I started my fitness journey a little over two months ago and there are two things I’ve learnt that I want to pass on to help you get strong – physically and especially mentally.
Let me preface this by saying if you’ve never set foot in a gym before, ask someone you know what gym they use (I can guarantee at least one person you know uses a gym) and see if you can go with them next time they go. Just get a tour of the gym so that you feel more comfortable walking in there alone next time.
My biggest tip is use YouTube! One of the hardest things about beginning weight training is working out what exercises to do. I’m certainly no personal trainer so I had absolutely no idea where to start and that’s very daunting, some people may use it as a good reason to not exercise at all. You’re all stars so I know that isn’t you. I literally googled ‘workouts for women” and I was blessed with YouTube videos of the incredible Whitney Simmons who without a doubt inspired me to work out and change my lifestyle (I’ll forgive you if you stop reading this but only if you go check out her videos right this instant!). I used a lot of Whitney’s videos as a guide because she shows you her entire workout in detail: what sets, how many reps etc. Below are a few of the workouts I used when I first started weight training because I felt I could do these exercises without getting too confused about form and if I was doing it correctly or not.
- Back and biceps (I didn’t do all of these exercises, just the ones I felt comfortable doing. I incorporated some different machines which I had already used as well): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vDpUZBZcRA&t=54s
- Just back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0fPGhTsZLg
- Chest and arms (this was a huge winner by the way. I still do this one two months in): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKQRWotZfm0&t=274s
- Shoulder boulders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP7gtBTCfuU
- Abbbbbbs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx7Miw7C2yQ&t=74s
I started watching more videos and swapping sets around to replace ones that I didn’t feel I could do correctly at the time.
My next tip: don’t be afraid to START SMALL! I know it’s really motivating to see all these women on social media and YouTube lifting heavy weights but let me assure you they would have started off with light weights because that’s how everyone starts. Some of the women you see on social media have been doing this for years. You will injure yourself if you try to start with heavy weights. If you have to start with 2kg weights, that’s fine! The first time I worked out my shoulders I used 2kg weights! Yep, 2kgs! And let me tell you my friend, my shoulders were on FIRE! Now, I use 4kg (small progress but progress nonetheless which I’m super proud of). Small and controlled movements are so much more impactful than trying to lift heavy and having poor form. I can already hear you saying ‘but what if people laugh at me for doing light weights?’. You hear this all the time, and one day you will believe, no one is paying attention to what you’re lifting or doing. They’re all doing their own thing. And even if they are, imagine how impressed they’ll be when you continue to increase your weights (slowly!).
So remember, start small and you’ll see progress and find your workouts on YouTube and take that with you to the gym.
Keep shining! And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so we can get fit together. You can also follow me on Instagram: natalieparry_