Post # 1
I’m trying to lose some weight and tone up. I’ve read so many great stories here, where people incorporate weight lifting into their routines. Unfortunantely, I have no idea where to start. Does anyone have tips or links to videos?
Any and all advice is welcome!
Edit: I have access to the gym as well as some medium-heavy (20lb) dumbells at home
Post # 3
What do you have access to? A gym or are you working out at home?
ETA: I do exercises mostly with heavier weights but I’m about to quit that group so I will be looking for different things. I haven’t had problems with the heavier stuff but I would never do things like cross fit for fear of hurting my already weak back and knees.
Post # 4
Weightlifting is fantastic! Especially for women, since weight bearing activity helps us build bone mass and prevents bone loss as we age. Another awesome benefit- lean muscle mass burns more energy at rest than fat does. Muscle is denser than fat too, so if you are a very non-muscle-bound flabby 120 pound person, you will likely be a bigger size than a toned, trim, muscular 130 pound person.
I have heard wonderful things about the book “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” but haven’t read it yet myself.
Post # 5
Here is what a week’s worth of working out might look like for me (when I am being good and not slacking off!!)
Monday- 3-5 mile run OR a spin class
- dead lifts with a 20lb weight in each hand (10 reps)
- lunges with a 25lb weight in each hand (10 reps each leg)
- squats with 30lb weight in each hand (10 reps)
- wide-leg squats with 30lb weight each hand (10 reps)
- repeat this circuit three or four times
- bench press, 25lb weights each hand, 10reps
- rows (bent over at the hips), 25lb weight each hand, 10 reps
- upright rows, 20lb weight each hand, 10 reps
- OR shoulder press, 15lb weight each hand, 10reps
- bicep curls (SADLY- I can only curl 15lbs!! no idea why…) 10 reps
- tricep presses, one 25 or 30lb weight and use both hands, 10 reps
- repeat this circuit three or four times
I don’t take a break in between exercises, but I do take a break between rotations. I also do abs/core at the end of my entire set.
Wednesday- run 3-5 miles OR spin (whichever I didn’t do on Monday)
Thursday- same weight routine as Tuesday morning, but I also run after work- usually 6-8 miles
Friday- spin class
Saturday- when I’m training for something Saturdays are my long run day. I also try to do yoga on the weekends, or swimming occasionally.
Hope this helps 🙂
Post # 6
I started to read NROLFW but it didn’t really jive with my running goals…it stresses less cardiovascular more weight training…which does not fit into marathon training.
I’m very insecure about weights at the gym and I didn’t really know where to start, so I googled and found this plan, which I do at least 1/week and try for twice…but that rarely happens…it only takes about 15 minutes….and while I hate it, it’s not fun to me AT ALL, I can bear 15 minutes.
Post # 7
I use the 30 minute express workout area at my gym (that includes weight machines and some step arobics) and then do 30 minutes of cardio on the stair stepper or treadmill three times a week. If your gym has weight machines (or an express full body workout area) I’d definitely recommend using them! The machines are usually pretty easy to pick up on (and you can always ask an employee to show you if need be). I started out on super light weights (around 10 pounds or so) and have slowly increased them over the past several months. I find it really helps me with toning and I’ve also heard that weight lifting before cardio can help burn more calories. 🙂
Post # 8
I USED to train with heavy weights and LOVED it! Ubfortunately the ligaments in my body did not and my joints began to subluxate. So I switched to lighter weights and concentrated on form and technique. I am 54 and I STILL love weight training!
Post # 9
@missrobots: When I am marathon training, I ease up a bit on the leg weights and when I get over 30ish miles a week I knock back to just one day of lifting. I have noticed that lifting has made me faster though 🙂
Post # 10
I used to train with lighter weights and more reps, but I just switched to heavy lifting, and I love it. My arms and shoulders have toned up in a matter of weeks while the lighter weights and more reps weren’t doing much for me. It seemed that I had plateaued with the lighter weights.
Don’t be afraid of heavy lifting. A lot of women think they’ll get bulky, but that’s not true for most women. I like to follow P90X. It’s a good program for weight lifting.
Post # 11
@DaneLady: I agree. Weight training also helped with my running.
A couple of years ago when I trained for my first half marathon I joined a gym and started going to a weight class just to mix up my routine a little. To my surprise running became exponentially easier for me.
I wouldn’t recommend only doing strength training. Incorporating strength/weights into a cardio routine is sometimes the best route because you will build muscle while burning lots of calories.
Like a PP said, don’t only focus on the scale as incorporating weight training may result in a larger number despite a smaller, more toned body.
On that note, if you’re aprehensive about implementing weights into your routine I would recommend joining a class. When I was at 24 hour fitness they had a class called 24 SET and 24 Lift that were very comfortable for me to use as an entrance class. It’s nice to have an instructor there and other people to make you feel a little less lost with what to do next and eliminates the pauses between exercies which often causes “strength training” to be less beneficial in weight loss. And group classes are much cheaper (free with membership) than a personal trainer.
If you’re a beginner, I would also recommend Jackie Warner DVDs as she almost always incorporates hand weights and isn’t afraid to hit your shoulders and arms hard. I personally like her “XTreme Timesaver Training” DVD; it’s only 30 minutes long and does a great job of giving you weight training while doing cardio.
A final note; once you start using weights be sure to increase the amount every so often (whenever it starts to feel easy/you’re night tired or struggling a little at the end) otherwise you will stop seeing benefits.
Post # 12
I have never done dedicated weight lifting, as (like PP’s have said) I was afraid that I would bulk up and that’s not the look I want. As I’ve learnd about health and fitness I’ve learned that if you choose a lower weight to lift but do more reps it will tone compared to lifting a heaver weight for short reps (which will bulk you up).
So, in that vein…. I’ve been doing the 30 Day Shred for the better part of a year and I find that when I do it consistently combined with a good diet it gets my upper body extremely toned and firm, which is the look I want.
I think if I wanted to really get into weight training I would hire a trainer for a couple of sessions and get a good base of knowledge before I went out on my own.
Post # 13
I’ve been going to this power pump class where we use (at most!) 5 – 8 lb weights and incorporate the weight training with aerobics. We’ll do squats while doing bicep curls or do lunges with the weights on our shoulders. Also try holding a ball and pushing it away from you while doing squats at the same time (oh my that’s painful! but wonderful!). And then every 5 – 10 minutes or so, put the weights down and do jumping jacks for about 30 seconds to a minute so it keeps your heart rate up. It’s a nice workout cause you are getting aerobics in and getting a nice sweat going while toning all parts of your body at the same time! I mean if you are gonna be working your arms, why not kill two birds with one stone and tone your legs at the same time!?!
Post # 14
@Mrs.Mittens: Women cannot bulk without taking supplements. We simply do not have enough testosterone.
I lift heavy 3 days a week. (I squat 90 lbs, deadling 110 lbs, bench 60 lbs, etc.) I run 3 miles 2-3 times a week as well. I started this about 6 weeks ago. I weigh about 5 lbs more, but I lost a pants size. As PP said, muscle continues to burn fat even when you’re done working out, which cardio doesn’t do. Muscle is also more dense, so it takes up less space, so while the scale isn’t changing, my body is.
I second the New Rules of Lifting for Women if you want to read about lifting heavy. I follow the StrongLifts 5×5 program that you can google (it’s free even though the website makes it seem like you have to pay for it.)
ETA: I’m on myfitness pal and there are tons of threads on the message boards about women lifting heavy, including before and after pictures. The differences are amazing. http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/535512-real-mfp-women-weight-training-befores-and-afters?page=2
Post # 15
@Boston Bee: Actually cardio does burn calories (and therefore fat) after you finish working out. Although it depends on how long and hard you work out. A more vigorous workout will see a greater post workout metabolism increase. Also when you do cardio you shouldn’t be on the fat burn (65% of your max heart rate), you should be on the cardio burn (85% max heart rate) and thus a more intense workout.
Although getting back to weights since that’s what this thread is about, cardio with weights is probably the best workout (although then you most likely aren’t going to be doing the cardio quite as intensly).
Post # 16
I have to agree that heavy weights will not bulk you up. I echo the recommendations for checking out New Rules of Lifting for Women as well as another book I like, Female Body Breakthrough. FBB is a little more “rah rah, you go girl” in style but the workouts are just as challenging. I think both books do a great job in explaining WHY heavy weights are so important. They dispell the myth that mittens mentioned about light weights creating “lean” muscle and heavy weights creating “bulky” muscle.
It was a bit intimidating to me at first to move into the free weight section at the gym, but after 1 or 2 workouts I became very comfortable there.
Also the phrase “heavy weights” itself can be kind of intimidating (or at least, it was to me), but I quickly learned that it just means “heavy for you and for the muscles you are working”. It doesn’t matter how much you start with but only that you keep increasing it and challenging the muscles.
stumptuous.com is another great women’s site for weight lifting, with a lot of great articles explaining why lifting is important and also a lot of workout plans.