I was so excited to be interviewed my Metro recently for an article on the importance of weight training for women: Weight training should be an essential part of your workout routine.
Journalist Natalie Morris asked me to share my fitness journey, how I got into weightlifting, what I love about it, what it adds to my life and why more people, particularly women, should give it a try.
It’s a fantastic article – full of quotes from me! – and some expert tips from others. Hopefully it will inspire more people to pick up a barbell and feel the benefits for themselves.
If you’re still feeling hesitant, maybe intimidated or scared about weights, and unsure how to start improving your strength, then have a read and let me know what you think.
Here’s an extract – my top tips on why you should start weightlifting
There is no better feeling than doing something you previously couldn’t or imagined you could do. It will send your confidence soaring.
Coming from zero strength means I’m super proud of my body and my journey – it still amazes me today that I can do these things. I never forget where I started.
Progress sometimes feels slow and gradual but there are many small wins and milestones along the way.
A huge mental shift in how I view my body
When my fitness journey became about what my body can do, not what it looked like, it became more than just a workout. My mental attitude towards my body is so much healthier now.
The focus is no longer to stay slim and it’s not about achieving a certain aesthetic. My goals and objectives are all related to performance now.
I decided I had to lay stronger foundations for the future, especially with a family history of osteoporosis and knowing women’s muscle mass shrinks with age. I was determined to go into my 40s with a stronger physique.
The quest to build all-over body strength led me to CrossFit where I learnt how to move well with weight bearing and bodyweight exercises.
So while I work on my fitness goals, I’m also building a body for everyday life so I can lift, push and pull things without hurting myself, and building stronger bones for later years.
It’s a lot of fun!
Having a purpose is one of the best ways to enjoy exercise so it never feels like a chore. It’s never an effort getting up early or training after a hard day at work when you have goals in mind. And once you’ve finished a great barbell workout, the endorphins are through the roof.
I always have short term and long term goals – whether it’s hitting a certain weight on a lift or working towards a competition – and these keep me locked in and committed.
Being surrounded by people who are also working towards various fitness goals is hugely motivating and that kind of positive, determined, can-do attitude is contagious.
So the cliche of surrounding yourself with the right people is not just a saying, it’s very true.
You’ll break down barriers
I also want women to breakdown their own perceptions of what they think can do and achieve.
What is heavy or seems impossible one day, will be normal some day in the future if you keep at it so don’t get too frustrated with what you can’t do. Focus on learning how to improve it.
Follow more of my fitness and weightlifting journey at @yanarfitness