Have you checked out instagram or youtube to search for anything fitness related? Whether for ideas on future workouts or maybe to find some extra motivation one day. Well if you have one thing becomes very clear… Females post about doing leg workouts; specifically glute workouts CONSTANTLY! I get it, everyone wants a JLO booty and some ‘junk in the trunk’. I work my legs as well but it is definitely not my favorite thing to do… it’s more like the necessary evil since I enjoy running. I wish I saw more females showing their chest workout or working on biceps. I personally love doing bicep curls and bench presses. I follow a lot of male fitness pages because that’s where I find a lot of good workout material.
Back day is still by far my favorite and after every back workout I leave the gym feeling like a badass. Chest day isn’t far behind that though. I will admit for the first 5-6 months of working at the gym I avoided bench press; and for a couple of reasons. 1. I didn’t think I was ready for them. I go to the gym on my own so I don’t have a spotter and didn’t want to get caught in a position where I couldn’t lift the weight back up. 2. I was intimidated because everyone in the free weight area were men. And they were fit men for the most part. Fortunately after a while I just sucked it up and did it (ok, the gym was pretty empty so I knew no one would be watching me). From the first set I was hooked. I used to do a lot of the machines for chest or I would do cable crossovers…basically anything except bench. I also didn’t work my chest regularly because it’s not like it would make my breast smaller (which would be awesome). I began to research how chest exercises could benefit women and I found a lot of great material. So I decided to start incorporating a more regular chest day.
I now work chest/triceps/shoulders twice a week [currently I’m on a 3 day split that I repeat twice:
Day 1: legs (I do typically focus on my weakest part; hamstrings/Abs
Day 2: chest/triceps/shoulders
Day 3: back/bicep
Day 4: legs/abs
Day 5: chest/triceps/shoulders
Day 6: back/biceps
Day 7: REST day from gym
I go to the gym after my daughter goes to bed so I’m usually there from 8pm-9:30pm (I take advantage of my ‘me’ time)
I also run 3-4 days a week; usually 2-4 miles a day. I did run 6.5 miles today which is a huge victory as that is the farthest I’ve run EVER! YAY! For anyone that things running pushing a stroller makes it easier; let me tell you it doesn’t, especially uphill.
Anyhow, I am currently able to do 3-4 singles at 115# on flat bench and 3-4 singles at 100# on incline bench. I also love doing dumbbell bench and incline bench which I’m up to 40# dumbbells. It may sound kinda nerdy but I get a kick out of the fact that I go to pick up dumbbells from the second row of dumbbells. It also helps when people give you thumbs up or compliments your form and progress. My bench goal right now is 135#! I want a 45# plate on each side of that bar. I’ll get there in due time.
I’m not by any means the only girl in the free weights area there are a few of us and I hope to see more venture in that area. I’m sure by now you’ve seen or read the quote; “strive for progress, not perfection!” It is one of my favorite quotes because it’s so true in any aspect. Every time I enter the gym I am looking for progress from my last workout. One more rep, one more set, more weight. If someone reads this who is just starting out don’t worry if you are intimidated about a particular exercise, part of the gym, or anything. Just keep doing what you are doing and each time do one new thing to get you closer to whatever you’re nervous about. In my case, I did dumbbell bench/incline bench. These were in the free weights area so I was getting accustomed to the environment. I’d watch those with good form and take pointers. Slowly but surely you’ll get to where you want to be. Remember, every experienced or muscular person in the gym used to be just like you; new, nervous, unsure. Just do you! If someone reads this who is a veteran in the gym use this as a reminder to be less judgmental of ‘newbies’, offer to spot them, encourage them, or just ignore them and let them do their thing. I truly wish people would empower each other more instead of finding something to poke at. I could go on and on about that but I’ll move on.
I hope to see more females lifting heavy weights and to break out of the norm that all you should only do is squats, stair master, or plyo circuits. There are no boy exercises or girl exercises… working out is truly an equal opportunity environment. The weights won’t judge you for being male, female, new, or veteran… they just want to be lifted up and put back down.
my tip: Lift Heavy & Lift Often! :):)