Let’s Get Lifting

There’s more to the gym than just the treadmill and tummy
trimming, something that I never really realised until a few months ago. Since
then I have stopped trying to cram as much cardio as I can into each day and
started to pay more attention to lifting…

Weight lifting isn’t all about the shred and building
bulging biceps. Weight lifting is the only sure fired way of achieving that
athletic, lean and toned body we all long for, to build enough muscle strength
and stamina to compete in that race you’re working towards and a brilliant way
to lose fat. Yes you heard me right, building muscle will help you burn fat and
keep burning long after your workout has finished.

I have never been one for lifting weights, don’t get me
wrong I’ve done your Body Pump classes and sat on the leg extension machines
and trundled along, but I’ve never really weight trained.

Having decided this was what I wanted to try out for a few months
over the Winter, I gathered together a few online guides like the Fitness
Fondue 12 Week Fat Loss Plan & also the Fit Affinity Lean & Sculpted
guide and about 8 weeks ago I started to loosely follow them. Why only loosely?
Because these guides are designed to be followed to the letter in order to maximise
the results. However, the last quarter of the year is always the busiest, yes I’m
aware that is just an excuse, but at the end of the day if I’m going to do it I’m
going to do it right. Not just make a half arsed attempt and then grumble that I
only lost a few pounds at the end.

At the moment I am trying to train at least 4 days a week
and aiming for 5 when commitments allow me to and each training session
consists of a 45 minute weight based session followed by a 30 minute HIIT
cardio workout four days a week. Each of the weight based sessions focus on a
different area of the body (back, chest, shoulders, arms & legs) and on the
one day I don’t do cardio I do an abs workout instead. I find that weight
training really relaxes me a lot more than just running and that I leave the
gym feeling much happier that I used to do too. Maybe it’s the feeling that I
am accomplishing something new?

We’ve all been preached to about the benefits of squatting and
I’m sorry but I have become a pro squat convert over the past few weeks. Squats
work much more than just your glutes, they work your quads and hamstrings too
and also help strengthen your core and lower back muscles too. I do two
variations of the squat on leg day, front & back with a barbell (I haven’t
progressed onto the Smith Machine or Squat Rack just yet) and I really enjoy
them and even the DOMs afterwards because I know they’re working. Just adding a
few squats to your routine can make a massive difference, especially if you’re
looking to improve your general strength.

I think there has long been a stigma that lifting weights
will just make you look bulky and masculine which really isn’t true, as women
we don’t possess the hormones to look that way. It’s just not in our DNA and
what happens when we lift is much more beautiful. We look healthier, happier
and more honed in all the right places.

So next time you’re in the gym, grab a pair of dumbbells and
try adding some weighted squats or lunges to your routine, who knows you might
just enjoy it!

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