You may recall from a previous post that I have decided to get back into the gym. My main goal is to gain back some energy but there are so many more perks than just that. Once a month I’ll be bringing you a little update on how I’m doing at the gym as well as giving you some tips, tricks and advice from my experiences at the gym.
This month it’s all about the dreaded weights. I’ve worked in a few fitness facilities over the years and have picked up a lot of great info from personal trainers. One of the facilities was a women’s only gym where training for all staff included a broad range of topics related to women’s fitness. This was more than 10 years ago but some of the points that stuck with me the most were all about the weight circuit equipment.
Ladies, say it with me:
I Will Not Be Afraid of the Weight Circuit Machines
A lot of women have a number of excuses as to why they won’t use these machines.
- “I don’t want to bulk up and be one of those muscle competition women.”
- “I don’t understand how they work.”
- “I don’t want to look like a weakling with the tiny amount of weights I lift.”
- “All of the men around me are intimidating.”
- “I don’t know which machines to use and it takes too long.”
Well I’m here to debunk all of these excuses.
1. “I don’t want to bulk up and be one of those muscle competition women.”
Do you know how much time and energy goes into looking like that? I bet it’s a heck of a lot more than the 45 minutes you’re spending at the gym two or three days a week. These women could also bench-press you. They are dedicated to honing their craft. You, my darling, are just dedicated to toning your post-baby belly and that arm-wing you’re rockin’. There is no shame in either of these things but if you want to tone them, running on a treadmill isn’t going to help. You are going to have to use some weights. Repeat it with me now: I Will Not Be Afraid of the Weight Circuit Machines.
2. “I don’t understand how they work.”
Weight circuit machines are not as difficult to use as they might appear at first. I’m a member at GoodLife Fitness and their machines are so easy to understand. Each machine shows you exactly how to position yourself on the machine and how to adjust it accordingly. If you still can’t figure it out, ask someone! GoodLife has Ambassadors for this exact purpose – they will even give you a tour of all the machines and show you how to use them. Don’t be a scaredy cat. Everyone working at your gym is there to help you get the best experience and to do things safely.
3. “I don’t want to look like a weakling with the tiny amount of weights I lift.”
Are you spending your time at the gym judging what the other women are doing? If you’re anything like me, you’re too busy huffing and puffing and sweating to pay attention to anyone else. So are most other women in the gym. They are not paying any sort of attention to how much weight you are lifting. So don’t worry yourself with what other people think. Adjust the weight so it’s comfortable for you and in the coming weeks you can work your way up! Because I’m just starting out at the gym, I usually lift the smallest amount of weight as you’ll see in the photo below. Just pull the pin out and put it wherever you want.
4. “All of the men around me are intimidating.”
If your gym has one, use the women’s only section. I prefer to use my weights in that area because I don’t want to be around a bunch of meatheads either. You will probably never lift as much weight as those guys and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. No women’s only section? Find a cute guy and get him to show you how to use the machine 😉
5. “I don’t know which machines to use and it takes too long.”
Each machine should clearly state which specific muscle or group of muscles that it targets. Basically, use any machine that works with your trouble areas and any area around it. Or stick with my philosophy: Use them all. Or at the very least, try them all once. You may find that some of the machines just aren’t for you or you may need to work your way up to them. You’ll see in the photo below that there is a yellow area showing exactly which muscle or muscle group the machine targets.
As for time? You do not need to be doing 50 reps on each machine. I do anywhere from 10-15 on each machine. That’s it. That will take you all of 2 minutes per machine, if that. In the photo above you can see that I did 10 reps and it took me 33 seconds! (I actually did 20 reps but took a break between sets). The main idea of the weight circuit is that it is quick and efficient. As you get used to how each of the machines work and how much weight you prefer on each, your time will speed up and it will just be another one of your routines at the gym. If you’re working out with your phone to listen to music, put a note on there with the details of each machine so you can refer to it next time you’re using the machines.
So ladies, get out there. Try that weight circuit on for size! I bet you will be impressed with the results. Just make sure you stretch all of your muscle groups before and after your workout. Your body will thank you the next day.
This post was written as part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own. Please note that I am not a personal trainer and if you have questions about proper use of equipment, please consult an employee of your local fitness facility.
Andrea can always be found with a new craft in front of her, a form of technology on her right and a coffee on her left. This is how she survives suburbia with her two crazy toddlers in tow.