By JULIA CHRISTOPHER
Ladies, have you ever stepped out onto the gym floor, looked at the weights and said to yourself, “I have no idea what to do with all of those?” Or if you are brave enough and pick them up do look around and have that feeling that everyone is staring at you? Or that people are judging you?
Trust me, I’ve been there.
The gym floor, especially the weight area, is extremely intimidating. Treadmills and elliptical machines are easy to use and more comfortable for us to work out on so we prefer to stay on those. But ladies, let me tell you, the 30 minutes you will spend today, running the same routine that you have been since the day you joined the gym is the same reason your results have plateaued. Stop frustrating yourself and living in fear!
Four common fears
You’re uncomfortable because you’re not your “pretty-self”, walking around with hair done and make up on.
There are mostly men on the gym floor.
If you don’t know how to use weights it makes it more frightening to go up there and try it.
We think, “If I lift heavy weights, I’ll get big and bulky.”
I was terrified to lift weights when I first joined a gym. But I wasn’t getting results anymore from my 30-45 minutes on the treadmill 5 days a week. I knew I needed to bump it to the next level. So what did I do to get over my fear? I worked out with a trainer. He taught me everything I needed to know about proper form and how to utilize the weight area to its full potential. Also working out with someone makes it more fun because you have someone there to help motivate you. Once I started to feel more comfortable, I ventured off into the scary weight area… alone. But now I feel like I own that gym. This is my place to workout and I don’t care if anyone’s watching me, because I know I’m kicking my butt and doing a killer workout properly.
My advice to you
Utilize a trainer.
Find a workout partner to come with you.
Plan out your workouts so you feel like you’re already rehearsed and know exactly where to go and do in the gym.
Face your fear
Another misconception women have about weight training is we will “get big and bulky” instead of a “toned” look. The secret to getting toned is lifting heavy, girlfriends. This is where I found the best results. When you are lifting weights you are utilizing more muscles then if you were just to use a treadmill. Utilizing all of those muscles actually burns more calories and fat. To get to that bulky muscle capacity, you would need to be consuming an overload of excess calories for a long period of time. Plus, women have less testosterone then men, so it’s harder for us to grow muscle. You have nothing to worry about! You will start to feel very hungry but that’s a good thing! The more you feel hungry the better. This means your metabolism is pumping and working. I like to describe it to my clients as the engine of a car. The more gas you put in your tank, the more it can burn.
Here’s to stepping off that treadmill and to getting the results you want!
Julia Christopher is a personal fitness trainer at VENT Fitness in Guilderland.