Here is the 2nd part and final five points of what women need to know about weight training…

5. Some fitness centers offer weight-training classes

If you are wary of navigating a weight room by yourself..

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Go check out some classes first

You can be an anonymous face in a group of other first-timers, and you can arrive early or stay later to ask specific questions from the instructor.

Hire a personal trainer

Another good option is to hire a personal trainer to help you learn the ropes. A personal trainer will be able to help you form healthy and realistic goals, then they will build your workouts for you and lead you through the exercise so you can practice safe techniques.

If you have specific questions, you can ask them without fear of being ridiculed.

6. Practice good form

It really doesn’t matter how many repetitions you can complete if you’re doing them all wrong.

More than likely, bad form leads to injury which leads to bad form. A seemingly minor injury can snowball into a chronic or long-term problem quicker than you think. Start practicing safe weight-lifting techniques from the beginning and you will be much better off.

7. Set attainable goals and carry a workout log

Any time you hit the gym, have a notebook with you. The first page should be your goals; short-term goals can be completed in 1-6 months and long-term goalscan be completed in 6 months or longer.

State a goal: you should always do this, even if it’s “to maintain” a current ability.

Write down every workout you do: this is to ensure that all of your workouts lead back to your goal.

Adding a section for notes: very helpful as thoughts pop in and out of your head during workouts. Jot down if you liked an exercise, if you created a new goal, or if you just had something to keep in mind for the next workout.

An example workout log could look like this:

Goal: to maintain body fat percentage between 20-22%

Exercise: Bench Press

# sets: 5

Reps / Weight (lbs): 8/110,8/100,8/95,10/85,10/75

Notes: Shoulder pinched at 110lbs

8. Practice active recovery and soft-tissue work

weight training for women_2You will probably notice that you become sore the day after a workout.

Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs as your muscle tissue builds up lactic acid during a workout, inflaming the muscle fibers and causing sore muscles a few hours post-workout.

Foam-rolling to reduce effects of DOMS

To help reduce soreness and stiffness associated with DOMS, get into the habit of practicing soft-tissue work by stretching and foam-rolling after your workout.

The peak time to foam-roll your muscles is 2-3 hours after you work out to eliminate the most lactic acid from your muscle tissue. The next day when you feel sore from DOMS, practice active recovery and get moving to help the body filter the lactic acid out of your muscles.

Active recovery can be as simple as taking a walk or as intense as a hearty yoga session.

9. Don’t obsess over the scale

Muscle is extremely dense tissue, and as such, it weighs more than fat.

A healthy musculature might weigh more, but it is also more aesthetically pleasing, in my opinion! Don’t weigh yourself every day out of an obsession over the number on the scale – in fact – just throw your scale out.

Mental stress releases a hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases body fat.

The stressful mentality that is created by constantly checking on weight is counter-intuitive to working out, is it not? Stop looking at yourself as a number.

Your worth is not defined by what you weigh.

Instead of checking your weight, go take a walk. Talk to a good friend. Get out of the house and out of your own head.

10. Have fun with it

You will be more likely to continue a routine that you genuinely enjoy, so have fun with your weight-lifting!

Take a friend, try out some new classes, or create a challenging goal to strive for through exercise.

It’s perfectly okay to like a certain exercise more than another. If you love squats, but hate lunges, then do more squats. No matter what you do, be safe, have fun, and enjoy yourself.

Connect with Expert Beverly Chester

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