It’s 2022 and we need more women in the weight room. It can be intimidating to take up space in a place that is typically so male-dominated, but doing so may just open you up to your new obsession. After two years of weightlifting, my days now are not complete without it. Whatever level of fitness you’re at, here’s how to get into weightlifting and how to fall in love with it:
- Look good, feel good
Never underestimate the power of a good fit, even at the gym. When I first started working out, a lot of my gym anxiety stemmed from my self-consciousness and insecurities, but when I felt confident in how I looked, I was better able to push myself and focus on what I was doing instead of worrying about my appearance. Little things like this can get you motivated to go to the gym and help you feel more comfortable while you’re there.
- worry about you and you only
Everyone at the gym is at a different level, and while some people may be lifting lighter than you, it’s easy to feel discouraged when looking at those who are lifting twice as much. It’s definitely a learning process, but it’s important to remind yourself that you only have a responsibility to your own fitness. Everybody else is doing their own thing and is too wrapped up in thinking about themselves, so be your own inspiration and try your best not to compare. Remember, we all start somewhere.
- don’t be afraid of the weight
As you get more into your training, keep progressively overloading and work your way up to your lifting goals. A lot of women think that weightlifting will make them bulky and instead focus on cardio, which is marketed as the key to fat and weight loss, but lifting heavy is crucial for boosting metabolism and burning calories even when you’re not actively exercising. Regardless of your end goals, weightlifting will help you get there.
- take a friend with you
Working out with someone is great for motivation and accountability. It’s all too easy to think of excuses when you’re by yourself, but when another person is counting on you, it may give you that extra push to make it to the gym. Plus, it’s fun to share your fitness journey with a bestie and have someone to keep you company in between sets.
- trust the process
Do your compound movements, eat your greens and drink your water and I promise the results will come. The hardest thing about weightlifting is discipline, especially when your hard work doesn’t seem to be paying off. You may not notice a difference in your body till months after you start lifting, but that’s okay. Exercise because it feels good, not only to look a certain way. When you’re patient with yourself and work out mindfully, everything else will fall into place.
Weightlifting, like most things, is a marathon and not a sprint. When I don’t feel like going to the gym, I like to remind myself that it’s a privilege to be able to exercise and move my body and that it’s something I’m so lucky to be able to do. Regardless of how much experience you have, you belong and deserve to be in the gym, so fill up your emotional support water bottle and get out there. And who knows, maybe you can bench more than the boys.