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A Doubters Guide to Weight Lifting

Timeless Fitness Tip

Common Weight Lifting Questions & Answers

Do I really have to lift a lot of weight?

Yes and no. You do have to lift enough weight to challenge your muscles, but shouldn't lift so much it causes you any real pain. You want to try to lift enough weight to exhaust the muscle you are working to the point of being unable to lift it one more time. This should occur in 12 to 16 repetitions. See also: Lift Weight to Lose Weight

Silver Dumbells for a Doubters Guide to Weight Lifting

Won't this make me huge?

No for women. Men, you will gain more in muscle size, but I've never heard a man complain about that. The reason is ladies, we don't have the testosterone levels necessary for developing huge muscles. What you will do; however, is build lean muscle mass and that will take up less space in your body than fat does. You will likely drop a size or two, even if you don't see too much of a weight loss on your scale.

Do I have to join a gym? I'm not comfortable doing that.

Strength Training No. If you are new at this, there are exercises you can do with no weights at all that use your body as resistance and will be very effective in building muscle mass. When you feel you are ready for weights, you can buy them and start adding more than just your body resistance. (You can even start with some soup cans, if you wish.) Just make sure you find proper instructions so you don't injure yourself. See Working out Without Weights

Why do I feel foolish and clumsy?

Well, "stop it!" Never feel foolish. The moves will seem odd at first. After all, if you've never done any weight training, the moves will feel alien to your body. This is perfectly normal and we all feel that way when we start. Just find a time when you can have complete privacy and try not to think about looking funny - focus on the muscle you are working.

Will the work-out make me sore?

Yes, most likely. Remember, "no pain, no gain". Especially when you just start a program. Make sure to stretch after you work out. This feels very good - you'll find you look forward to it. If you are real sore, an anti-inflammatory helps, like Tylenol or Ibuprofen. But don't let the soreness flatten you! It's good to keep moving a little to work out the kinks. Also, and this is very important - never do weight training two days in a row!

You can do seperate work-outs for upper and lower body two days in a row, but never work the same muscles two days in a row. Always give your muscles at least one day of rest between work-outs. You can do your aerobics or yoga on your non-weight lifting days. This will further help to work out any kinks as it warms the muscles and sends blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout them.

If you're real sore, go easy on the aerobics, but do move! If your soreness is real debilitating, you are trying to lift too much weight. Lighten up on your next work out. You shouldn't be so sore you can't function. That's not good for you and can be detrimental to your fitness goals.

What if I fall off the routine for a few weeks?

Don't sweat it. You didn't build that strength in a couple of weeks, you won't lose it in a couple weeks, either. Missing even a month won't spell disaster, but don't do it on purpose! The sooner you can get back on your program, the better.

How can I stay motivated?

Keep a diary of your work-outs. Write down the amount of weights you use, the number of reps you're able to do and when you add some more weight or another exercise. At the end of three months, take a good look in the mirror - that may be all the motivation you need! Also important is to pay attention to the way you feel. You should find that there were chores or challenges that were beyond you three or six months ago that you now do with minimal effort because your endurance has improved. Once you grow accustomed to the self-assurance that physical strength training brings, not working your muscles will feel un-natural and you won't have to worry about being motivated - you'll want to keep it up!

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See also: Health and Wellness Tools for printable charts you can use for your diary. We have a Walking Chart, and a Work Out Log among many other items you might find helpful.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.