Pump It Up!

Cover of "Women's Strength Training Anato...

Cover of Women's Strength Training Anatomy

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


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