I have a confession to make. I love weight training- there is nothing quite as satisfying as feeling the burn of my muscles after a really hard workout- to see those toned muscles on my arms and legs and to feel their strength.
I didn’t always feel this way. In college, I was afraid to enter a weight room. I didn’t know how to use the machines and free weights and was intimidated by all the hugely muscled males throwing weights around- grunting and yelling.
I probably would have never gotten over my intimidation if it wasn’t for two guys that noted my curiosity- and subsequent hesitation- and proceeded to reach out to me and offer to teach me the ropes.
That was a transforming moment in my life- I didn’t realize at that time what a gift they were giving me- by offering to share their knowledge and even let me work out with them.
I started getting up at 6am every morning (the only time I had free during my busy days) and working out for about an hour each morning. I had never worked out till my muscles burned and ached- I remember not being able to walk because my legs were so tired.
I learned proper form and how that is always more important than how much weight you can lift– and it helps protect you from injury. In case I was more concerned with tone rather than being able to lift a substantial amount of weight- I didn’t attempt to lift any weight that felt too heavy for me.
I was worried about bulking up, that concern was quickly dispelled. I am 5’7″ and my weight has always meandered around the 150ish range. I dropped below that number once I started training and lost inches everywhere- the exact opposite of what people told me would happen with weight training.
Ever since then I have been trying to dispel the myth. Women- weight training is so good for you! You are not going to bulk up- unless you lift specifically trying to do so. Low weights with lots of reps tones and strengthens your muscles and helps prevent injury. I played soccer in college and my confidence and power- and agility- greatly increased once I started weight training. It was incredible.
So, give it a try. Here are some weight training books that I found that I think are excellent- they show pictures that illustrate how to do an exercise and what specific muscles it is working- so you can be sure to get a balanced workout.
Women’s Strength Training Anatomy by: Frederic Delavier
Strength Training Anatomy by: Frederic Delavier