Fitness spotlight: Lift heavier weights

It seems like all I read recently in the world of fitness is about how women should be lifting heavier weights. I’ll admit that I’m usually a 5-12 pound lifter (and I avoid the barbell) but with this extra motivation I’m finding myself picking up heavier weights, using new equipment and making it through my workout! Here are some tips to consider before upping your weight game.

Practice proper form – if you can’t keep correct form while performing an exercise with a heavier weight, bring it back down until you’ve mastered up the move and built up that muscle. I usually aim to do 8-10 reps of an exercise; the final rep should nearly exhaust your muscle.

Go at your own pace – it’s great to workout with a friend or significant other but it can also breed competition and while that isn’t always a bad thing, it’s important to know your body’s limits. In terms of weight lifting, you should do what you feel confident with, not what your workout partner is doing. Start slow and as you become stronger, gradually add pounds.

Be confident – a weight room can be intimidating but if you’re going to go big you have to own it. Exploring the weight room before starting a workout can really help. I also recommend asking an expert if you have questions about how to perform a move or add new equipment to your routine. You should know what equipment is available and the proper way to use it to maximize your workout and avoid injury.

Take a break – it might seem like common sense, and I’m sure your sore muscles will remind you, but it’s vital to plan rest days. Allowing your muscles to recover is crucial for strength building. On an off day, take a walk or enjoy a yoga class. I also highly recommend using a foam roller regularly.

weightsHere are two of my favorite workouts that inspire me to lift heavy –
Tone It Up’s Love Your Body with Kettlebells
Women’s Health Magazine “Burn-out” Sets

And don’t worry, from what I’ve read women just don’t have the testosterone levels to make us bulk up the way men do. So you can lift heavy and still be sexy. Lift on, ladies.

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