I’m here to talk to you today about weight training!
A while back I had a minor injury in my hip. While I was recovering from that, I had to step back a bit from teaching some of my group fitness classes, but during that time I was still comfortable taking the classes and just scaling back. This allowed me to be more in the thick of things and observe other people, both with their weight selections and their form. I noticed some things, and this led me to compile a few tips for weight training.
Before I get to that, though: why weight train? Specifically talking to the ladies out there: We NEED to be lifting weights!! Don't worry about looking manly; our bodies don't have enough testosterone for that! Weight training will tone and shape our body. It's how you get a tapered waist. It's how you get toned shoulders. It's how you get a round, lifted butt! Also, if you add weight training into your routine, you are going to burn more fat, too, even while rested. It is the #1 type of exercise I recommend to my clients because of allllllll the benefits.
Now, back to those tips:
Weight selection. This is something I notice a lot of people struggling with. I can understand that you may naturally look around and base your weight selections off of what others around you are doing, but there is a better way. When you are choosing weight, you want an amount that allows you to maintain proper form for a majority of the set. It’s okay to have to power through your final reps, but it should be manageable. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve reached the end of the set and you could keep going indefinitely, it might be time to up your weight.
Number of reps. How many reps should you do? A general guideline is when you are lifting heavier, do fewer reps. When the weight is more moderate, do more reps. High reps = Low weight. Low reps = High weight. Always changing number of sets, type of move, and body part worked are KEY to not plateauing. As an example, I love doing 3 sets of 15 reps when I'm lifting moderate weight, and 5 sets of 5 when it's heavier.
Don’t compare yourself to others! I see this all the time in class settings where everyone is doing the same thing. Maintaining proper form and pace is so much better for you than struggling to match your neighbor. Try to keep in mind that what you are doing is personal. You know your body and what your goals are. Taking inspiration from others is fine, but do what is best for you!
Track your training. When I first started taking BodyPump, I could never remember the amount of weight I was doing, but I really wanted to keep track of my progress. I recommend doing what I did, and that’s bringing a notebook or your phone to jot down your weights as you go. It’s so important to see your progress! This is even more important with free-weight training on your own because it helps you remember how much you've lifted previously. Ultimately, we want to increase our weight selection as we build our strength.
I hope these tips help! Let me know if you have any questions. My goal is that you’ll be inspired to incorporate weight training into your routine!