Fitness

My Top 5 Favorite Benefits From Weightlifting

Welcome back to Living Purposefully, friends!

How is everyone’s week going?  I always find that I feel 1 of 2 ways when going back to work after a weekend (and especially after a holiday weekend): either refreshed and ready to get back to my schedule or wishing for more time to relax and take a breather.  Luckily, I’ve been feeling pretty optimistic this week and happy to be back with my kiddos and on top of my gym routine.  And it doesn’t hurt that it’s Thursday and almost the weekend 😉  As always, feel free to let me know in the comments how your week has been!

If you have followed me for longer than 2 seconds, you’ve probably noticed me post or talk about something weightlifting-related.  It’s no longer a habit and has become pretty second-nature to me, which I am so grateful for.  My love goes out to all those people just beginning to set healthy habits because it can be seriously hard sometimes to get in the habit of things!

Weightlifting has my heart and is something I see myself doing for as long as my body allows me to.  It has the ability to completely transform a person, not only physically, but mentally as well.  Today I want to share my personal fitness account and how it’s changed from when I was 16 and just beginning to work out on my own until now, at the ripe ‘ol age of 23 😉

I began exercising on my own after one volleyball season in high school had ended, admittedly because I was afraid of gaining weight (16 year old melodrama, clearly), and I just started slowly with cardio on the treadmill.  I worked my way up from running 10 minutes straight to 20 minutes up to 30 minutes straight.  After reaching the point to where I could run for 30 minutes (or around 3 miles) straight, I began to feel a bit restless and wanted the challenge of adding muscle finally.  Cardio is great for sooo many things, but if it’s muscle definition or strength you’re looking for, you have to look elsewhere to create the stimulation that growing muscles require.

I veered off from the treadmill and into more circuit-style and HITT (high intensity interval training) workouts and this entertained me for awhile and I definitely enjoyed the addition of anaerobic exercise into my life.

After I began finally adding some muscle with bodyweight exercises, I started seeing more and more about the benefits of weightlifting on social media, magazaines, tv shows, and basically any platform designed to reach people.  It was super intimidating to get started and I could talk for hours on why it took me so long to begin, but I talk a bit about that in a previous post.

Today I just want to share some of the greatest benefits that can be reaped through weightlifting and hopefully encourage some of y’all to get started and fall in love with it like I did.

Disclaimer: While I do have my Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Fitness, I am not certified in personal training, so please don’t feel like you have to take any of my advice to heart.

Benefit #1= Muscle Definition (Duh)

  • I know this seems like a common sense thing, but so many people mistake hours and hours of cardio as a way to gain definition.
  • Muscles need stimulation to grow, and you can only add so much stimulation through cardio (i.e. treadmills, bikes, bodyweight exercises, etc).  Adding extra weight through barbells, dumbbells, and machines is going to create the “damage” and stimulus needed to grow your muscles.
  • While I am preaching about the benefit of muscle definition, let me be clear when I say that you w i l l  n o t  b e c o m e  b u l k y  f r o m  l i f t i ng  w e i g h t s.  I wish I could drill this into everyone’s head because I know it is such a common misconception!  I was the same way until I actually did some research through scientific articles and personal experiences and found that this couldn’t be more false.
    • The average adult male’s testosterone’s levels have a range of 270-1070 ng/dl and an average adult woman’s testosterone’s levels will only hit a range of 15-70 ng/dl.  This means that without outside influences (aka taking steroids), a woman’s body is unable to reach anywhere near the levels of testosterone needed to get “bulky.” 
    • Unless you are consuming more calories than you burn daily (being in a caloric surplus), lifting weights is only going to burn fat and add muscle without adding muscle and fat, inhibiting the “bulky” look most women fear.

Benefit #2= Better Body Composition

  • When looking to begin a weight loss regimen, it’s important to remember what kind of weight you’re looking to lose.
  • Adding cardiovascular exercise is going to be beneficial for burning calories, especially if you have more than just a couple of pounds to lose, but cardiovascular exercise also burns quite a bit of muscle if gaining muscle/definition is your goal.
  • Weightlifting not only helps reduce the amount of fat you have, but it also adds on the muscle that people are looking for and helps prevent the “skinny fat” look.
    • When I was solely doing cardio for exercise, I was thin and didn’t look out of shape in clothes, but underneath my clothes I could tell that there wasn’t much muscle.  That’s what spurred my longing for a different form of exercise that would “shape” my body.  I feel like this is something a lot of people can relate to!
    • 89639093-40e2-4305-a6a2-57ad8d62ff19.png
      Left was summer of 2012 when I was solely doing cardio as my exercise.  Right was in February 2018 after lifting for around 5 years.
  • If you’ve ever done a body fat measurement, the best way to reduce this number is obviously going to be to decrease the amount of fat mass you have on you.  Instead of doing tons of cardiovascular exercise to try and lose this fat and risking the loss of precious muscle, your best bet is going to be to increase your muscle mass through weight training (and of course a good diet, which I’ll cover in another post!)

Benefit #3= Greater Daily Caloric Burn

  • If you’ve ever taken an exercise science-y class, you’ve probably heard of your BMR, or basal metabolic rate.  This is basically just how many calories your body burns by existing.  So metabolic processes, respiration, temperature regulation, and other vital functions all burn calories without you even expending any effort.  Here’s where the cool part is: muscle burns more calories than fat does, just by simply being there.  So when you increase the amount of muscle you put on through weightlifting, you are really burning more calories throughout the day, just by being alive! 
  • There are a few components to total daily energy expenditure (or TDEE): basal metabolic rate, the thermic effect of food, and physical activity.  Your basal metabolic rate makes up for the largest effect on TDEE (about 70%) and so your best bet at burning the most amount of calories without spending hours in the gym every day is going to be adding more muscle mass through weightlifting.  1ec7fe9c79b85469e92bfa603e6a06b1.png
  • When I was only doing cardio for my exercise and was “skinny fat,” I was only consuming around 1200 calories and still feeling like I needed to diet more.  Around 6 months after I began weightlifting in 2013, I began to notice that I could eat around 200-300 more calories each day without feeling bloated or like I was gaining weight.  Now I eat around 2000 calories to maintain my weight and around 1800 calories for when I am cutting weight.  This is an increase in 800 calories simply becauase my body needs more fuel (specifically more carbs and protein) to lift weights and build the muscle I want to build.

Benefit #4= Stress Reliever 

  • If you’re anything like me, sometimes the only thing you want to do after a rough day is grab a bottle of wine and go to town.  While I definitely do this every once in awhile after a rough day, my favorite way to de-stress nowadays is to hit the gym.
  • We’ve all seen the iconic Legally Blonde scene when Elle Woods says “Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people don’t kill their husbands.”  download                I’m sure you all can personally attest to this statement!  Whether it be cardio, weightlifting, or simply walking, endorphins are going to be released.
    • Endorphins aren’t the only feel-good chemical released during exercise; dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine are all released as well during any sort of physical activity.  
  • While I love and encourage any kind of exercise for endorphins and mood-enhancing, I personally find that lifting weights leaves me more relaxed and positive than any other kind of exercise.  Nothing feels more stress-relieving than lifting heavier than you did the last time or doing more reps than before and feeling the oh-so-good buuuurn in your muscles.
  • Another thing I love about weightlifting is that it leaves me more energized than before.  I still do cardio and enjoy reaping hearth-health benefits, but cardio always leaves me sleepier than I was before.  This is especially annoying if I’m working out in the morning because I don’t know about you guys, but dragging my feet at my job surrounded by kids is not fun.  When I lift in the mornings before work, I feel like I have the extra spring in my step that makes my days much better!
  • The next time you’re feeling extra stressed out about something, head to the gym and lift some heavy weights and I bet you will feel 100x better than you did before.

Benefit #5= Anti-Aging Benefits

  • While I am only 23 and clearly don’t have many, if any, signs of aging yet, I know that prevention is the best medicine.  There are numerous benefits on your body from weightlifting and science is only proving more and more each day!
  • Women lose bone mass each year after they reach a certain age and while there is no way to completely deter all bone mass losses, weightlifting is a certain way to continually strengthen bone mass.
    • Weightlifting is actually proven to increase bone density and there’s no better way to prevent weak bones and decrease chances for injury than strengthening our bones through the impact of weightlifting.
  • A common misconception is that weightlifting can damage our joints as we age.  This is actually completely false and the opposite is, in fact, true.
    • Strengthening our ligaments, joints, and the surrounding muscles helps decrease our chances for injuries during exercise and just activities of daily living.
    • The only way that weightlifting injures our joints is through incorrect form or too heavy of weight.
    • I honestly can say that my body has never felt like it moves better than when I started weightlifting.  Of course, soreness is a side effect of weightlifting, but after the soreness subsides and you begin to gain more muscle, I think you’ll too begin to notice that your body moves a bit more fluidly and feels less achy.
  • Any girl knows that the telltale sign of age is going to be wrinkly, paper-y skin.  Exercise has been proven to be beneficial to skin in the long haul for a plethora of reasons.
    • When we exercise, our blood flow is increased and this helps our skin get the oxygen it craves.   Oxygen is so vital to our skin cells and helps keep our skin fresher, younger, and bouncier than if we were to go without exercise.  
    • This increased blood flow also removes waste products from our skin cells. 
    • Studies have been done on women who exercise frequently compared to women who don’t and have found that those who do exercise frequently have thicker dermis layers in the skin.  Thicker dermis layers=plumper, more youthful skin! 
  • There are numerous examples of women (and men) bodybuilders over the age of 60 who look half their age that you could google for hours.  While not everyone is going to be (or wants to be) a bodybuilder, everyone can garner the anti-aging benefits through lifting just a couple (2-4x) per week.

 

Alllllright.  So obviously I could talk about this for hours and while it clearly pains me to be concise (hello, 2000 words), I think those benefits mentioned are probably my top reasons why I love to weightlift!  I seriously think that once you make weightlifting a habit, it’ll eventually become a hobby and you’ll begin to see yourself transform into a way happier, healthier person.

If you ever have any questions about getting started or just questions in general about weightlifting, feel free to text me, message me, or leave a comment and I would love to chat with you!  Everyone deserves to feel at their most confident at every age and I can personally attest to the great changes my body has felt since delving into weightlifting.

I also want to add that any exercise is going to incredibly beneficial for you in the long haul and I always encourage any sort of movement, even just walking!  Weightlifting just happens to be the exercise that keeps me wanting to go back for more.

xoxo Jordan

 

In the comments, let me know what your favorite kind of exercise is and why!  I would love to hear from you 🙂

Travel

Traveling on a Budget- Some of My Favorite Places I’ve Been & How to Reduce Costs

Hello, friends!

I wrote this blog post sitting in my bed on Monday instead of at work per usual because strep throat apparently doesn’t discriminate against adults!  (Seriously, who the heck gets strep throat despite having their tonsils taken out 15 years ago?!)  So while I was fairly immobilized and contagious, I wanted to type up this blog post JUST in time for Spring Break.

It’s no secret that I love to travel, but I’m also a fairly thrifty person who definitely tries to get the most bang for my buck.  Traveling has a way of refreshing us and revitalizing our souls, but it can also be pretty draining for our wallets, so I wanted to talk about some of my go-to tips and tricks for saving money while traveling.

Now, if you are the type of person that enjoys going all out for traveling and sparing no expense on the experience and have the means to do so, then do it!  I like to give myself a ballpark number for my budget because 1) I am on a preschool teacher’s paycheck and 2) I almost enjoy seeing how much I can save by cutting a few corners when prepping for/actually traveling.

So below I have gone through and compiled some of my absolute favorite tricks for saving enough money while on vacations, which makes it possible for me to take multiple trips per year!

Look Locally

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Behind a creek opening at the Steel Creek Campground.

How gorgeous is that turquoise water?!  This was on the Buffalo River in Arkansas and one of my favorite trips ever.  It was actually the first trip my boyfriend, Blake, and I took together!  I have incredibly fond memories of our first campfire-side conversations and trekking through winding roads together, unsure of what our next step was.  This was only about a 5 hour drive from where I live and it flew by!  The drive took us through the gorgeous scenery of southern Missouri and I still can’t believe how close this gem of a place was to us.

  • Cutting down on travel distance is going to help cut costs for obvious reasons.
    • Gas isn’t free and minimizing how far you have to drive (and eliminating the need for airfare) is going to save you a big chunk of money.
  • Go to OnlyInYourState.com to look for the best experiences locally.
    • This website is awesome because it can give you everything from festivals, food experiences, and attractions that you may be totally in the dark about.
  • TripAdvisor is the lifeblood of finding cheap, nearby activities for you.
    • You can search for activities within a certain radius of you and before you know it, you have a ton of options to research and reviews at your fingertips.

Prep the Bulk of Your Own Food

I seriously adore cooking and planning meals for those I love, so it is always a fun adventure for me to figure out what kind of meals I can prep/bring on my trips!  I tend to make sandwiches on whole wheat subs paired with some sort of fruit for lunches and I prep foil pack meals for our dinners, while Blake enjoys taking on breakfast.  When it’s just him and I on a trip, we both enjoy saving money by only eating at a restaurant once or twice the whole time and prepping the rest of it.

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Foil Pack Dinners for the Win!  This was in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas en route to New Orleans and Florida for a family trip.

If you are a big camper or will have access to a grill or campfire on your trip, foil pack dinners are going to be your new best friends.  Foil pack dinners are essentially the easiest thing anyone can ever cook, but they used to intimidate the heck out of me.  I always assumed they wouldn’t cook correctly, they would be messy, they wouldn’t be filling, etc.  But boyyy was I wrong.

  • Pinterest search “foil pack dinners” and you will be amazed.
    • Pinterest will completely inundate you with a million options for foil pack dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and even desserts if you go looking for one.  I haven’t found one recipe from there that let me down!
  • Customize your meals to your tastes.
    • On the above picture, I was cooking Italian Sausage and Potatoes for dinner.  I had marinated turkey sausage, shrimp, green beans, and red potatoes in Italian spices and olive oil and then just threw it in a square of foil, wrapped tightly, added another layer of foil, and then they kept in a Ziploc bag in the fridge until our actual trip.  This was a perfect meal that kept me full for hours!  I took the original recipe and switched it around a bit to suit my tastes more.  All you need is a protein, some veggies, and spices and you are set.
  • Prepping cold-cut sandwiches for lunch make the days so much easier when we’re in the middle of a big hike or prepping for some fun excursion.
    • To bulk up the sandwiches and increase their staying power, I make them on whole wheat 6-inch subs, add tons of deli meats for satiating protein, and save lettuce/tomato to add last so the bread doesn’t get soggy.
  • Stock up before. 
    • Buying protein-rich and portion-controlled road trip snacks before actually getting on the road helps me feel much more in control of my cravings and makes me less inclined to want to pull over for some drive-thru food.
    • Some of my favorite road trip snacks include: beef jerkey, protein bars (FitCrunch is my favorite brand), cutie oranges, grapes, protein chips, skinny kettle corn, cheese sticks, protein shakes, etc. 

Save for the Excursions You Actually Want to Do

It’s easy to save money when the only thing you do on your trip is hike, right?  And while some people would be completely content doing that, not everyone is going to want to.  Excursions can be pricey, but prioritizing the things you truly want to do and eliminating the activities you are so-so on will help you save tons of money.

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Kayaking in the Buffalo River.
  • Do your research when it comes to which company you want to go through.  Every company is going to promise you the best deal, the best package, the best experience, etc.  Going online and finding out which company will actually be the best deal and fit for you can save you hundreds on trips.
    • When Blake and I wanted to go kayaking in Arkansas, we knew that we were going to look for which company had kayak launches closest to our campsite, which company had the time slots we wanted, and which one was reasonably priced.
  • Put first the things you for sure want to accomplish on your trip and put last the things you could live without doing.
    • My dad and I recently went on a trip to the Rocky Mountains and when we talked about possibly going skiing, I thought about a couple things first.  I knew that I have been skiing before and I could live without doing it on this trip, there were sights that I have never seen before closer by, and skiing is uber expensive.  So instead of spending hundreds on something that I have done before and would only last a half day, my dad and I decided to drive almost the entire southern range of the Rocky Mountains and make new memories for us to share.
  • Cut corners where you need to.
    • If you know that there is something you absolutely have to do on your trip, cut corners with food and lodging and go all out with an experience that will leave you truly satisfied.

Find Cheaper Lodging

This may seem like a difficult thing to do, but hear me out.  How many people actually end up spending more on lodging during their trips than anything else?  When I’m staying with family or friends, sometimes I don’t have a choice where we stay but if it’s a more laid back trip and I have choices, I almost always choose the cheaper lodging options.

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Jurassic Park-esque Campground below enormous bluffs in Arkansas
  • If you can tolerate it, camping is going to be your cheapest option available.
    • The only cost that camping requires is normally a pay-per-night rate that can range from $10ish-$30ish per night, just depending what state park you are in.  Some state parks allow you to camp wherever you want along trails, you just may have to pay a flat fee once you get there.  The only other basic cost for camping that I can think of would be buying firewood if you don’t have access to fresh, dry wood.
  • Split the cost with friends, family, or a significant other.
    • If you don’t have a huge say in where you are staying, suggest splitting the cost among your group to reduce individual costs.
  • Airbnb.com
    • Airbnb is a relatively new-ish website that has the most amazing places available for stay at a relatively cheap price.  You just simply have to comply with the owner’s rules, but there are endless ways to customize your stay and look for exactly the perfect place.  You can even choose to just rent a room instead of an entire place to reduce costs even more!
  • Consider your resources.
    • If you know someone that lives close by where you are going and you are close enough to ask, you could essentially stay somewhere for free.
    • When I went to New Orleans this past summer, I reached out to a family friend who owns a bar on Decatur Street and has apartments to rent above his property and he let us stay there for free!  We had prime access to one of the most popular bars in New Orleans, some of the best restaurants in New Orleans, and everything was within walking distance.
    • As I mentioned, my dad and I recently went on a trip to Colorado and he has a close friend who owns a property in downtown Fort Collins, so we ended up staying there for free as well!
    • E027BAE1-C7A0-40D2-9AF7-C1767A175839
      We went snowshoeing on a frozen lake, which was only about an hour from where we were staying.  The lack of lodging costs easily outweighed the driving.

Utilize *Free* Activities

This is my favorite way to save money on trips.   There’s almost always some sort of free activities near you and there will almost always be an activity to satisfy every person on the trip!

  • Hiking
    • Bet you guys didn’t see this one coming 😉  Hiking is one of my favorite activities in the world.  It’s good for you physically, mentally, and it doesn’t cost anything at all.  You can look up hikes on Google near you and find ones that fit your level of physical fitness, the sights you will see, weather warnings, trail closings, and duration.  Hikes can easily fill a day if you want them to or be a quick warm up before moving on to another activity.
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      Mina Sauk Falls Trail at Taum Sauk State Park, MO
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      Lost Valley Trail in Ponca, Arkansas

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      Exploring the sand dunes at Grayton Beach State Park in Florida
  • Zoos
    • There are a number of  free (or incredibly close to free) zoos in each state and zoos are great for those with children or in the company of children.
  • Walking around downtown areas
    •  This is an incredibly underrated form of immersing yourself in a new area!  Touristy sights are great, but I personally enjoy traveling the most when I feel like I’m a part of the town I am in.  You get the sights, smells, and sounds all in one area for fairly low costs.
  • Museums
    •  History museums are one of my favorite pastimes and a great way to learn about local or global history, but there are other kinds of museums available based on your tastes.
  • Historical Sights
    •  Many historical sights and landmarks are pretty darn cheap, or even free!  Google historical landmarks around where you are or where you’re going to be and you can find anything of interest to you.

I think that about sums up today’s blog post!  Traveling on a budget is not for everyone, but it can most definitely be done by everyone.  I am not an expert on budgeting by any means but I’m always looking to learn more through my and other people’s experiences.  I hope you all got something out of this post and use some of these tips the next time you embark on a trip to save some $$$!

Be on the lookout for a recap of my next adventure next week: state parks in Texas and New Mexico!

 

xoxo Jordan

Fitness

A Woman’s Guide to Beginning Weightlifting

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Left is 4 years ago and about 6 months into “seriously” lifting. The right is 1 month ago and now I can’t imagine NOT lifting.

We all know the saying “Getting started is the hardest part.”

For most of us, I think we have been proved of this multiple times in our lives, whether it be with schoolwork, work tasks, housework, or other menial things.  (Menial, at least, in the grand scheme of life.)   But how many of you have actually put off something you know is healthy and you know could be life-changing because of some excuse: fear, laziness, lack of knowledge, etc.?

I was definitely in that group aforementioned before I began to lift weights.  I had seen it all over the Internet, magazines, TV, and social media about just how beneficial it was for your body and mind, but the thought of starting scared me.  I have always been blessed with a relatively fast metabolism, so I sort of figured, “Why fix what isn’t broken?”  I had these thoughts DESPITE knowing that I had very limited amounts of muscle, my body got tired constantly, and cardio was just plain getting old.

So I was at a standstill with my stubbornness about starting a new habit or staying stuck where I was, which I think a lot of people struggle with.  Luckily, I have a streak of competitiveness that doesn’t enjoy doing things half-way, so I began to research.  And research.  And research some more about what was the best way to do things, how to get started, should my diet change, how often should I lift, etc.  The same things I noticed recurring in every article I read are some of the same principles that I use to this day.

Soooooo all of that being said, I have compiled some of my biggest tips to those of you women (or men) who want to get started with weightlifting but have zero clue where to start!

Biggest Takeaways for Beginning Weightlifting

  • Simple is ALWAYS best.
    • The hardest movements that many people still struggle with are actually the basics.  Movements like squats and deadlifts are probably the most stimulus-producing movements there are and two of the hardest to get form down.  I personally believe that you should dive head first into the hardest part of a challenge so that the rest can be smooth sailing and you can focus on the more minor aspects of things.  Once you start to understand these movements mechanically, you can continue to progress with them instead of ignoring them or, even worse, doing them haphazardly and risking injury.
    • Don’t try to overload yourself with 20 different exercises the first time you get in the gym because, most likely, you’re going to feel entirely overwhelmed, your body is going to be stressing out from going 0-100 (real quick), and you’re going to be sore for a week.
    • Do pick out 1 or 2 compound movements to try and get a feeling for the movement and then move on to something slightly less fatiguing, like dumbbell movements or the machines.  (The more you progress and add muscle, the less you should be using machines as the bulk of your workouts, but for beginners, machines are completely fine to get assimilated.)
  • No one is actually looking at you in the gym.
    • This was probably my BIGGEST concern before weightlifting and was the absolute reason it took me so long to step foot in the weight room.  The male-dominated, hot, cramped weight room made me want to run the other way for fear of judgement.  I used to lift dumbbells and machines for about 6 months in the upstairs part of our gym before I actually ventured down to the weight room.  (Silly, I know.)
    • I always had this misconception that everyone in the weight room would know what they were doing with perfect form and heavy weights and boyyy was I wrong.  After I began to take classes in the actual science of lifting and talk to more experienced lifters, I quickly realized that most of the people in the weight room probably didn’t understand the foundations of weightlifting and were most likely not going to judge me for figuring my way out in there.
    • Now that I’ve been lifting for 4+ years, I have noticed how few people actually look around or worry about other people in the gym.  If someone is checking you out, it may actually be for something other than checking out your form. 😉 (This is actually how I snagged my loving boyfriend!)
  • Figure out what motivates YOU.
    • I’m sure every single person has seen an article that’s called “The Perfect Time to Work Out.”  Or “The Best Way to Get Used to Morning Work Outs.” Or “This is Why You Should Exercise at Night.” THEY’RE ALL USELESS.  Every single person in this world wants to work out in a way, most likely, different than the person next to them.  It’s just how we are programmed.
    • I am a huuuge morning person and I adore getting my post-workout endorphins going before heading to work for the day, so I favor early morning workouts (unless I choose to favor sleeping in instead.)  I also like knowing that I have at least one thing checked off on my to-do list before 7 am!  That being said, I used to lift in the evenings when I first started college because that was the time I had more free space and energy.  Everyone has a different preference for time and for what works for them.
    • If you are the type of person who needs external motivation, find it!  Some people want the motivation of an event coming up on their calendar, a certain size of clothing they want to fit into, or something as simple as working out with a partner.  I think most women that begin to navigate the weight room in college tend to urge a pal to go along with them- and it works!  If you enjoy going alone because you like the “Me Time,” create a new workout playlist that you are excited to listen to while lifting- this will work too!  Just figure out the “when” and block that time off so you have zero reasons to not go.
  • Use your resources.
    • YouTube and Instagram are probably going to become your best friends when you are first discovering how to lift properly.  YouTube is one of my favorites for checking form because there are SO many videos showing from each how angle how a movement is performed.  Instagram is fabulous for figuring out the type of physical goals you may be looking to attain, how to get a gist for basic programming, basic information, etc.
    • So many companies and people post information for free (my favorite no-sugar-coating page is RP Strength page on Instagram)-so use them!  We are in a time and age of having so much information accessible at our fingertips that it is crazy.
    • Have a friend or know of someone who knows more than you about how to get started?  Ask them!  I can guarantee they will not only be flattered, but will also be more than happy to help you.
  • Feel confident in what you are doing for your body.
    • My last and most important tip is to just BE CONFIDENT.  So many people have no idea the innumerable benefits you will get from weightlifting, but the biggest takeaway I have gotten is confidence.  I believe most people will eventually gain confidence as they begin to lift, but I’m encouraging you all to START with confidence. Know that what you are doing is one of the absolute best things anyone can do for their body physically and mentally.
    • Remember that results WILL come eventually.  We live in such a fast-paced, instant-gratification world that most people have trouble waiting for the results to come and begin to feel discouraged.  Go through your workouts and daily routines with the confidence that you will see results and enjoy the process while doing it.  Relish in the soreness, the pushing through your reps, and the changing up of your routine and you’ll find that more likely than not, weightlifting is going to start feeling less like a chore and more like a habit.

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      S/o to the greatest show on Planet Earth, The Office, for having a plethora of wonderful memes

Thank you SO much for reading & I really hope you feel at least slightly more encouraged to step foot in a weight room soon.

Have a great weekend, everyone!