Tag Archives: weight training

Get into the Weight Room!

Following is a guest post written by Emi Preston.  I met up with Emi Preston  when I visited her blog, Benching Beauties.  I love this tumblr blog written by Emi and her sister Yumi, check it out! 

I also love Emi’s post which she has written for this blog.  I too am always trying to get women to use free weights.  Believe me and Emi, you aren’t going to end up bulking up like a man; for one thing, you don’t have the testosterone,  and for another, body builders spend HOURS upon HOURS in the gym!)

Here is some great information and motivation from Emi.

 Breaking the Stereotype Free-weight-room

Ladies, does the idea of stepping into the weight room scare you?

When I encourage girl friends to lift with me, I’m always met with, “Won’t  weights make me look bulky?” The answer is NO! It’s been 1.5 years since I started lifting heavy free weights, and I’ve made it my personal mission to share the incredible benefits of weight lifting with everyone in my life. If your current gym routine does not incorporate heavy free weights, I want to convince you why it should.

Physical benefits

Lifting weights will help you achieve a slender, strong hourglass figure that cannot come from cardio and bodyweight exercises that often result in a “skinny fat” look. Women lack the testosterone levels necessary to “look like a man.” If lifting a 10-pound purse every day hasn’t built you toned arms, how can a 10-pound dumbbell do the same? You must challenge your body.

Mental benefits

Weight lifting is empowering. When you are confident in your physical strength, you feel more confident in every aspect of your life: public, work, and home. Furthermore, lifting weights in a male-dominated place where society says you don’t belong builds courage. Show yourself, and the world, that you are more than your appearance; you are mentally tough.

Daily life benefits

Having muscle to power you through the day does wonders for you energy and stamina. Carrying grocery bags, walking up stairs, running to catch a plane, and moving furniture all become easier tasks. Your mental clarity will improve and you will be able to better manage stress. Making time for your own health and physical improvement is extremely rewarding.

How are YOU going to begin weight lifting?

My first time setting foot in the free weights section was terrifying. It’s full of big, sweaty men and you don’t know where anything is. You feel uncomfortable because you’re being looked at. It’s embarrassing when you mess up. But I’ve gotta give you some tough love here… everyone goes through this. You just have to push through! Here are some tips:

  1. Write down your goals and enter the gym with a plan for what exercises you want to complete. Don’t leave until you have completed ALL of them.
  2. Tune everyone out and focus on your workout. Listening to music helps!
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t know where equipment is or how to use it.
  4. If you are really anxious, hire a personal trainer for even just one session. Many times, the first session is free, or you can bring a friend to halve the price!

Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your lifting time. You’ll start noticing changes in your physique. As your physical appearance improves, people will start paying you more respect. Your new confidence rooted in physical and mental strength will be a brilliant beacon that shines from the inside out, and it will continue to grow as it is powered by weight lifting.

This is such an exciting time for you.  Go and get it, ladies! Please do not hesitate to contact me atbenchingbeauties.tumblr.com, benchingbeauties@gmail.com, or http://www.facebook.com/benchingbeauties.

Emi Preston (age 21, currently getting certified as a personal trainer through Emi and YumiWITS) and Yumi Preston (age 19) are two sisters attending the University of Washington in Seattle. We share a passion for health & wellness, and we aim to help other women reach their fitness goals in the male-dominated fitness world (and weight room). We welcome anyone and everyone to our community. Join us on our journey, and reach out to us with comments, questions, or anything else!

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report on new program

The new exercise program is good. Two days ago I really worked my legs — squats, lunges, abductors, adductors, calves and then onto abs and lower back. Wow I was already a bit sore yesterday, today even more so! But today was check, shoulders and triceps day so off the the gym I went! Feels good!

A New Workout

This week I started a new weight training program at the gym. Up to this point, I’ve been hitting all of the eight major muscle groups every each time I worked out (about 3 times a week). That has been working out well, but after 6 months, it was time to vary the workout.

To mix things up, and increase the effectiveness of my workouts, I started a program where I work just 2-3 complementary muscle groups a day — pecs, shoulders and triceps on day one, lats, biceps on day two, and legs and lower back on day three. I throw in abdominal exercises every day. Each day, I do 3-4 reps of 3 exercises for each muscle group — totally working the muscle. Then since I don’t come back to those exercises for a week, the muscles have plenty of time to rest and recover. Today is leg and lower back day.

A great workout

I had a fabulous workout tonight at the gym. After a long, long work week it felt great to get it all out at the gym! I’ve been serious about doing my weight workout and I have really begun to see muscle definition again…so rewarding!

A new weight lifting program for me

I haven’t been very good about blogging over the past week, but I have been good about going to the gym. I have a good routine going. I lift weights one day, do cardio and my sit-ups routine the next, then rest a day. This gives me 2 days of rest between any 2 weight workouts and between cardio/aerobic days.

Today I started a new weight lifting program. During the past 4 weeks I’ve been doing one exercise for each major muscle group. This is a good program for beginning weight training. Now I’m stepping up the program. Today I concentrated on chest, upper back, shoulders, biceps and triceps. Rather than hit each muscle group with one exercise. I did 2 exercises for each, basically doubling the effort for each muscle group. On my next weight day, I’ll concentrate on glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, and calves. As for my abs, I put those on cardio day. So far so good…..

Ouch

I did some weight training on Tuesday, and yesterday I didn’t even feel like I had exercised.  But today is a different story.  I feel every muscle!  Actually this is a typical response.  It is called DOMS — Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

DOMS typically the muscle discomfort that is typically felt 2 days after exercise (although it can show up the next day, or even 3 days after exercise).  The exact cause of DOMS is unknown but one theory is that it is caused by the breakdown of muscular fibers which occur during strength programs. The breakdown allows the muscles to grow stronger and larger.

Others believe that DOMS is not caused by the pain from damaged muscle cells, but from the building up process. The muscle responds to training by reinforcing itself up to and above its previous strength by increasing the size of muscle fibers.  This reinforcement process causes the cells to swell put pressure on nerves and arteries, producing the discomfort.

Luckily, I know tomorrow the DOMS will be gone and I’ll be back at the gym!