What are some tips you wished you knew before starting to lift?

No, this is not quite my body right now, but It’s amazing and thought I’d share it

Thank you so much for asking this one! I have a lot to say on this subject, and would like to use it as leverage to inspire others to beginning their own lifting journey as well. Here are some of my tips from over 18 years of strength training (with a little bit spent preparing for body building shows too).

6 things I wish I knew before I started lifting

  1. I wish I had done this sooner. Unfortunately, there is a stigma for women in the pursuit of weight training. We are often left to fear the weights area, mainly because we do not know how to use the equipment. Cardio seems like the easiest option. Boy, do I wish I had started a lot earlier than I did! I know how all these women feel – although I feel that it’s men who experience this too! As with anything, it takes time to learn and develop. A lot of us believe it’s just too hard, but it is anything but hard! Once you get to know the basics of weight training, you are well on your way to developing superior knowledge as you move ahead. Hire a personal trainer if you need to, just get in there and just do it!
  2. I wish I didn’t let muscle bound jerks intimidate me. There is nothing worse than people throwing their beef around, especially when it comes to women. I’d have them stare, steal my equipment, or even bully me into sacrificing my set so they can use the machine I was on. Well, let me tell you now, this does not happen anymore (as I’m quite scary to interrupt lol). Stand your ground ladies and gentleman, and DO NOT allow yourself to be bullied by anyone in the gym. Common courtesy and politeness never goes astray, but if you get those beef heads throwing their weight around, don’t for one minute let it stop you from getting your work done in the gym. They can wait, pick another machine, or just disappear.
  3. You won’t eve get bigger, you’ll just get an awesome shape when lifting. This is a big one for the ladies. I’ve been asked several times how to tone triceps, but without size. Well, it can be done, but honestly, you will get a bit of muscle and shape. It’s only natural – and that looks amazing when you wear t-shirts, singlets or a dress. Come on ladies, don’t hate muscles. They will give you a beautiful athletic appearance, as well as help you look even more amazing in clothes. Think of the confidence when you get to the beach. Embrace the shape change, and encourage the pursuit of better health, body composition, stronger bones and getting leaner without even trying! Muscle is a big calorie burner – why wouldn’t you want some of that?
  4. That cardio is the biggest energy drainer, as well as ineffective in getting as lean as you want. I have said this many, many times. The pursuit of getting lean and shapely does not begin, nor end with cardio. Weights is key, and diet is king of all results. Get these two aspects right, and you are well on your way to achieving leanness, without having to spend endless hours on the treadmill. I would like to save you the endless hours I’ve spent trying to get lean this way, as well as thinking that perhaps I could out train a bad diet – it doesn’t happen (especially when you are my age!) Do things correctly, and don’t bother exerting yourself for a goal that wont be attained.
  5. Diet is the king of all weight training results. As I stated above, I thought perhaps I was genetically different to the population.. but of course, we are all built in a similar way, and nothing hurts or hinders your results as much as an ineffective diet. Do yourself a favour and follow the basics of carbs, fat and protein, and there are several pieces of literature that can help you work it out. It does take a bit of experimentation, but that’s needed in order to discover what’s right for your body. Be patient and keep trying until you achieve your goals.
  6. Don’t deny those rest days. I wish I had done this a lot sooner! Rest days are as essential as training days. You need to allocate time for your body to rest, recuperate and grow. There is no denying this factor, and you will never achieve the results you want if you constantly push your body, without proper rest. The worst that will happen is overtraining, and losing (if not ever gaining) muscle. It’s a complete waste of time, and completely frustrating. I have been through this for many years. Now, at age 41, I allocate 2 rest days when I’m working, and on holidays, I’ll probably only have 1. If you are under stress or very sleep deprived, then take another day to rest. This will not hinder your results, in fact, it will increase them – and your desire to get to the gym will become magnified. That means, more effort and better results. Trust me on this one.

I hope these have helped you somewhat, and that you save the time and the pain I caused my own self, by not putting these into practice earlier. Please do contact me on these various platforms if you need further assistance. I have plenty of other material on my blog or join me on facebook and instagram account. Please feel free to upvote this answer.


Leave a Reply