You may not know it to look at me, but I’m a regular gym go-er. I love spin class, yoga and when I need to catch up on my magazine reading I like to hit up the elliptical machine. Every once in a while I might even stop over to the weight machines for a round of leg presses.
The area of the gym that I’ve always shied away from is the free weights space. That’s where the big scary men making grunting noises and dropping weights thru the floor are. There are no machines to guide you thru the correct form, or little cartoon people with different muscles highlighted so you know what you’re working. It’s nothing but you, a bench, and a whole lot of iron…. oh, and of course your best friend, the mirror.
My entire life I’ve been told cardio is the way to go. You burn more calories doing cardio, and the old “you don’t want to get big and bulky” always comes up. Looking back on several of my weight loss journey’s (yes, several. I struggle.) I realize that I had the best results when I had been incorporating weights (a la Body Pump) into my routine.
Recently, I’ve also been super inspired by a good friend from college. I follow her fitness Instagram (check it out here!) and love seeing how fabulous she looks from eating right and lifting weights (and of course Advocare!). I went into the basement and pulled out a book I purchased before I got married (over 5 years now) in the hopes of getting nice and sculpted before my walk down the aisle. I never opened it…
I’m only starting The New Rules of Lifting for Women, but I like what it has to say. Basically there is no reason that women shouldn’t lift weights like men. It’s time to move past the myth that low weights and high reps are what women should do. We won’t get “bulky” unless we really, really try. We may not burn as many calories lifting as we do running, but we can reap higher metabolic benefits long after our workout is over.
Now I’m in a place where I know I need to do something different if I want to look different. A big part of that has to be my eating/drinking habits; another part is going to be how I exercise. Instead of going back to Body Pump classes, I’m going to learn to challenge myself outside the context of a class. I’m going to read the book and give their plan a go. This means I’m going to have to go into that scary place in the gym, the weight room. I’ll have to practice my grunting and weight dropping so I fit in.
Side Note: Have you ever done a Google image search for Meat Head (or Meathead)? There is some weird shit out there.