Get into the Weight Room!

Following is a guest post written by Emi Preston.  I met up with Emi Preston  when I visited her blog, Benching Beauties.  I love this tumblr blog written by Emi and her sister Yumi, check it out! 

I also love Emi’s post which she has written for this blog.  I too am always trying to get women to use free weights.  Believe me and Emi, you aren’t going to end up bulking up like a man; for one thing, you don’t have the testosterone,  and for another, body builders spend HOURS upon HOURS in the gym!)

Here is some great information and motivation from Emi.

 Breaking the Stereotype Free-weight-room

Ladies, does the idea of stepping into the weight room scare you?

When I encourage girl friends to lift with me, I’m always met with, “Won’t  weights make me look bulky?” The answer is NO! It’s been 1.5 years since I started lifting heavy free weights, and I’ve made it my personal mission to share the incredible benefits of weight lifting with everyone in my life. If your current gym routine does not incorporate heavy free weights, I want to convince you why it should.

Physical benefits

Lifting weights will help you achieve a slender, strong hourglass figure that cannot come from cardio and bodyweight exercises that often result in a “skinny fat” look. Women lack the testosterone levels necessary to “look like a man.” If lifting a 10-pound purse every day hasn’t built you toned arms, how can a 10-pound dumbbell do the same? You must challenge your body.

Mental benefits

Weight lifting is empowering. When you are confident in your physical strength, you feel more confident in every aspect of your life: public, work, and home. Furthermore, lifting weights in a male-dominated place where society says you don’t belong builds courage. Show yourself, and the world, that you are more than your appearance; you are mentally tough.

Daily life benefits

Having muscle to power you through the day does wonders for you energy and stamina. Carrying grocery bags, walking up stairs, running to catch a plane, and moving furniture all become easier tasks. Your mental clarity will improve and you will be able to better manage stress. Making time for your own health and physical improvement is extremely rewarding.

How are YOU going to begin weight lifting?

My first time setting foot in the free weights section was terrifying. It’s full of big, sweaty men and you don’t know where anything is. You feel uncomfortable because you’re being looked at. It’s embarrassing when you mess up. But I’ve gotta give you some tough love here… everyone goes through this. You just have to push through! Here are some tips:

  1. Write down your goals and enter the gym with a plan for what exercises you want to complete. Don’t leave until you have completed ALL of them.
  2. Tune everyone out and focus on your workout. Listening to music helps!
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t know where equipment is or how to use it.
  4. If you are really anxious, hire a personal trainer for even just one session. Many times, the first session is free, or you can bring a friend to halve the price!

Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to your lifting time. You’ll start noticing changes in your physique. As your physical appearance improves, people will start paying you more respect. Your new confidence rooted in physical and mental strength will be a brilliant beacon that shines from the inside out, and it will continue to grow as it is powered by weight lifting.

This is such an exciting time for you.  Go and get it, ladies! Please do not hesitate to contact me atbenchingbeauties.tumblr.com, benchingbeauties@gmail.com, or http://www.facebook.com/benchingbeauties.

Emi Preston (age 21, currently getting certified as a personal trainer through Emi and YumiWITS) and Yumi Preston (age 19) are two sisters attending the University of Washington in Seattle. We share a passion for health & wellness, and we aim to help other women reach their fitness goals in the male-dominated fitness world (and weight room). We welcome anyone and everyone to our community. Join us on our journey, and reach out to us with comments, questions, or anything else!

Comments

  1. I did weight lifting many years ago. It was the fittest I’ve ever been and no, I didn’t look “skinny fat”…oh for those days. 🙂

  2. I know I need to lift more weights, and the benefits are great. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. There are some female bodybuilders that look awfully masculine but I’m sure they’re taking some kind of hormones/steroids to look that way. While looking for an example I came across one I thought you’d like – Real Women Lift Weights: http://www.nolatrainer.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/real_women_lift_weights_.jpg

    • Great photo! And did you know that steroids are actually allowed in the sport of body building? But there are “natural”competitions too that don’t allow steroids. Either way, those body builders spend HOURS in the gym daily and eat a very regimented diet in order to bulk up that way. Really no chance for us recreational athletes to ever get that ripped!

  4. I work out at home, so I have a couple different sizes of hand weights, plus I use a Total Gym (I don’t know if that really counts but it does help).

  5. I love weight lifting and try to do so at least twice a week. It has so many benefits it’s crazy… thanks for sharing!

  6. Great post! I need to lift more, maybe if I bought some weights and did it at home I would! I always feel self conscious when I go to the gym and the men are swarming over the weights, it just makes me feel out of place!

    • This is something that we women have to overcome! You have as much a right to go into the weight room as the guys. And, believe me, they are busy looking at themselves, they are not snickering at you!!

  7. mkslagel says:

    I think that gyms in general are frightening. It isn’t just the weight room where intimidation occurs but all over the gym. Just like you mentioned you have to push through this and don’t let it stop you because you are right, once you get going you will feel great about yourself and be able to face anything.

    • And remember, everyone started somewhere. I like to believe that the “serious” weight lifters respect what I am doing (even if I am only doing it with 10 lb weights!)

  8. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) says:

    It’s not just weightlifting, but the entire idea of a gym that doesn’t appeal to me. That being said, I’ve always wanted to give weights a try, but mostly likely I will be lucky if I can make a routine out of doing pilates again. I liked the way that molded my muscles.

    • And that is why there are so many options. No one thing is right or everyone! But if you want to get into weight training, working with a trainer can help you feel more comfortable, as you’ll learn about the science behind lifting weights!

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