I read basically every women’s magazine that exists in print today, so you can imagine that I’ve absorbed plenty of articles that mention the benefits of weight training. Does this mean that I followed the advice offered in these pieces? Definitely not. But I read it. I don’t know why I never gave weight training a try, despite knowing about all of its benefits. I guess it reminded me of high school gym class, when we were forced to hit the weight room and all the boys were benching as much as they could as I tried not to get sweaty so I didn’t have to stink for the next six periods (gross, right? Why didn’t they make us shower!?). My aversion to weight training could also be because the gym I went to near my old apartment was full of meatheads. Had I headed over to the weights, I would have been working with approximately 1/32 of the weight these guys were using, and would have felt prettyyyy stupid. Don’t get me wrong, I love meatheads. Some of my friends are meatheads. But I don’t really want to be trying to bench next to them, struggling to keep a 20-pound bar from falling on my face as they’re benching 250.
But when Chris came to town last week, he and I went to the small gym at my apartment together. I don’t have a gym membership yet here, and we were both in the mood to work out, so it seemed like the best option. After pedaling for half an hour on a fairly decrepit bike, I was getting antsy. That’s when Chris suggested that I try to lift. I wasn’t interested, but he kept insisting I would like it, so I gave it a shot. Miraculously enough, turns out weight lifting is actually kind of fun. I’m not talking moaning and grunting as you try to bench 200 pounds, I’m talking doing chest press, lateral pull downs, and other machines at a weight that’s challenging but still manageable. It’ll leave you sore the next day, but it’s a lot less monotonous than slaving away on the treadmill. Also, as you probably know, it helps your body to burn calories once you’re done working out, thus allowing you to get in shape faster.
If you’re like me and are a little shy about your lifting (in)abilities, see if your apartment has a gym. Chances are that the facilities are smaller, and probably less populated than a huge gym in your area. If you’ve got less of an audience, you’ll feel less intimidated about getting started with weight training. I know that being among only a handful of people in the gym helped me to stop focusing on the fact that I have no upper body strength, and allowed me to get some good weight training in.
Do you weight train? How did you get started?