For many women lifting weights not only sounds scary but there is also a lot of confusion about what the benefits are, who should lift, how often you should lift weights and what types of changes you can expect to see on your body when you do.
One thing we know for certain, lifting weights changes your body’s composition. It helps you gain lean muscle mass, and lean muscle mass helps you burn calories and look and feel better in your own clothes. It is not an activity just for men and you will NOT bulk up as a woman if you lift weights.
The right combination of cardio, weights and healthy eating can certainly help you achieve your body and health goals.
If you are new to weight lifting there are a few important things to remember.
- You can’t out train a bad diet. You can spend your life in the gym, pumping iron and burning calories on the stair-stepper, treadmill, bike and whatever other cardio machine you pick. However, you can undo all your hard work if you are not complimenting your activity with healthy eating. This can mean too much eating, eating the wrong foods or even too little eating. Make sure when you sweat it out at the gym, you support your body with healthy food choices that get you to your goals.
- Keep track of what you do. Especially when you start, tracking your activity is critical. Not only will it keep you motivated as you see your strength improve, but you can’t improve what you don’t know and you won’t know it if you are not tracking it. It holds you accountable and gives you the ability to reflect on progress. In fact, if you have a section for eating and hydration you can even see how food choices and hydration help or hinder your workout. Regardless of what others say or do, you are in your own body and the more you know about you, what you respond well to, what fuels a good workout, what makes you too sore or just the right amount of sore, the better.
- Form is so important. Not to beat an old and obnoxious drum, but be very aware of how you actually do the movements. Doing fewer reps with great form will serve you far better than pounding out a bunch of reps in a way that can injure your body, build the wrong muscle or totally negate the exercise. There are countless resources to check your form online, YouTube, for example, is a great platform to look up an exercise and ensure you are performing it correctly!
- Don’t overdo it. Often when people get gung ho about starting a new activity, they jump straight in without any consideration to intensity, duration or the amount of weight they opt to lift. This can lead to injury, burnout or being so sore you can’t possible continue with your plan in the coming days. Slow and steady wins the race. Don’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing. Don’t judge yourself and go at a pace that allows you to stay healthy, continue going to the gym but also pushes you!
- Rest is critical. Long gone are the days of people insisting that you must work out every single day. Our bodies and minds need rest. Our off days give the body an opportunity to build and repair the muscles we broke down during our workouts. Hitting the gym everyday with no break won’t serve you and can actually hinder results and your motivation. Off days don’t mean you sit around eat and refuse to lift a finger. Get outside, take the dog on a walk, play with the kids at the park, walk to the mailbox, anything to keep the body in motion is perfect.
At Bodify we are huge proponents of proper eating and exercise. We also recognize that in spite of doing all the right things, sometimes a little extra help is needed to achieve your body and health goals. CoolSculpting is the world’s #1 non-invasive fat-reduction technology and Bodify has done over 13,000 treatments.
Melissa Mickelson, the co-founder of Bodify states: “I’ve seen CoolSculpting changes 1000s of bodies. We love the technology because it’s safe, effective and let’s our clients get back to their daily lives. In conjunction with proper exercise and nutrition, CoolSculpting can be the perfect solution for those pesky areas that don’t budge regardless of efforts.