscle enables your body to burn more calories even by sitting on the couch. Pick up the weights, and watch your waist drop!
Tips For The Weight Room
If you’re reading up on beginner weight training for women, then chances are you’re a little apprehensive about starting. If you’re unsure about anything, then don’t be afraid to ask. As a beginner to the weight room you may be timid and afraid to touch the weights for fear of “doing a move wrong,” or “looking stupid.” Just remember, everyone’s been there at some point or another.
Everyone’s also done something stupid, so don’t be afraid of being laughed at. Most gym goers are uplifting, encouraging, and empowering. We’re all on the same team, trying to reach our own fitness goals, we want to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask someone, “Hey, can you show me how this machine works?”
The best advice would be to not interrupt their current rotation and to wait until their set is done, or wait until they get a water break, but none the less, ASK!
High Reps, Low Weight? High Weight, Low Reps?
There’s still the myth out there that you have to lift low weights for a max amount of reps to get “lean without being bulky.” Pick weights that you’re comfortable with. You don’t want to waste your time by using two or three-pound dumbbells, but don’t immediately go for the twenty-pound set either.
Compromising your form by using too heavy of weights will hinder your muscle gain and weight loss and can cause injury. Use weights that are a challenge, but to where you can complete a set with proper form.
You can do a light warm-up followed by a medium set, followed by your max set.
A simplified example:
- 12 reps at a moderate weight for you
- 8 reps at a slightly more challenging weight
- 4 reps at heaviest you can lift with proper form
It’s Time To Get Organized
It’s important to have a schedule of what you’re wanting to do to reach your goals. Are you going to workout 3 or 4 days per week? Are you wanting to do two major muscle groups on the same day or on different days?
The best idea would be to do a major and a minor muscle group together, so that you’re not tiring out two major groups at once. Space out your days so you have enough time to rest each muscle group before you use it again.
Monday: Chest and Triceps
Tuesday: Quads and Calves
Wednesday: Back and Biceps
Thursday: Shoulders and Abs
Friday: Glutes and Hamstrings
Take Home Message
Your first few times in the gym can be daunting, but don’t be disheartened by a lack of knowledge. The key to success is to try in the first place, so get yourself some weights and stop with the worrying. The great thing about training in a gym is that there are plenty of people to help if you’re unsure. If you start off with these tips on beginner weight training for women, you’ll find that your confidence will build quickly and you’ll be a bouncing gym bunny in no time!