It's true though right, no matter how much press there is and how many times people tell us, it can be really hard to get our head around the fact that we need to do resistance training.
Resistance training comes in many forms... it can be bodyweight such as squats and press-ups or it can involve some kind of equipment such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or TRX etc.
Most of us who are over 20 were still born in an era when the first thing we were told to do was go to a cardio based class. It was cardio, cardio, cardio.... I remember going to my first step aerobics class at 14. Cardio RULES! But it doesn't rule alone.... it needs it's PIC, resistance training, to stand by its side and give its inhabitants the gift of total fitness!
Here are my top 5 ways why people won't lift weights..... and how we can overcome them!
1. BELIEVING WE WILL TURN AROUND AND LOOK LIKE MUSCLE MARY
Wowzers! What a physique! But understandably this is not for everyone. The thing is, this is not obtainable by everyone. This physique was built over many years, with a very specific diet of super high protein, with INCREDIBLY intense gym workouts two or three times a day and 100% dedication to the lifestyle. YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE THIS COMING TO A RESISTANCE CLASS!! FACT!
Resistance classes are designed to help the average person gain a little muscle mass, enough to look more toned and athletic.... but not so much that they won't fit through the door on their way out.
Remember, muscle mass is transient.... if you don't work it, it doesn't hang around. This means that if you decide your shoulders have got too big.... then just back off on the training. Simples. I can guarantee that once you see a little more tone you will fall head over heels in love with it!
2. WE ARE SCARED OF INJURY
And SURE! This is totally understandable right? No-one wants to be injured. We all want to get
to work (well mostly anyway!) and we want to be able to go out and enjoy ourselves with our loved ones. BUT we stand a much higher chance of actually avoiding injury if we are strong, flexible and well balanced. There is no point being super flexible if your muscles do not have the strength to maintain the joint structure.... also fact. This is one reason why people can be much more prone to injury.... because their muscles and connective tissue are weak because they are never stimulated.
Injury comes to everyone at some time or another. Learning how to lift properly with great technique will minimise the risk of any injury occurring from your workout. As a PT I see a LOT of bad form in gyms.... this is because people would rather continue doing something incorrectly rather than ask for help. Fitpros LOVE to help, that is what we do. Attending a class like Body Tone where we focus a lot on technique before we move on to heavier lifts means that we get to nail down any niggles in form and performance of the exercise before we try to move on to quickly.
In addition, everyone who exercises should be seeing a sports masseuse or physio once a month/6 weeks to keep on top of their niggles. You wouldn't drive a car without any oil. Also fact.
3. WE DON'T UNDERSTAND THE BENEFITS
It's true, the media and the government have harped on for decades and decades about the benefits of cardio. We know that we need to do cardio to have healthy lungs and heart. But what about resistance training? Why do we do it?
Turns out resistance training does a lot more than we think. It contributes to our cardiovascular health, it increases our muscle mass which decreases risk of injury, increases overall strength, improves posture and body composition. It also increases our metabolism (muscle burns more calories to maintain than fat) and helps us to perform day to day activities better than ever before. Think of carrying the shopping, decorating, moving house, lifting the children etc. All of these things are easier when we are stronger.
4. WE DON'T SEE THE RESULTS SO WE QUIT
Ya. This can BURN when we don't see the changes as quick as we would like. The thing is, good things take time to build. And that is definitely true when it comes to muscle mass.
Muscle needs lots of things in able to grow.
It needs to be stimulated (via training) and we use something called progressive overload. This literally means that we cannot train the same and expect to change. We must give our body a challenge. We do this a little bit at a time so we are constantly getting stronger and lasting longer.
It also needs to be nourished. We have absolutely feck all chance of looking more toned and stronger, if we eat like a pigeon OR if we don't eat enough protein. Protein is the building blocks of your body. We use it for pretty much everything and so we need to eat enough to give our body what it needs. To start with think about consuming 1g per kilo of your bodyweight, if you exercise loads we might look at 1.4-1.8g per kilo.
So for example, I weight 67kg. That would mean that as an absolute minimum (as in not to look like a string bean) I would need to eat 67g of protein every single day. That's 2 medium sized chicken breasts and a couple of eggs. That's easy right? And then think of all the other stuff that has protein in it.... bread, nuts, dairy, lentils etc etc etc.
We also need to rest properly and get plenty of sleep. Our body gets to work on building our muscle while we kip and while we are resting.... if we don't do either, we won't see any magic happen!
Finally we need to avoid stress! Stress can play merry havoc with our muscle building attempts. So get that meditation DVD on and RELLLAAAAAXXXXXX.
5. WE DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START
And that is OK! I wouldn't know where to start if I was building a car, delivering a baby, educating children, performing surgery, tiling a wall. I would need help. NOONE is an expert at everything. Fitpros love to help - we love to give advice and we LOVE to start people off on their fitness journey.
Find someone who has your vibe and the kind of classes you fancy and start there. If you don't like it, guess what, you don't have to stay. You can find someone else! It's like shopping for a foundation. You rarely get the perfect foundation first try. And sometimes we change our brand of foundation after 6 years of using it because it no longer suits our needs. And that's OK! You can start using a foundation and switch to another brand and the foundation does not get the hump. It's just happy you are still using foundation. Real talk.
So there we have it - all the reason why you aren't training debunked. Now get Google up and find something that works for you! And if you live in the Feltham area, check out the rest of my classes - Rave Tone, HIIT, Body Tone and Booty Blast are ALL resistance classes!