Now that I no longer look for excuses to not workout, surprisingly (not) I have results.
That said, let’s be real, most of my results came from eating the right food, but the heavy lifting has for sure made the difference in my body composition.
When people ask me if I work out, I reply that yes I do, that I do heavy lifting. The next question is sometimes, “What does that mean?” or “How do I get started?”
I think often people are expecting me to say I run, or I use a treadmill or elliptical. For some reason women think cardio is the way to burn fat and shape up. They are afraid of “getting bulky” or “getting too muscular.” Not to be flip, but, uh, I was pretty darn bulky at 260 pounds. No matter how much I lift, I can’t seem to manage getting “too muscular” either.
What does it mean to lift heavy? Well, if it is heavy to you, then you are heavy lifting. Five pounds was heavy to me when I started. Ten pounds doing a lateral side raise is heavy to me now – those are hard for me!
Basically, you want the weights you are pushing and pulling to be a challenge to push and pull. If you can breeze through the workout, it is too easy and the weights are too light.
To get started you can join a gym or if that isn’t an option for you, then you can start at home. Take pictures and measurements before you begin and then every 30 days to track your progress. Sometimes looking in the mirror isn’t enough for many of us, we need proof from pictures and a tape measure.
A beginner starting at home can start with body weight exercises like lunges, squats, planks, push ups and crunches.
If you want to do dumbbell exercises you can get some decent quality and priced dumbbells at places like Walmart, Target or Academy or any sporting goods store.
With dumbbells you can do goblet squats, overhead triceps, bicep curls, overhead shoulder press, shoulder shrugs and lateral raises (my not favorite). If you don’t know what any of those are you can find them on bodybuilding.com or YouTube – there are lots of videos at your fingertips to show you different exercises and proper form.
Just pick some exercises and get started.
How do you know if you are making progress?
Well, you make sure changes are happening. Such as, do the exercises get so easy that you need to increase the weight you are moving on a regular basis?
Are you losing inches?
Do you feel stronger?
Are your clothes fitting different?
Do you feel better?
So, about those results. Should you expect to look “toned” one week after you begin? I think you know the answer to that.
People ask me to share my workouts and I have shared some at my Facebook page but you don’t have to copy me or anyone else. You find what works for you.
People ask me what I do – I do a class at the gym twice a week called “Power Pump” and it is a 50 minute class with weights. There are HIIT aspects to it and I really enjoy it. The other three days I workout are my lifting days – one day is legs, another is back/biceps and the third is chest/shoulders/triceps. I rest two days.
I also go on a leisurely walk four or five days a week. I am not power walking. I am not walking for cardio. I am walking because I enjoy it and because in addition to heavy lifting, it’s good for my blood sugar.
More does not mean better. You do not need to workout everyday. You do not need to be at the gym more than an hour at a time.
Like with anything else, you get the best results with time, consistency and patience.
Make a plan and stick to it.