It’s 5:30am and the sun is just starting to peek above the horizon. Annie, my german shepherd, stands up, ears perked, ready to take on the day.
Me, well, I need coffee before taking on the day.
As I make my way to the kitchen, I step into the garage to turn on the lights, fans, and AC.
It is Arizona in June after all. I have clients coming soon and while I’m sure they would love the sauna feel of my garage in the summertime, I have a hunch, the cool air conditioning is more up their alley.
I love the smell of my gym.
I love the sound of the weights clanking against each other, the squat rack or the floor.
I love the sound of my music blaring. Country most often. Don’t judge.
But what I love most is hearing the slap of hands from a high five, the cheers of encouragement, and the laughter of all the women that grace this space.
This is how I see strength.
And it’s what gets me fired up.
Don’t get me wrong there are a ton of benefits to strength training, such as:
But I think those are boring. And so do you. Let’s face it. That’s not what “sells” you on strength training.
You want to hear the REAL benefits of strength training, am I right?
Good. Let’s go.
Benefit #1 - You look good naked.
Don’t look shocked. You know that’s what you want.
We’ve all been there. In front of our mirror with nothing but our birthday suit on.
Sucking it in.
All in the hopes to catch a glimmer of what it would be like if our arms were tighter, our butt firmer, and our abs flatter.
It’s ok. I did it too.
But to accomplish this, we need to lose body fat by creating an energy deficit. Basically we need to eat less than what our body burns off.
Those that have more muscle mass, burn more energy, even at rest because muscle uses a lot of energy to move your body, build and repair itself, and to maintain its fine looking self.
In summary, you will have a higher resting metabolism the more muscle you have.
Cardio doesn’t provide this benefit.
Your solution: Strength training.
Benefit #2 - It gets you toned.
I hate that word.
But what you really mean is you want muscle so your arms look like Linda Hamilton’s.
She’s my twin sister BTW.
Toning basically means building muscle. You don’t want your arms, butt, and thighs to jiggle when you move.
I get that.
The only way to tone those muscles of yours: Strength training.
Benefit #3 - It helps you feel better.
And by better, I mean confidence. Improved self esteem. Feeling like a badass.
Of course, you’ll also feel stronger, healthier, have more energy, and people will start saying this about you...
Want to be strong as hell?
Or at least feel better?
Your answer: Strength training.
As you can see, I’m a huge fan of strength training. But I hear a lot of, what I would call, myths related to strength training.
So let’s set the record straight about those here.
Myth #1 - I’ll get bulky.
This is always my reaction when I hear this.
And I totally understand and hear your concern. That used to be me too.
The ONLY WAY you will get bulky is if you do the following:
Eat a crap ton of food.
Take a butt load of performance enhancing drugs.
Do you plan on doing that?
Of course you don’t, so stop telling yourself that you’ll get bulky.
If you workout normally, strength training will actually make you leaner.
Read that again L-E-A-N-E-R.
You spelled that it your head didn’t you?
Myth #2 - I need to lose weight before I start lifting weights.
Nope. Nope. Nope.
The cardio zealots will say this is true but it’s not.
Go back and re-read Benefit #1.
Increased muscle burns more fat. The end.
You can lose weight with strength training. Granted it can be a little bit of a slower process versus dieting and cardio, but the downside to that is you will lose muscle doing those two things alone and skipping the strength training.
And since you want to “tone”, you need some form of strength training in your workout plan.
Myth #3 - I’ll hurt myself.
Well sure, if you do stupid stuff like this.
With ANY exercise program there is risk of injury, which is why I don’t recommend blindly following some free plan on the internet or purchasing some infomercial product.
Take the time to hire a coach and learn how to do the movements properly.
But strength training in and of itself will make you stronger and less prone to injuries.
So are you ready to get started?
I am a wife, mom, grandma & former professional “diet and exercise hopper" who understands the challenges of being 40lb overweight after having children & the damage repeated sense of failure can cause to your confidence and self-esteem.