Thursday, December 12, 2013

FAQ- I don't know how to use the weights

I get emails from followers that ask me questions for tips/advice etc., so I thought I would answer some questions on my blog and Instagram that I get asked more than once because maybe they are questions you have or are curious about as well.  First of all, if you are someone who has asked me a question and I end up posting about it, DO NOT feel stupid.  I will never reveal names.  Instead of feeling stupid you should feel awesome because I am pretty positive that you are helping people out! I really enjoy and appreciate all the questions that I get.

"I don't know how to use the weights!" 

Guess what?! Neither did I.  But I didn't let that become my excuse to never try it out.  Just like being a kid in school and learning how to read.  Or learning to ride a bike.  We didn't just automatically know how to do these tasks.  Did we just say, "Well I have no idea how to read so I'm not even going to try or I'm just never going to go to school since I don't know how to read!"  No, we didn't.  Same goes with the gym.  

I'm pretty sure no one was born with amazing sculpted bodies and/or just walked right into the gym knowing exactly how to use each machine and how to do correct form on every exercise.  All it takes is going to the gym and trying or observing.

I do believe 100% that women who have never tried to weight train don't because of lack of knowledge about the benefits and results that come with it.  I can not stress enough the rush and that feeling you get after a great weight training session.  It is a great feeling of accomplishment!  If every woman was shown how to weight train effectively, they'll NEVER rely on only doing cardio again for a great workout.  I promise! 

So if you don't know how to use the weights you need to make an effort and reach out to learn.  You just need to go to the gym and go with it.  Watch others, read the instructions on the machines.  You can read up on it.  Write down a workout and search the exercises on Google.  Many images and videos will pop up like crazy to help you understand.  The easiest way is to hire a personal trainer or ask a friend you know that weight trains if you can tag along with them.  You will grasp the hang of things and will learn what works for you and what does not.

If you are a total beginner, it is great to shoot for at least 2 days of full body workouts.  Always warm up before your weight training session. Choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle in the body.
Pick light to medium weight until you feel comfortable to add more.  Shoot for reps of 12.  When you feel you got the hang of those moves say in 2-3 weeks, challenge yourself with a little more weight and lower the reps if you have to.  If you are able to do 12+ reps with ease then you aren't really adding muscle or strength at that point, only endurance.  Always allow yourself enough time to recover between your workouts!

You want to challenge yourself, not kill yourself.  For the first few weeks it is about learning the correct form of each exercise.  It is not about how much weight you can lift or how many exercises you are doing.  You will get amazing results that weight training can bring!

Below is a list of muscle groups and sample exercises you can do for those muscles.  If you are a total beginner, choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle group for upper body and 3-4 exercises for the lower body:

SHOULDERS- overhead press, lateral raise, front raise

TRICEPS- overhead tricep extensions, dips, tricep kickbacks, cable tricep pull downs

BICEPS- bicep curls, hammer curls, barbell close/wide grip curls, preacher curls

CHEST- dumbbell flys, dumbbell chest press, push ups

BACK- seated row, bent over barbell rows, lat pulldowns, pull ups

LEGS/GLUTES-  squats, lunges, deadlifts, legpress, bench step ups, plie squats, bulgarian split squats

ABS- crunches, bicycle crunch, heel touch, reverse crunch, exercise ball crunch, planks

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