Lifting Weight…

…And I don’t mean lifting myself up off the ground, although that is quite a bit of weight to lift.

This morning Dan and I headed over to our Gym to meet a trainer so we could each take a fitness assessment. We answered lots of questions, he measured our BMI’s, and we talked to him a lot about the most efficient ways to reach our goals. Turns out, although Cardio is no doubt great for the heart, mind and body; weight lifting is a powerful tool that most women overlook, for fear of getting big and bulky looking. Turns out, women aren’t naturally made that way, and unless I go out of my way to “bulk up”, it won’t happen naturally.

With that said, for every pound of lean muscle mass that you have, you burn 35-50 calories per day! If you have 10 pounds of lean muscle mass then you burn between 350-500 calories. If you have 20 pounds you burn between 700 and 1000 calories per day! This is one of the biggest benefits of strength training for women.

The trainers main point was that weight lifting has been overlooked as a viable weight loss method for way too long, and that Dan and I need to give it a shot.

Our BMI’s are pretty high, which we already assumed they would be. Increasing our lean muscle mass is something we are both going to be working on from here on out.

My boss has this little phrase that he uses when he sees one of us trying to accomplish something the hard way. He says:

 “You can try to put a nail into wood with a shoe by pounding it over and over and over, or you can pick up a hammer and get it in with one foul swoop”.

What he’s trying to say is that there is a hard way to do something, and an easy way. If you have the tools to get something done efficiently and properly, then why are you wasting your time, and putting forth so much effort, for such slow results?

The trainer has the same train of thought. I never realized that instead of doing an hour of cardio, I could do 30 minutes of weight lifting, and 30 minutes of cardio instead. During 30 minutes of weight lifting, I will burn the same amount of calories that I burn doing the hour of cardio, HOWEVER, when you finish weight lifting, your body continues to burn calories as it works to revitalize your muscles. When your cardio class is over – burning calories stops.

So now I need to spend a little time people watching in the weight training area of the gym so I can pick up some pointers, unless you all have any to share!! I just simply can’t afford a personal trainer. As much as I know I need one, it just can’t be done now. Perhaps someday, but in the meantime I’m just going to use my blog as a tool to learn as much as I can about weight training, and I hope you guys have some great advice for me as I start this new method of losing weight and getting healthy.



16 thoughts on “Lifting Weight…

    • A personal trainer can cost a LOT of money! I know, I hired one that I worked with for 2x a week for about 2 months when I first thought I was ready to work out. Found out I just THOUGHT I wanted to work out. I found out I REALLY wanted to work out when I saw pics of me and started crying because of how I looked! I can help you out, it is what I do, it is my passion! Contact me if you want more info.
      Yours in health and fitness,
      Lovin’ Life Fitness

  1. I LOVE lifting. Because I despise cardio and running so much, it’s a bigger challenge to me, which is why I’m training for a run right now. With that said, about 10 years ago, I was in the absolute best shape of my life due to lifting. I was also training for a fitness competition. Vicky’s advice is very good – keep track of your workouts. I had workouts devised for upper body, legs and chest/back. There are a million books on lifting out there-get a beginner’s guide. Be sure and ask questions at the gym regarding form. If you start to lift and aren’t using proper form, it’s one of the easiest ways to hurt yourself – also, if you aren’t using good form, the workout won’t mean a thing in the end.

    The gym should have someone who can give you a quick run through on the machines and the proper way of doing things – take advantage of that (take notes!). You absolutely don’t need a trainer.

    A lot of women are also under the impression they will bulk up, which won’t happen. I used to life 6 days a week for an hour at a time (cardio thrown in there as well for 90 min workouts typically) and I was extremely lean. So don’t worry about that either. You will notice a change in your body quite quickly if you are consistent.

    Keep us posted – I’m excited for you! I absolutely love the power that comes with lifting (way more than running – blech).

    • Thank you! I’m excited to get started!! I’ve been doing cardio and running for about 2.5 months now, and at first I saw some results, but now everything seems the same. I’m really hoping I’ll lose a lot faster by lifting. Thanks for following :) :)

  2. Angie Bullock says:

    I absolutely agree with this and knew some of the things the trainer told you, but also learned some new information, which is food for thought.

    For me, though, I am of the mind that the most effective exercise is the exercise that I’ll actually do! LOL!!

    I have tried SO MANY times to start a weight-lifting routine and I just don’t like it, so I give up and end up doing nothing.

    Maybe someday, because I know how beneficial it is, but for now, I have to find ways to LIKE exercising so I’ll do it more!! :-)

    Best of luck – if you enjoy it, as so many do, it will be wonderful for you!

  3. Oh, also forgot to mention: don’t focus on joint-isolation exercises so much as multiple joint ones. I didn’t think this was a big deal, but then I realized how much of a difference it makes! Some joints, of course, tend to be isolated because of their location, but a good example of a multiple joint exercise is a push-up: works chest, shoulders and core, if done properly.

  4. Oh, yeah, such a great way for effective weight-loss and shaping up that women overlook! Thankfully, I have never feared “bulking” up, so I’ve usually kept weight-training as a part of it for myself. :) Not that I’ve been doing it much lately until this past week, but, yeah…one tip I’ve picked up from pros. Instead of doing 30 minutes of cardio AND THEN 30 of strength training, combine the two into one full work-out. Sample workout I do:

    3 minutes dynamic stretching
    5 minutes cardio warmup (jogging in place)
    set #1 of bicep exercises
    1-2 minutes cardio
    set #2 of bicep exercises
    1-2 minutes cardio
    set #3 of bicep exercises
    1-2 minutes cardio
    set #1 chest exercises
    1-2 minutes cardio
    set #2 chest
    set #3 chest
    And so on, and so forth.
    5 minutes cool down (walking is good)
    3-5 minutes static stretching

    You can also do one cycle of each exercise (cardio, bicep, cardio, chest, cardio tricep, cardio shoulders, cardio, upper back) and repeat until you get through all of your sets of reps.

    With this, however, you cannot take long rest breaks between each exercise. Tops, it should be 30-60 seconds between exercises, preferably shorter. These rests are for water and movement to next station for exercises, mainly (or sometimes, you’re just too tired to immediately get into the next one, depending on your intensity level ;)).

  5. OMG I screeeeeam this to women all the time! Weight training is key in not only losing weight, but in shaping our bodies. We do not have testosterone at the levels men do. It takes a lot of effort for us to “bulk up”. But, if you want your body to be sculpted to your desires, cardio just isn’t going to cut it.
    Just like you said, weight training continues to burn calories AFTER your workout. They have done numerous studies comparing cardio and weight training workouts. Cardio workouts have even burned more calories during the same amount of time as the weight training session. The only difference-weight training sessions keep on burning!
    If you need some tips check out my workout page. I’m not a trainer, but have taken tons of classes, am a PE teacher, and I live for this stuff!

    Good luck on your progress….exceed your goals!

  6. I also did up workouts for myself that are upper body only, core only and lower body only, so that if I only have 30 mins, I can do core and upper or core and lower. I have longer, full-body workouts for all-over. You really only need two or three good strength-training workouts a week. Do not forget rest days! So if you do a good upper body workout one day, the next should be legs. Your muscles get stronger by healing, so give them time to do that. Also, make sure to eat something with protein in it within a half-hour (or hour) of lifting. Milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, almonds…. whatever.

    • A pro female hockey player friend of mine said that the best recovery food is a handful of almonds, a glass of low fat or skim milk (8oz.) and a handful of raisins, within 20 minutes of the workout. I vary with a handful of craisins, since I don’t like raisins. ;)

  7. How bulky you get entirely depends on you body, hormone levels, etc. I actually bulk up more than my husband (he is one of those irritatingly lean, wiry people). I actually quite like being muscular. Sure as hell beats being flobby!

    Here are a few pointers:
    – keep a notebook of your workouts, with each exercise you do listed.
    – start slow, add an exercise or two per workout.
    – in fact, going slowing when starting weight training is the best overall advice. Move the weights slowly, paying attention to form. You can get more out of each lift if you move slowly up and down. Add to your routine slowly. Increase weight slowly.
    – try not to increase your weight more than 5% when you do increase it
    – has great strength training workout ideas!
    – start with the machines, if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Add the free weights after a few sessions with the machines. The free weights are better for you, because you work stabilizers as well as large muscle groups, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get hurt.
    – don’t lift too little. You should be able to manage 8-10 reps with the last ones being almost impossible. If you can lift 15, it’s too light. If you can only do five, it might be too heavy (unless you’re doing certain types of lifts).
    – watch the people who lift with control. Imitate them. Ignore the ones who are lifting fast and furious. In fact, get out of their way!
    – Odd as it may seem, you’ll get a good deal of respect from the muscular jocks if you train routinely. I find that the very men who intimidate other women are the most accepting of women who are serious about getting in shape. The other women can occasionally be snipish. It’s weird. So don’t let the muscle-bound jocks intimidate you! Walk in, check your list of what you’re doing next and do your thing.

    More when I think of it…..

    • WOW Vicky, this is AH-MAZING advice!! Seriously a huge help, thank you so much for taking the time to write it all to me. I hope to kind of make friends with a mucsle-y jock type, so maybe they can give me and Dan some pointers – since we can’t afford a personal trainer right now. I’m going to check out that website too, for work out ideas, etc. Thanks again, and feel free to pipe in with more info if you think of it :)

      • No problem! Sparkpeople is an amazing and FREE site! It will make up workouts for you based on what equipment you have, help you track food and calories burned and much more. I used it when training for my first sprint tri…


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