In the past year or so, I have
got very into health and fitness. Going to the gym for me used to be a 'chore', but a chore I was willing to do for my health. However, in the last couple of months I have found a serious love for the gym and weight lifting. I now go six days a week - I would go everyday, but I force myself to take a rest day, because our bodies need time to recover and repair in preparation for the week of training ahead. You may ask why I’m training so often or what I’m training for... well - I’m training for myself, for life and to be the best person I can be. Every time I go into the gym I want to be better than I was the last time I was there, whether it be lifting heavier weights or doing more reps than I did the last time. The only person I am in competition with is myself; I don’t see the need to compete with others. I’m never going to be someone else; I am just going to be a better version of myself. My aim in life is to be a better person than I was yesterday.
I never thought I would become the athlete that I am today, at school I used to dread the thought of PE: cross-country running, hockey and basically any kind of physical exercise. Now, I am an athlete, I go to the gym because I enjoy it and I am always challenging myself. About a month ago, I went into the gym to do the dreaded cardio and I thought to myself -sure, I’ll try to run a 5k on the treadmill and see how it goes (bear in mind I’ve never run more than about 1.5 miles without stopping before), and it WAS tough but I did it in 33 minutes which I was very proud of. It just shows how much weight lifting and resistance training can increase your stamina and endurance without you even realising it. I don’t particularly enjoy running so won’t be running too often but it was an achievement to know that I could do it and in a very respectable time too.
I used to be one of those girls who thought cardio was the only way to lose weight and while it does help, it is not the 'be all and end all' of weight loss. I have seen more results in a couple of months of taking weight lifting seriously than I have in year of doing cardio and what I thought was lifting weights. I now only do one 30-minute cardio session a week, along with weight training 5 days a week. I go to the gym so much because I love it and it's something I really enjoy, but it is totally possible to still see good results in 3 or 4 sessions a week if you are taking it seriously and working hard for those sessions.
|Left is 30 Dec 2014, Right is 21 Feb 2015|
I have come across so many girls who say they don’t want to get bulky and think that lifting weights will make them look like Arnold Schwarzenegger! Sorry ladies - that just ain’t gonna happen for so many reasons. Lifting weights is about building muscle, which in turn increases your metabolism, which helps you burn fat faster. You can’t turn fat into muscle; it’s physiologically impossible - they are two different things. You can lose fat and gain muscle by lifting weights (and heavy weights at that)... put down the 1kg dumbbells ladies! I lift pretty heavy weights and I’m nowhere near looking like Arnie!
|Left is Sept 2014, Right is March 2015|
I recently ventured into the squat rack in my gym after some encouragement and I have to say I’m hooked! A few weeks ago I went to the gym with a friend so she could give me some tips on my back squat; I had been just using an empty Olympic bar which weighs 20kg, up to this point, but she encouraged me to go heavier and I told her that I would love to be able to do a 60kg (my bodyweight) back squat and she was like 'no problem at all you’re definitely able for that'. I have to admit I had my doubts, but after comfortably doing 3 sets of 8 reps on 50kg, we went for the 60kg with her spotting me for the first one just so I knew I could do it before I got her to video me doing it again and I got it for 2 reps then. I was over the moon and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the day. This is why I train at the gym six days a week, for moments like that! So if you’re a gym newbie, get yourself a friend to train with or a personal trainer because there’s no way I would have even attempted that 60kg squat without the encouragement.
|60kg back squat|
I originally set up this blog as a ‘clean eating’ blog, but now that I have found a real love for weight lifting, I may change the direction of the blog slightly. I will still be posting recipes and tips on healthy eating but I will also be posting workouts, tips on exercises to target certain areas and general fitness articles so the blog will be more of a health and fitness blog rather than solely a food blog. I hope you all still follow along on my quest to be the best person I can be and remember don’t try and be someone else just be better than you were yesterday.