Most of us start lifting for a couple of reasons, and one of them, sure, is to get fit and healthy. But if we're completely honest with ourselves, the other reason probably comes closer to our desire to look something like this:
The weight lifting community has skyrocketed over the past year or so, but with mostly positive '#gainz' posts, there are some things you might be left not knowing.
- Your clothes will start to not fit... But not in the way you wanted...
When I first started working out, like most people, I believed that squats were the key to a round, toned butt and that lifting in general would make me thinner.
Well, this is only partly true. Although my waists did get smaller, my thighs started growing like crazy, and my butt? Not all that much. This is because although squats WILL make your butt bigger, the exercise primarily uses your quads (otherwise known as your thighs), and so your legs in general are going to grow just as fast (if not faster!) than your butt. Whilst some girls want to work towards hench thighs, if it's the butt your after then make sure you're doing the right exercises to achieve your goals. Kickbacks and hip thrusts will probably be more effective for you.
- The calluses are real. Really real.
After weightlifting for a little while, you might notice that you start to get little tough patches of skin on the parts of your hand that grip the bar. Unfortunately, this is just something that goes hand in hand with weightlifting. Some people use gloves but others believe it's better to just embrace your body changing and adapting - just don't pick them off, they'll bleed and get sore!
- Your body will feel more exhausted than you knew was possible.
So you thought your body was knackered after going for that jog? Think again. Once you've pushed your body to its limits, it's going to hurt. And it hurts bad. It will also hurt for longer than cardio fatigue, so make sure you're eating lots of protein to help rebuild those muscles and minimise the pain.
However - a silver lining is that after you've been lifting for a while, the pain goes away for many people. You just have to get through the first month or so.
- Lifting is not attractive... Unless you're doing it wrong.
Unfortunately, there is simply no way to look cute whilst lifting the maximum amount of weight your body can manage. Your face might go red, you'll sweat, shake, pull odd facial expressions... But it's worth it for the sense of achievement afterwards. We promise.
- It's addictive... No, really.
If you're yet to start lifting you may be wondering how something that's painful and difficult can be addictive. Well, it is. Seeing your body change, adapt and get stronger is addictive, and you just want to keep pushing and pushing yourself to get better! The downside of this is the awful feeling when you fail a rep and have to decrease. But try not to feel too bad, it happens to everyone and is just part of the process!
What have I missed? Is there anything you wish you'd been told before you started weight lifting?