Journey into Weights

Squats

Well friends, I’ve finally done it. I’ve started lifting heavy stuff and putting it back down. Weights is something I have always wanted to try out, but for some reason have shied away from. Any woman I’ve spoken to about weights is a total convert. A couple of months ago, I started seriously thinking about making the move, then I found out I got into London Marathon and thought this would be the perfect time to add a new dimension to my training.

I was grumbling a couple of weeks ago about how frustrated I’ve been with my running lately. When I get like this, I find it always helps to switch up the training a little bit. Now that I’ll be training for a marathon, knowing the amount of running I’ll have to do and how I may lose my mind doing just that, I figure weights are good for me for a number of reasons. First of all, it’ll break up the monotony of all that running, but most importantly, it’ll strengthen me in key areas (legs, glutes, lower back) where I have definitely struggled in the past.

So, I went to my friend ThruTheBlue (Melissa), a total weights don, to show me the ropes. I had a couple of sessions at her home gym where she devised a plan for me and showed me how to safely do all the exercises. I got such an adrenalin rush after the first session. There is a real satisfaction that comes from testing your strength.

But I couldn’t work out at Melissa’s home gym forever. I had to find me a gym and go it alone. Last week, I found a cheap and cheerful gym near me and signed up. I was crazy nervous about my first time. When I went to see the gym, the weights section was a total sausage fest – just big men and muscles dominating every bench. I wondered how I’d ever be able to slot in there. I was also apprehensive about silly little things. At her home gym, Melissa had set up the weights for me, changed them after each exercise and been there to guide me. What if I struggled to do all that myself? Basically, I didn’t want to look like an idiot who didn’t know what she was doing.

I had my first solo gym session on Monday of this week. I had my plan all programmed into my phone and nervously approached the weights section. I located the squat rack, set it up with the weight I needed and I was off. It was as if with that first set of squats, all the nerves just disappeared. No one was looking at me. I didn’t feel self conscious. Everyone is involved in their own work out.

Yesterday I squatted 52.5kg, dead-lifted 72.5kg and wanted to high five everyone around me (I resisted). I’m really enjoying seeing what my body can do and am so looking forward to how this will impact my running for the better. Melissa has also really helped me with my nutrition, an area I need massive assistance with, and I’m feeling great.

My approach to marathon training this time around is simply that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. This training period leading up to the marathon in April will be really interesting. I’ll definitely keep you all updated with how my move into weights affects it all.

Do you lift? What is your experience with it?

Comments
8 Responses to “Journey into Weights”
  1. Joy says:

    I love lifting! I started getting into it after watching my mum lose the battle with cancer, and realising just how fragile the body can be. But the thing is, the body has this amazing potential to be so incredibly strong and resilient when you let it! Why wouldn’t you give your body the chance to be as powerful as it wants to be, when you’re well enough to do so? So, I started pumping iron and I’ve never felt better. My posture is improved, I have more energy, my body fat percentage is lower, I not only have stronger muscles but stronger bones which is wonderful for the long term, and the biggest change is that my confidence levels have soared. Not to mention I look better, but for me that’s an aside. Good luck with your lifting journey!

  2. Oh, I love lifting too. Had a breakthrough with it about 18 months ago and now I skip along to my training sessions and cannot wait to beat my PB. I agree with Joy – you just feel so much better. Best training decision I ever made.

  3. QoB says:

    I <3 lifting. It's the first "fitness" thing I've done where it's easy to get into the habit of going to the gym, where I can really see how I'm progressing.

    Plus, biceps :)

    Looking forward to reading more about how you're getting on!

  4. Melissa says:

    So glad you enjoyed the sessions are are holding your own in the gym! My mantra for the first 6 weeks was “fake it til you make it!”

    Looking forward to seeing your progress!!

    x

  5. I’m a Crossfit gal so of course I love lifting! :)

  6. charlie says:

    I have become a teeny weeny obsessed with running recently and felt that I needed to mix things up so I have also braved it into the weights section – puling info of the web & talking to people!!! I LOVE IT!!! Time to get STRONG!

  7. Annie. says:

    I’ve come to love lifting, too, especially with the barbell: I do squats, and deadlifts, shoulder press (standing) as well as the benchpress, standing leg calf raise and shrugs…. I can’t do real pull-ups so far, but aproach them slowly, but surely with the help of a machine (I hate machine-assisted training though). I love to learn more exercises! Also, I like taking part in TRX and foamrolling classes.

    All of these serve as counterpart as much as improvement for my cycling training routine.

    It’s such a pity, there are not many women lifting (actually, I’m the only one in our not-too-small studio :( )! I’d love to have a training partner.

  8. Samantha says:

    I love weight training, and especially interesting is seeing how far I can push myself and what my body can achieve. More women should lift, definitely…