Weightlifting 101 | Weight room etiquette

Gym etiquette

When I first started working out at my local rec center, there was this guy who always took up a bench, a rack, and a spot near the dumbbells. He’d spread his water bottle, sweatshirt, and notebook across these stations, claiming them for upwards of an hour as he meandered around in between sets, huffing and puffing just so we all knew how hard he was working.

One day, I beat him to the power rack. I had my weights loaded, and my own notebook and water bottle sitting neatly in the corner, in nobody’s way. I did my first heavy set. Sat down to rest for a few minutes, then did my second set.

That’s when he approached me.

“Darling, I need to do my squats,” he said.

I looked up at him, then over to the empty squat stand not 10 feet away.

“Can I just get in here and do a warm-up set?” he asked.

“That one’s open,” I replied.

Annoyed, he skulked away.

Then things got weird. Continue reading “Weightlifting 101 | Weight room etiquette”

Weightlifting 101 | Gym overview

Gym Overview

Crossing from the cardio carpet to the rubber mats with the free weights is intimidating. I get it.

Let’s be real about the people who often find themselves in the free weight section: typically male, typically young, and typically fit. They pump iron with a certain swagger and intensity. They have their ear buds in and their music cranked.

And here you are, unsure of yourself, maybe a little insecure with your body. But don’t you worry. You’ve got this.

Here, we go over the gym equipment so you know what’s what and Johnny Bicep Curl doesn’t get in your head. Continue reading “Weightlifting 101 | Gym overview”

Weightlifting 101 | Which gym is right for you?

What gym is right for you?

There are more than 36,500 health clubs and fitness centers in the United States. You’re on board with lifting heavy and you have options.

You know the benefits of heavy lifting; you know that you’ll get that toned look you crave; and now you know how to start and how heavy you should be aiming for.

You’re ready to get your hands on a barbell. But where to go?

Here, we cover your gym options — from CrossFit affiliates to Planet Fitness enterprises — along with the benefits and pitfalls of each. Continue reading “Weightlifting 101 | Which gym is right for you?”

Weightlifting 101 | Toning vs. vs bulking up

How to tone

These days you can’t turn on your television or check your email without seeing an ad for the latest “toning” workout series or butt-scuplting scheme.

Maybe you’ve looked longingly at those chiseled athletes demonstrating the latest crazy and think “why can’t I look like them?”

You can.

But you have to accept a reality:

No muscle, no tone.

You can’t hope to have that nice definition without putting on at least some muscle.

The best way to put on muscle? Heavy lifting. Continue reading “Weightlifting 101 | Toning vs. vs bulking up”