Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amateur Alert: Lifting Heavy

So, I did it. I finally decided to try out heavy lifting.

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Since I moved home and met D (I'll go into THAT more a little later...), I've adopted a completely new circle of friends, which I absolutely love. One of the first ladies I met was the lovely Eryn, who is a Jiu-Jitsu "Wife" girlfriend (also will go into that later...) like me, but also does bikini fitness competitions. She lifts heavy, I mean heavyyy. Eventually I bucked up enough courage to ask her about it and tell her I was interested. BAM... 3 weeks later we've made a habit of meeting at 5:30 am to get our lift on.

Now, I admit, I was one of those girls who initially thought lifting heavy weights will make me bulk. After constant research and studying for my own personal training certification, I've finally come to realize that lifting heavy is actually GREAT! In a two week span I've managed to up my weight for squats by 40 pounds (first week I was at 65 lbs, this week I am at 105 lbs!) and today I benched 85 pounds! To all you seasoned heavy lifters, that might not sound like a lot, but for me, it's huge! I am already starting to see a difference in definition and I'm anxious to see how far I can go with this.

With being an amateur heavy lifter, I've definitely noticed a few things to be mindful of when starting out fresh like me.

1. Listen to your body.
    After squatting that 105, my glutes and legs were shot. This was Monday, and I was supposed to run stairs that day as well. I couldn't bring myself to do it that night so I planned on completing them Tuesday. Didn't happen. I was so sore, it even hurt to sit on the toilet. I decided to rest them again and get them ready for Cardio Dance and stair running tonight. I'm so glad I did, for even though I worked out arms and chest today, my legs are still  mildly sore, but ready for tonight's routines.

2. Form is KEY.
    I've already posted about proper form (and will continue to post about it) but it is crucial when lifting heavy weights. Injury can happen in a split second if you are not careful and aware of your posture. There is a reason you have to pay attention, and it's because improper form is highly dangerous.

3. Don't let the weight amount f*ck with your mind.
   Excuse my French, but I'm serious. This whole post came to me today when I asked how much I was benching, and the regret that followed. Before I knew how much weight was on the bar, I powered through the reps. After I knew the amount, it totally messed with my mind, and the "I can't"s started pouring out. Thankfully Eryn is a BAMF and made me push through it. If you are the same way, it's better to wait until after you're done with the circuit before you ask your trainer.

4. Make sure you consume enough.
    Protein, nutrients, minerals, etc are all absolutely essential to maintaining the capability of lifting heavy. You have to feed your body with the proper materials if you want maximum results. Don't expect to be lifting heavy weights with little to no nutrition. A girl's gotta EAT!

5. Don't cut out other varieties of exercises.
    What I mean by this is, I'm not going to stop yoga or spin or running just because I'm lifting heavy. Granted, I don't do cardio nearly as much, for I am burning more calories with the heavy lifting, but it makes my heart happy to get my heart rate up with a fun activity.

I am no expert by any means on heavy lifting, I'm just in the beginning phase of my personal journey. These are just a few things I've noticed in the past few weeks of starting out. I will definitely touch back with this and post progress photos in due time.

Until then...

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