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Welcome back babe! In our last blog, we talked about some of the amazing ways that our bodies can benefit from weight training, and the fact that anybody, of any age, can start their strength training journey, anytime! Now that we’ve raved about how amazing strength training is, we want to give you some practical tips on how to get started, no matter what your starting point is.
As humans living in a world with an abundance of information at our fingertips, every moment of every day, we are exposed to endless amounts of inspiration and motivation, and although we are so fortunate to be living in a time that provides us with so much knowledge and power, there are loads of issues that come with this too. The difficult thing is actually navigating our way through it all and finding the right sources to educate us, empower us and ultimately benefit us mentally, physically and emotionally, rather than potentially hinder us. We know first hand what it feels like to be at the start of a journey and feel totally overwhelmed by information, we have been in this position ourselves and we are approached daily by women who feel the same way. We understand that it can be totally daunting to see so many people, particularly in the health and fitness space, who seem to know exactly what they’re doing, especially if you don’t even know where to start.
If this is you, then we want to let you in on a little secret.
Everyone was a beginner once. If you feel like a “fish out of water” when you step foot in a gym, we promise you that this is a really common and normal experience that a lot of people share in. We all have to start somewhere!
In fact, we still remember our first gym session so well. We were 16 and 17 years old when we first stepped foot in the weights room of a huge commercial gym. Like you, we were interested in trying this “new” way of exercising that we’d heard was so effective (plus we really didn’t like running!). When we walked through the door, we felt all eyes turn to us (which probably didn’t even happen, but that’s what it felt like), in a room full of big, sweaty, grunting men, and heavy machines and barbells. It was as if they knew that we had no idea what we were doing and we felt so self conscious. The whole thing was too overwhelming to deal with, and we turned around and walked straight out. Luckily for us, Felicia’s boyfriend at the time Sebastian Oreb (now hubby), was just a phone call away, and we insisted that he trained with us for our next session so he could show us the ropes. Our second workout was a lot more successful than our first (we actually stayed long enough to finish the session!) and although we still weren’t super confident, we were proud of ourselves for sticking it out, and gradually became more and more comfortable as the sessions went on. Fast forward all this time, the three of us are now professional strength coaches, with our very own gyms to not only train ourselves in, but so many other amazing humans. So we can officially confirm that we are so happy that we didn’t throw in the towel after that first session!
We hope our story inspires you to take that first step and get started, because who knows the impact it will have on your life, you may end up loving it as much as we did. Just remember babe, it’s totally normal to feel nervous or overwhelmed when you are first starting out, we felt the same way too!
If you are just starting out or if you need some help navigating the weights room, we have included some of our top tips on how to get started below:
LEARN THE BASICS FIRST



For all of the babes we train, this will mean starting off with bodyweight exercises. Our two favourite movements to introduce our first-time lifters to, are a bodyweight squat and the kettlebell deadlift. If you have a kettlebell at home then you can practice these exercises from the comfort of your own living room! From here, we will progress to a goblet squat and then gradually add weight to that movement and the kettlebell deadlift. Our goal is to develop coordination and strength before we add in a barbell, so we will generally try to work up to 20kg for each exercise, since that is the weight of a standard barbell in most gyms. You might not get to 20kg in your first few weeks, but that’s ok!

For the upper body, we like to start our babes off learning the basic push/pull patterns. This means some rowing movements or pull-down exercises (similar to a chin-up, but using a machine so you can choose how hard the exercise is) which are our pull exercises, and a dumbbell bench press, pushup, or dumbbell shoulder press for our pushing exercises.

LEARN THE CORRECT TECHNIQUES



It’s so important that we learn the correct technique first, before we add any weight or rush straight into lifting heavy weights. Strengthening our bodies is all about improving gradually over time, and this means that it doesn’t matter how strong we are when we start! You will set yourself up for success by starting slowly and learning how to perform the exercises properly. This will reduce your chances of injury, and help you get the best results possible. Remember babes, we want quality, not quantity! Check out our insta IGTV @basebodybabes or our previous blog posts here to see us demonstrate and simply explain how to perform some of our favourite exercises.

STRENGTHEN YOUR WHOLE BODY WITH A BALANCED APPROACH



It might seem weird to think about strengthening our upper bodies, but we get the best results from weight training when we take a symmetrical approach and strengthen our entire body, instead of putting all of our focus on one area. A lot of women love lower body training because we are naturally good at it and it burns a lot of calories (which makes it a great choice for bootcamps or circuit training), but we encourage all of our babes to train their upper bodies too because it is great for our posture, overall body strength, and makes our joints strong and healthy. Remember babes, always keep it balanced!

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS



We recommend keeping a note of everything you do in each session, including tracking the amount of weight being lifted, as well as the amount of repetitions and sets being performed. This will give you more direction for your next session so you know exactly what you need to do next, plus it’s a great way to see how much you improve over time!

AIM FOR A SMALL PROGRESSION EACH WEEK



It’s amazing to see and feel our bodies changing and improving each week, but remember babes – making small improvements each week is the best way to get results in the long run. While it’s true that we need to challenge our bodies in order to get results, it’s just as important for us to pace ourselves and try not to go from 0 to 100 too quickly, because that can lead to burnout, plateaus, or even injury. If you’re tracking your training each session, it makes it easier to make sure that you add just a little bit more from week to week – whether it be an extra kilogram here and there, a few more reps, or an extra set. These improvements will add up over time, and it won’t be long before you are overtaking all of your goals!

ASK FOR HELP!



While it’s true that you can get so far training and learning by yourself (the internet has opened up so many opportunities to learn!), sometimes it’s just easier, faster and safer to ask an expert. Knowledge is power! Of course, we are ALWAYS happy to help you babes, but it doesn’t have to be from us! Find yourself a coach who understands women’s bodies and strength training, and always prioritises your health and wellbeing above anything else.

We hope these simple and easily applicable tips have given you the confidence you need to ignore any nerves or reservations you may have and just get on the gym floor to start your weight training journey.

Sending you all so much love and strength,

 

Felicia & Diana xx
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