Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why I Lift & How to Get Started

It is no secret that I love to lift weights. I think weight training is essential to your all around health and fitness. Everyone knows what articles in health and fitness magazines say about the benefits of lifting weights:
-improves bone density
-improves joint mobility
-relieves depression and anxiety
-decreases your chance of type 2 diabetes 
-helps lower blood pressure
The list of health benefits goes on from there, however, I am more interested in sharing with you why I choose to lift weights and why it has become so vital to my success. I had lost 50lbs before I met TJ and really got interested in weight training. I looked a lot better than I had at 230lbs, however, I was far from feeling fit and my skin was so loose and saggy. I felt as if I had worked so hard and I still could not wear shorts, sleeveless shirts or a bathing suit and feel even remotely comfortable. When I started weight training, I fell in love with seeing my strength. It was weekly progress I could see even if the scale didnt reflect a change. I loved being able to lift more weight or go for more reps than I could previously. After a while, I started to see changes in my body. The skin that I had hated so much before started to get tighter and I started to see some definition in my legs and arms. I was hooked. Previously, I had believed that weight training would make me look bulky or manly; this could not be further from the truth & those who think that just need to educate themselves a little more on the female body. We do not produce the hormones needed to create large bulky muscles. The women you see in magazines or online who do have those large physiques have had some help along the way from some extensive supplementation or steroid use. (Not to downplay their hard work---steroids and supplements will not do it for you) Do not let the fear of looking manly deter you from starting in the weight room. Another aspect of weight lifting I have recently grown to love is the difference in the way my body looks regardless of what number is on the scale. 
Those who have been following me from the beginning probably recognize the picture on the left. This was when I was at my fittest & lowest body weight before I got pregnant with Riley. The right was about two weeks ago. There is a 45lb difference between these two photos. I continued to weight train throughout my pregnancy & have done so since adding a substantial amount of muscle mass to my body. I love looking at these photos and barely seeing a difference in the body but a huge difference in the weight! I have a bad habit of being a scale freak but thank God for progress pictures. I have had several people ask me how to get started lifting weights and where to find the right workouts to do ect. Bodybuilding.com has thousands of workouts, organized by body part, complete with photos and some even have video demos! You can literally find anything you could ever need to get started on there. The link above has the exact page you need with the diagram at the bottom to select the body part you're interested in training. I hope this will help some of you get a better idea of why I like to lift & how to get started!

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