Weightlifting has long been viewed as a man’s game. Until recently, strength training was considered something that made you ‘bulky’ and therefore out of bounds to women. Such ideas have treated female bodies as ever-changing fashion trends. They rob women of bodily autonomy to decide how they want their body to look.
But the reality is, there is no one body type that is inherently better or worse than another. And in recent years, women have begun to embrace that. And consequently, the world has begun to see more women embrace weightlifting too. Despite what society has insisted for so long, women have realised maybe they like being bulky or strong.
So if you’re one of these women and have been eyeing up the weights area but feel anxious about where to start, here’s some tips for you.
If you can, go with a friend
They say a problem shared is a problem halved for a reason. Having the support of a friend with you in the gym can make the world of a difference to your confidence. In an ideal world, attending with a friend who’s already familiar with the weights section would be great. But even if they don’t, figuring out together how to use equipment or being able to spot each other is incredibly relieving. So it’s definitely worth asking around to see if anyone’s up for being gym buddies.
Don’t set expectations
It can be easy to put yourself under pressure to see results when you start weightlifting. And while seeing progress is great, you need to walk before you can run. So before you set yourself any massive goals, give yourself time to get familiar with equipment in the gym. Pushing yourself to see results will only increase your risk of injuries and likely make it hard to see progress.
It’s usually best to start off with bodyweight exercises or very low weights to perfect your form before you try to increase them. Ego-lifting is a big no-no in the strength training world, so take your time and try to make it something enjoyable first.
People are friendlier than you think
When you first start weightlifting, it can seem incredibly intimidating. A string of serious faces line up mirrors, and everyone seems like they know what they’re doing. But it’s helpful to remember that everyone has been in your shoes at some point. And most people are more than happy to help if you need it. Whether you need help finding equipment, advice on correcting your form or someone to spot you. There’s almost always someone willing to help if you need it.
Fitness accounts are your best friend
It’s one thing to finally find the courgae to walk into the weights area but if you don’t know any exercises, you’ll probably feel a bit lost. If you want to start simple, weight machines are a great way to ease yourself in, as they typically display instructions. But if you’re wanting to try your hand at free weights, then you might need a little more assistance.
In an ideal world, everyone would be able to work with a PT. Butin reality, PTs cost money and are affordable to everyone. In this case, fitness accounts on Youtube and Instagram are a great place to start.
Strength training sessions typically focus on one set of muscle groups at a time. Namely, push (triceps, shoulders and chest), pull (biceps and back), and legs (hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves). This is to avoid fatigue when doing workouts over consecutive days.
So, looking up beginner workouts for one session will help prevent all the new info feel overwhelming. If you’re worried about remembering exercises, you can save Instagram videos on your phone to return to later.
Weightlifting & Strength training | Conclusion
Ultimately, nobody can decide how women ought to look, other than themselves. Weightlifting is great for your health and mobility, so nobody should feel as though it’s off limits to them. It’s a great venture for anyone who likes the sound of it, and hopefully these tips help will help you make a start. Happy lifting!