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Getting Started in the Weight Room

We all start somewhere. Even the chick who shows up to the gym every day with bicep veins, matching from headband to shoes, and carrying her gallon jug of water; she too made the decision to just start one day.

If you’ve struggled with what to do in the weight room, you are not alone. Many of the women I talk to and work with tell me the weight room is an intimidating place because it’s full of dudes. This may be true, however they are not looking at you (well maybe they are because they are admiring your confidence while all the other women are on the cardio machines wasting away). They are most likely focused on their own workout and muscle pumps.

So, #1 you have to get over your fear of people seeing you. Their opinion of you means NOTHING. 

If you want to see your body and mind transform you HAVE TO lift weights. 

Is your goal to tone up? Lift weights. 

Is your goal to get stronger physically and mentally? Lift weights. 

Is your goal to get faster 5K times? Lift weights. 

Is your goal to lose weight? Lift weights.

Here are my tips to help you get started lifting weights in the weight room:

  • Find a weight training program you can follow.

  • There are many free programs online. Or you can hire a personal trainer or online coach or purchase a program online.

  • Google the movements before you go so you have an idea of what to do.

  • Get a training partner. Having a partner helps keep you accountable and helps you feel more secure, like sitting next to your best friend on the first day of class.

  • Find some space.

  • If you’re not ready to go full on weight room, then grab a few dumbbells and find an open area for you to do your workout. Ease into it.

  • Commit to performing one exercise you’re comfortable with each week. Then do that same exercise for at least two weeks. When that feels effortless, add another exercise for another two weeks. Keep repeating this cycle and before you know it, you’ll be doing your whole workout in the weight room with confidence and strength.

What this looks like:

  • You feel comfortable doing dumbbell bench presses, so you do that exercise in the weight room every Monday for two weeks.

  • Then you add bicep curls, because yes, you can do them anywhere, but the goal is to get comfortable in the weight room. So you do bicep curls in the weight room every Tuesday for the next two weeks. Now you’re in the weight room on Mondays and Tuesdays. By the end of the four weeks you may find you are doing other exercises in there as well! You go girl!

Some gym etiquette rules:

  • Allow others to work in with you when reasonable

  • Re-rack your weights

  • Clean up your mess and put things back where you found them

  • Don’t block the mirror

  • Don’t perform your exercises directly in front of the dumbbell weight rack

  • Don’t drop the weights

  • Be respectful and kind to others

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