When I started my lifting journey about two years ago:
a) I thought I would be absolutely ripped by now
b) I kept telling myself to not lift too much or I would become this huge man beast of a woman with no boobs and veins popping out everywhere.
Well I’m hilariously naive.
I asked my husband to teach me a few exercises using free weights. I knew a couple of exercises that I’ve seen everyone do such as bicep curls, chest press, and shoulder press but those weren’t enough to get me looking like Rhonda Rousey. So he showed me how to squat with an actual bar on my shoulders, use the bench press with little tiny 5 pound plates on them, do skull crushers with a barbell, and shoulder raises with dumbbells. I felt so cool doing these four exercises over and over I couldn’t wait for my cute little muscles to start popping out everywhere. My husband explained to me that gaining muscle was a long process and not as easy as many people think it is, and if I was going to achieve the look I desired, then I was going to have to do a lot more then those four exercises and add more weight to them as I could. I shrugged it off thinking he must not know what he is talking about because guys who lift get “huge” and I only wanted to get slightly chiseled. But as I continued to do these same workouts, I saw a small improvement, but not the results I had been wanting. So I took the old ball and chains’ advice and started lifting heavier. I searched Instagram for inspiration as well as different exercises on youtube and learned a whole new side of the lifting world that I fell in love with. Lifting heavier didn’t just improve my outer appearance but it also helped me with my anxiety issue that I had been struggling with. I used to walk into the gym like a little mouse not wanting to draw any attention and stay in a corner all by myself as to not disrupt all of the burly men and their super important workouts. Now I make myself known. I’m somewhat obnoxious when I grab the same weight as some of the boys or ask if i can rotate in with them, and I’m just perfectly fine with that. 🙂
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what my body needs, nutrition wise as well as weight training. I recently learned that steel cut oats make me bloat and my body can’t process it as well as other carbs. I also learned, that the stair master doesn’t work as well as running does for me when I’m doing my cardio. A lot of trial and error goes into fitness and I believe that once you start your journey, there is no end. Some people might have to stop and start over, but thats the beauty of the journey, there are no rules or perfect paths. As long as you try, you succeed.
By Clancie Agee