Home Exercise & Training Cardio Chicks Can Pump Iron Too: Tips on feeling comfortable in the weight room

Cardio Chicks Can Pump Iron Too: Tips on feeling comfortable in the weight room

Cardio Chicks Can Pump Iron Too: Tips on feeling comfortable in the weight room
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Yana Ibrahim
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Yana Ibrahim

Yana is a Fitness Coach, Pre/Post Natal Trainer & Yoga instructor in San Francisco. She has a degree in Sports & Exercise Science from Edith Cowan University in Perth Australia and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer; Pre & Post Natal Fitness Coach and Certified Yoga Instructor.

With over 10 years of experience in sports and fitness, over 4 years as a Class 2 soccer/football referee in Singapore, Yana brings an abundance of knowledge and real sports experience to her clients. You can inquire about her training or yoga services at www.XodusFitness.com
Yana Ibrahim
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Show of hands (for the ladies), how many of us will go straight to the cardio machines when we step into the gym. As someone who goes to the gym often, whether to do personal training or to train myself, I see most women go straight to the treadmill or elliptical. Is there a sign somewhere that say women are barred from handling the weights? To be honest, I use to be one of those ladies. I would do my 30 minutes worth of heart-pumping cardio, some abdominal exercises, and stretch at the end of my workout and then skipped happily to the showers thinking I have done my duty of keeping myself fit.

Female Strength TrainingStrength training or lifting weights is an area often neglected by women because of many reasons. I have heard all of them. Here are some I heard from my personal training clients:

  1. “I don’t want to get big and bulky”
  2. “I am not sure if I’m doing it right, I just don’t feel confident enough”
  3. “I feel intimidated by all the men around”

Let me break it down to you, plain and simple, our bodies are not made to be “big and bulky” unless we are carrying excessive amount of body fat. Women cannot naturally produce as much testosterone as men do, therefore, it is incredibly hard for a woman to gain massive amount of muscle mass from a few weighted squats and shoulder presses. What I can tell you is that if you lift weights, you will get toned body, increase your metabolism and burn more body fat.

So here are 3 tips to feel comfortable in the weight room:

1. Get a mentor / personal coach who know in depth about lifting weights.

The Coach or Personal Trainer that you hire should be knowledgeable in his/her area of expertise. It is perfectly fine to ask your coach why you are doing a particular exercise and which muscle groups are involved in the movement. It is also important that your coach is able to modify an exercise if you find difficulty in executing it.

2. Stick to simple, basic exercises.

As a trainer, I usually start my clients off with Squats, Reverse Lunge, Push-ups, Inverted row, Glute Bridge and Planks. These exercises form the base of your “Strength Pyramid”; only if the base is strong that you can progress. Make sure you do these with proper form and techniqu

3. Set realistic and achievable goals.

Before commencing on strength programs, have a specific goal in mind. Make sure that goal is challenging but accomplishment is possible.

Last but not least, forget about the boys. You are getting stronger for yourself, so plug your ears to your favourite tunes and enjoy your workout.  Strong is beautiful!

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Yana Ibrahim Yana is a Fitness Coach, Pre/Post Natal Trainer & Yoga instructor in San Francisco. She has a degree in Sports & Exercise Science from Edith Cowan University in Perth Australia and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer; Pre & Post Natal Fitness Coach and Certified Yoga Instructor. With over 10 years of experience in sports and fitness, over 4 years as a Class 2 soccer/football referee in Singapore, Yana brings an abundance of knowledge and real sports experience to her clients. You can inquire about her training or yoga services at www.XodusFitness.com