How often do you want to go for the weights section of the gym but the intimidation and fear sets in and instead you go back to the same old boring treadmill that you have come to know all too well?
I used to be petrified of picking up weights for fear of looking "bulky" or for losing the look of femininity. I wouldn't pick up a dumbbell heavier than 2kg because I was sure that lifting weights just was not the right fit for me. I would stick to running my little legs off on the treadmill and spin round and round on the stationary bike. Two years ago (thankfully) I got over my fear of looking "manly" and "bulky" and began lifting weights heavier than 2kg (what did I even think 2kg was doing?)
Here are five reasons that I believe you should ignore your fear, ignore the intimidation and start lifting those weights girl!
- You feel stronger both physically AND mentally.
As the strength grew in my body I also felt like I was getting stronger mentally. I felt more prepared to tackle life every day, I felt like I was an overall stronger persona and therefore I was going to deal better with my mental illness. It might have just been a placebo effect but hey! it worked.
- It helped to manage my stresses.
Cardio was giving me too much time to think, I was getting bored while running and cycling that I was there doing the same old thing and thinking too much. I would overanalyze my day, I would stress myself out over nothing, I would give myself anxiety because I just had too much time to think. I love lifting weights because you put so much more thought into your movement- you have to think about your form, where your feet are placed, how your back is positioned and then the mind-muscle connection. If you're thinking too much during cardio- give weights a go!
- Effective for fat loss
If this is something that you think about- which I don't so much anymore, yes, weight training does expend more calories. You will also continue burning fat after you've put your last weight for the session down.
- Injury preventionI am the most injury-prone person I know, you name it- I can injure it in some form or another. Most often my injuries do come with a good story that will make other people smile (that time I dropped a kettlebell on my foot while carrying it back to the rack!). By strengthening your muscles during resistance and strength training you are also helping to prevent injuries- including knee and back injuries.
- You feel goodIf there is one thing I noticed in switching from cardio-based to strength-based training its that I just felt better after I exercised, I felt more confident, I felt empowered, I felt strong.
Are you convinced yet? You should be! If you don't feel confident to pick up the weight by yourself tag along with a friend who is experienced in strength training, invest in a PT or even sign up for a program that shows you proper form like Keep It Cleaner.