Why Girls Shouldn’t Fear The Weight Room

Lifting weights has become a big part of my life recently. I always cared about my health and have been pretty active, playing on different sports teams my entire life. When I got to college those teams ended and it got harder to stay active. I still went to the gym regularly but I felt like I was missing something. I would do cardio and never dared to step foot into the weight room. It intimidated me and I felt like I would get weird looks by all the guys in there if I didn’t know what I was doing. Well, after about a year of just doing cardio, and maybe a few machines here and there, I wanted to do more. I wasn’t seeing the changes in my body that I wanted to see so I wanted to learn why. Over the summer I decided to do my research and learn more about what we really should be doing at the gym. Every single time I researched this question the same answer would come up. “Men AND WOMEN need to lift weights.” I kept doing further research and saw this answer every single time. In order to burn fat you need to build muscle. So finally I got over my fear and decided to give the weight room a try. I grabbed a gym buddy who had the same goals as I did and we have never looked back since!

If you’re wondering why you put hours and hours in at the gym running your butt off but don’t see the results you want, it’s because cardio isn’t enough! It’s great for cardiovascular health, but it won’t give you that lean physique you desire. Sorry cardio bunnies, but it’s time to set aside those running shoes start hitting the weights. Girls, I promise it’s not as scary as you think it is.

Here are 5 steps to making the weight room a little less scary:

1.     Grab a gym buddy.

Grabbing a friend to go with you into the weight room can make it a lot less intimidating. You’ll have each so you aren’t lone wolfing. You won’t feel as awkward or nervous walking in with a friend, versus if you were by yourself.

                                                                                Walking in to the gym with your squad like…

2.     Remember that everyone is in there for their own goals and have their own routines to follow.

I think a lot of times what we think people are saying or thinking about us is completely in our own heads. I guarantee that when you walk into that weight room everyone isn’t going to immediately stop what their doing and stare at you and start judging you. They have their own goals to accomplish and are in there for the same reasons you are. Even if they look super jacked or intimidating, just ignore it and know that they most likely aren’t looking at you…they’re looking at their muscles in the mirror.

3.      Once you put those headphones on and blast some music, you’ll get into a zone and forget you’re even in a weight room.

I have heard so many girls say how scared they are to step foot in the weight room, that they wouldn’t even know what to do in there, that they feel like they will get judged- and it upsets me because it shouldn’t be that way. Lifting weights is so beneficial, yet there’s so many girls neglecting it out of fear. Well it’s time to put those fears aside, turn at your music, and kick some butt in the weight room.

4.     Make it fun.

Don’t look at lifting weights as a daunting task. You run your own show and you can go at whatever weight and pace you need to. If you’re tired, then take a break and if your muscles hurt, then go down in weight, That’s the beauty of lifting weights, you get to call the shots in your own success. It’s all a mind game and most of the time those fears come from within you. Push past those and make it fun! Play some good music and joke around with your gym buddy in between sets if it makes you feel better. This is your workout and your time in the gym, so make it your own.

5.     It’s not a sprint it’s a marathon.

Just because you lift weights for a week does not mean that you will all of a sudden be ripped and beach-bod ready. It takes time but when you do finally start to see results the feeling is amazing. Seeing your body transform in ways you never thought it could is truly the best feeling. Often times women have a misconception that if they lift weights, they’re going to bulk up and look like men. WRONG! That couldn’t be further from the truth. Women physically don’t have enough testosterone in their bodies to bulk up like men do. So, unless you’re taking steroids, that won’t be happening. The only thing you’ll be seeing is a leaner body and increased confidence.

Lifting weights has truly changed my outlook on myself and on life. I have become way more confident in myself and my own abilities. I’m not saying that you can’t be confident without it, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. Getting in that weight room every day and lifting (just like the guys can) is so empowering. You feel like you can conquer the world. I love feeling strong and feeling like I can accomplish anything on my own. My relationship with how I view food and exercise has completely changed for the better and I don’t feel like my workouts are a daunting task anymore. If I’m having a bad day I get myself to the gym ASAP because it always makes it better. Even if I’m tired and feel like lifting weights is the last thing I want to do, if I just fight past that, I feel so much better. The positive endorphins that get released from those workouts can seriously change your entire day around. I’m not going to lie, it definitely won’t be easy in the beginning and the intimidation of the weight room won’t go away on your first try, but if you stick with it I promise it will get so much better. With a healthy diet combined with weight lifting you’ll be unstoppable!

So here’s your takeaway:

1.     Get your butt in the weight room because only doing cardio won’t cut it

2.     Don’t let the boys in there intimidate you…you are just as strong and worthy of being in there as they are

3.     Eat all the healthy foods and lift all the heavy things

4.     Own your strength and know that you won’t bulk up the way men do. Don’t not lift weights because of misconceptions or because you are afraid that people will think its too manly. I don’t think having a killer body and being confident in yourself is manly…how about you?

5.     You are stronger than you think! 

 

Photo credit: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5