Welcome back to the last instalment of Get Moving in 2014. This week, I introduce you to my favourite workout routine:
This Week’s Focus: Weightlifting
I know, I know. A lot of you will say that you are not strong enough to do that kind of thing. If you are a girl, you might even say that you are afraid to get big n’ bulky. Here is a great article to prove you wrong.
If you were looking to freshen up your routine, try something new, upgrade from circuit training, or just wanted to start moving in the first place, weight lifting could be for you. However, a lot of equipment is necessary to perform most of the moves. A membership to a good gym or an investment in home equipment is necessary for weightlifting.
Here is why you should consider trying it out:
You gain weight, but lose fat.
The history of my weight goes like this: I used to weight 140 pounds, but I felt mushy and weak and out of breath most of the time. I gained about ten pounds during my first semester of CEGEP. Then, I got down to 135 by doing cardio, circuit training, and calorie cutting. Today, I am around 150 pounds again, but I am toned and strong and as long as I keep my workout routine, I can eat to my hunger’s desire (but not junk food!). I don’t look the same at 150 pounds now than I did at 140 pounds several years ago; I look much healthier, and I feel much better about myself now.
The first picture is me about 4 years ago. The second picture is me weighing about 135 pounds. The last picture is me with my newfound strength and more weight in muscle. I may be skinnier in the second picture, but believe me: I feel much better about the third one.
So don’t be alarmed if you see the scale going up. In fact, forget the scale. You will know if you gain fat when you can’t button your pants anymore. And even then, it might be your glutes growing.
Lifting weights will necessitate you to eat more food than when you are not lifting. Doing a heavy rep requires a lot of effort from your body. If you do it right, it feels good, too! Just make sure to eat good foods and not indulge in that extra cupcake just because you lifted your weights today. The empty calories will leave you even hungrier twenty minutes later.
It’s Good for You
Weightlifting will not improve your speed or your reflexes, but it does give your heart quite a workout, even though you are not really doing any ‘cardio’. So if you hate the feeling of intense cardio, weightlifting could be for you. You’re still working out your heart, but the breaks between your effort will prevent your pulse from going too fast when it isn’t necessary.
Plus, people tend to lose muscle and bone mass as they get older. Weightlifting is a good preventative measure against this. And it is not because your bones have already started weakening that you cannot start lifting weights; just start lighter! It’s never too late to begin.
Some people may think that weightlifting involves tons of super complicated moves and that you have to spend 2 hours a day, six days a week at the gym to perform them all. That is simply not the case.
The best weightlifting moves are compound movements that work several muscle groups. It only takes a few moves to target your whole body.
I don’t have a routine for you that I have made up. That is because I swear by the Stronglifts routine. It’s simple, it works, and it’s only half an hour, three times a week. Visit http http://www.stronglifts.com for more information on this routine.
If you don’t have access to a squat rack (because yes, the squat is a VERY important move for your entire body), try overhead squats instead. You have to start very light- I’m talking 10 pounds light- or else you could lose your balance. The thing with this move is that your whole body works to stabilize you as you squat down with the bar in your arms- especially your abs. I don’t have a six pack, but underneath there somewhere my abs are stone hard because of this move.
Thank you for taking the time to read this series.
And thank yourself if you are trying out one of the options available to you. Remember, anything is already better than nothing. Just make sure to find something you enjoy doing! I wish you good luck in your fitness journey.