Many people are nervous to start lifting weights, and I get it. Maybe you’re afraid of hurting yourself, you don’t want to get “bulky”, or you don’t think it’s right for your goals (Spoiler: Unless your goal is to literally just stay in bed all day, weight training WILL support your goals).
If one of these reasons sounds like something you’ve said to yourself, this episode is for you. We're going to talk about one of my favorite topics today, which is lifting weights.
By the end of this episode, you’ll have the information that you need to make a good decision for your journey and the goals that you're wanting to hit. It's also a great listen for those wanting some talking points when helping others understand the value of weightlifting and why it’s such an important part of your programming.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/137
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- 5 reasons why people haven’t started/ prioritized lifting (4:01)
- Free workshop about the 5 ingredients to be included in a workout program (5:56)
- Benefits associated with resistance and strength training (9:26 )
- How weight lifting provide value for one’s health (15:48, 16:47)
- Opposite optimal environments of building muscle and losing fat (20:39)
- Weight training (22:28, 25:05)
I hope that you're excited. I hope you feel ready to get started and to dive into this process, and that you feel a little more empowered about how to do that safely. And again, we'll talk more about this at the workshop. So make sure that you get signed up for that because there's gonna be a lot more detail in that class!
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 137
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Lifting weights 0:49
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of biceps after babies radio, I am your host, Amber Brueseke. And we're going to talk about one of my favorite topics today, which is lifting weights. And my goal in this podcast episode is to help you especially if you are somebody who isn't currently lifting, or maybe you're like testing out the waters, or you're trying it out, but you're not really prioritizing it, you don't really feel like you know what you're doing, you've heard that weight lifting is really important but it feels really confusing. So my intention is by the end of this episode, that you will have the information that you need to make a really good decision for you and your journey and the goals that you're wanting to hit in terms of lifting weights.
Share the value of lifting weights with other people 1:37
Now, if you're listening to this, and you're like, well, that's not really me Amber. I love to lift, I love to lift weights, and I do it regularly and it's a big part of my programming, awesome. Know that this episode is going to provide value in that you probably want to share lifting with other people. I know the things that I love, I want to tell other people about them. And so you may have family or friends or other people that you come in contact with where you're like, I really think that they need to get started lifting, I think they think they need to understand how important lifting is, this is going to be a great podcast episode that you can share with your friends. And it's also going to be a great podcast for you to listen to have some talking points have a way to be able to approach this with people to be able to help them understand the value of weightlifting and why it's such an important part of your programming and hopefully to entice more people to be able to join you. So even if you're a seasoned lifter, there's gonna be a lot of value in this episode, because you probably want to help more people become seasoned lifters. And this is going to provide you some really good content for that. My husband, many of you know that he did not lift weights for most of his life. In fact, he didn't start lifting weights until he was about 35. And it was funny when he started lifting. He loved it. As you know a lot of people do. And like I said before when you start to love something you want other people who you love to do it as well because it brings you so much joy and it brings you so much excitement. And so I can name like two hands, the number of people that my husband introduced to weightlifting, just because he was so excited about it, he wanted to talk about it. He shared it with his friends. One of the big things, we have a gym in our backyard that we've built in our shed. And one of the big reasons, there's a couple of reasons for building that gym. But one of the reasons was to be able to invite people over to be able to like, introduce them to strength training, we've had so many friends come over and have their first introduction to a barbell in our gym. And that's really cool. And that's natural. If you love something you want to share it. And so like I said, if you're a seasoned lifter, I think there will be value in being able to figure out how to talk to people about weightlifting in a way that helps them to understand the value and the importance.
5 reasons why people haven’t started/prioritized lifting 4:01
So if you aren't currently lifting right now, or you're not currently prioritizing it, or maybe you're prioritizing your, you're trying to prioritize it, but you're like, I don't know what I'm doing. I go to the gym, and I kind of walk around and I look at the machines and I pick up some dumbbells and I don't really know what I'm doing, we can start to ask ourselves the question, you know, why is that? Why have you started yet? Why isn't this a priority currently in your fitness journey? So what I've done is I've taken my experience with lots of people on Instagram, coaching lots of people talking to lots of people. I've taken five reasons that I hear a lot in response to, you know, why have you started lifting yet or why haven't you prioritized it yet. And I'm going to go over those five reasons and kind of talk through them. So those five reasons I'm going to just give them to you right off the bat so you can see if you've ever had one of these five reasons. And then I'll go a little bit deeper into each of them. So the first reason that often people haven't started is that they don't see the value, they don't see the value in adding strength training to their regime. Number two is you may think that you need to lose fat first. And you're like, once I get there, then I will figure out weightlifting in the future, okay. Number three is this fear about getting hurt like I don't want to get hurt. So I'm not going to lift weights, because I don't want to injure myself. Number four is this idea that weights aren't for you because maybe you're too old, you're a runner, and you don't really want to build muscle. But this some, you know, this idea of like, weights are for other people, they're really cool for them, but they're not really for me, for whatever reason. And then number five is that you don't really know how to get started or pick a plan, and you don't wanna make a mistake, you are like, I don't want to waste time in the gym, I don't want to make a mistake with my programming.
Reason: Don’t really know how to get started 5:56
So I want to address the last one first, number five. I'm gonna address that first because I have a free workshop that's coming up, that's going to dive a lot deeper into this topic than we will be able to get on, you know, the short podcast. So if you go to bicepsafterbabies.com/workshop, you'll be able to sign up for a free workshop that I have coming up all about the five ingredients that your workout program must include if you are wanting to do what most women want to do, which is to build muscle and to lose fat. And so if you want to make sure that your workout program is actually making progress, helping you make progress, that you're not just wasting your time at the gym, go to bicepsafterbabies.com/workshop, and you can sign up for that free upcoming workshop.
Reason: Not seeing the value of weight lifting 6:47
Okay, so if any of those that I just listed are anything that you've ever told yourself, or you've ever heard somebody else say, in regards to weightlifting, then this episode is gonna be really, really valuable for you. So let's start with number one, you don't really see the value, you're like, I don't, I get it. I've heard over and over that, you know, my heart is really important. And so cardio is really important because we want to be able to get that, you know, heart rate down, and we want to be able to have good blood pressure. And we understand this idea of the like and value of cardiovascular fitness. I think because so many of us grew up in a time when that's been very well understood. Aerobic exercise kind of had its heyday and lots of that was working out for a long time was like aerobic exercise. And we end there's a lot of research to support that there is a lot of benefit in that, there's a lot of health benefits in that. And so most of us don't really question this idea of their value in improving your cardiovascular fitness.
Weight lifting can improve cardiovascular fitness 7:54
However, we haven't quite caught up there in terms of weightlifting. Now, there's plenty of research, I'm not saying the research hasn't caught up, there's plenty of research that supports resistance training. However, in general culture, we haven't quite equated building muscle or resistance training to the same level that people just assume and get that cardiovascular fitness is important. And here's the problem with that. Your heart is absolutely important. But have you ever considered that your heart is a muscle and that most of your body is made up of muscles? And in fact, everything that we do, every movement that we do comes from a contraction of a muscle. So when we understand that so much of our body is a muscle, and it is exactly what allows us to do if we didn't have bones and have muscles attached to those bones, our body would not be able to move and the ways that we're able to move. And because everybody has a heart, yes, we need to be able to improve our cardiovascular fitness. Now cardio is not the only way that you can improve your cardiovascular fitness. So that's a whole other ball of wax. Because there's a lot of research that shows that weightlifting can improve your cardiovascular fitness just as good as going out and running. Okay, so I say to improve your cardiovascular fitness. But I don't want you to make the leap in logic when I say that I'm like, Oh, that's cardio. No, we just know that we need to improve our cardiovascular fitness. There's a lot of health benefits associated with that.
Benefits associated with resistance training 9:26
And at the same token, there's a lot of health benefits associated with having a stronger body and being able to challenge our muscles. And all these some of the benefits. Again, this is very well researched, supported. Time and time again, there's been lots of research that supports how valuable strength training resistance training is.
No. 1 Produce stronger and healthier joints 9:49
One, it is one of the best ways to be able to produce stronger, healthier joints. So for example, a lot of people struggle with knee pain. Or struggle with their knee joints, a very common joint for people to struggle with. And if you want to create a stronger knee joint, there is a one really good way to do that and it is to strengthen the muscles that are around that joint. So a joint is where two bones come together. And they are typically held together with ligaments, which are tendons that go between bone to bone. So a ligament connects a bone to another bone. And then tendons, tendons connect a bone to a muscle. And so any type of joint that you have is going to be supported with ligaments, tendons, and the muscles that are surrounding that joint. Now, we can improve the strength of our attendance of our ligaments with resistance training, so yes, there's going to be some improvement with resistance training to improving the actual ligaments, the actual tendons, and improving the strength of those muscles, is really what's going to give that joint a whole lot of support. So if you struggle with pain in joints, one of the best ways that you can strengthen that joint, have a healthier joint is to strength train the muscles that are around the joint. So for example, the quadricep developing out of the quadricep, because the quadriceps tendon inserts directly into the kneecap allow you to be able to support that joint and be able to stabilize it better. If we think about the shoulder joint as the same thing, the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint are able to create a joint that is weak or strong depending on how strong those muscles and those tendons and those ligaments are in the joint. So for people who have pain in joints, have bad knees, have bad shoulders, have bad elbows, one of the best things that you can do is actually strengthen the muscles that are surrounding that joint to be able to have a healthier joint.
No. 2 Improves insulin sensitivity 12:17
Strength training improves insulin sensitivity. So we're not going to this is not a deep dive into the biomechanics of insulin. But insulin, the job of insulin in your body is to push glucose into the cells. So when you have glucose in your, you know, in your digestive tract, the purpose of insulin is then to push that glucose into the cells so the cells can actually use the glucose. Now, you know, we hear a lot about insulin, it's kind of one of those hot topics these days. But we know that if your insulin is out of proportion to the amount of carbohydrates that you have, we can have problems. And if your cells are not responsive to insulin and insulin resistance, meaning the insulin is present, but the cells don't recognize the insulin and so that glucose doesn't get pushed in the body has to produce more and more insulin, to be able to have the cells recognize it. That can cause problems as well. And weight training helps increase your insulin sensitivity. So we're fighting off that insulin resistance that can cause things like type two diabetes.
No. 3 Enhance heart health 13:26
Enhance heart health. So again, cardiovascular health is very important. Cardio is not the only way that you can get enhanced heart health. Again, there's a lot of research that shows weight lifting, and not we're not talking about like one pound kettle, or one pound dumbbells, but like actually challenging your body with lifting gets your heart rate up into the zone that it needs to be in, in order to promote that cardiovascular benefit.
No. 4 Increases longevity and quality of life 13:56
Weightlifting has been associated with things like improved brain health, increased longevity, meaning people who are stronger, live longer. And it makes sense because at the end of your life if you've ever cared for anybody at the end of their life, a lot of activities of daily living are the things that go first, the ability to bathe yourself, the ability to get up out of bed, the ability to get out of a chair, the ability to get up out of off of a toilet, the ability to feed yourself, all of these things have to do with the strength of your body to be able to perform those tasks of daily living. So not only does lifting weights increase longevity but it also increases the quality of life and allows you to be able to perform those activities of daily living longer in your life.
No. 5 Increases bone density and metabolic rate 14:42
Strength training increases your bone density, it lowers the risk of fracture, you know secondary to increasing that bone density. And lifting weights is the one way to permanently increase your metabolic rate. If you want a higher metabolism, if you want to eat more food and use it, the way to do that is to put on muscle mass. Because muscle mass is much more metabolically active, meaning it requires a lot more calories to be able to sustain a pound of muscle on your body than it does for your body to keep a pound of fat on your body. Fat does not vary, doesn't really do much, okay. It doesn't contract like muscles do. So muscles use a lot of energy every time that they are forced to contract throughout the day. So the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate is going to be. So if you're someone who's like, I just want to eat a lot of food, my friend put on some muscle, it's the one way to permanently increase that metabolic rate.
Weight lifting can provide value for your health 15:48
Okay, so we've kind of gone over some of the benefits. So maybe you've heard some of those before, maybe you haven't. But if you don't see the value yet, or maybe coming into this, you hadn't seen the value in weightlifting, or you'd never had anybody explain it to you? Do you see value in it? Now, do you see how this can be provided? Whoever you are, whatever you're doing, this can provide value for your health. And I think most people who are listening to this episode, part of your desire is to have improved health. And incorporating strength training and resistance training is one very important way that you can do that everybody, everybody should be lifting weights in some form or another. But you know, I stand very firmly behind everybody in the world who would benefit from adding some sort of resistance training to their workout schedule. Okay.
Be strong and build muscle while you are young 16:47
Oh, I was just looking at my notes, I did want to tell a story. This relates to me talking about increased longevity and quality of life. And this was actually a turning point for my husband. I mentioned earlier that my husband didn't start lifting until he was about 35. And there were a lot of reasons for that. It wasn't anything that he was really raised with, you know, just wasn't inexperienced that he had, he wasn't really into sports. And he was really super busy. When we first got married, he was in medical school and residency. And those are some very, very long hours. And it was all he could do to like, feed and bathe and sleep and make it through that time. But he had an experience when he was in fellowship. And many of you know that he is a urogynecologist, which is a female pelvic, essentially, female pelvic surgeon. Anything that's in the pelvis on a female is what he operates on. But he had an experience where he had a female come into his office. And this female wasn't very old. I think she was in her 60s. So she was not very old. And she got up on the table and he needed to do some sort of exam. And so he asked her to, you know, put her legs up in the stirrup so he could perform the exam. And she was so weak that she could not even lift her legs up and put them on the stirrups. In fact, they had to call, you know, some nurses in and he had to, you know, assist in actually physically lifting this patient's legs up and putting them in the straps. And he had this moment where he just kind of had this realization that you know, if you aren't strong, if you don't build the muscle when you are younger than when you get older, you have this experience where you don't have the strength to do really basic things, like get up out of a chair.
Preventing muscle mass loss 18:43
Activities of daily living require strength. And if you don't build that strength now, understand that as you get older muscle mass naturally declines. Research shows us that it's about three to 8% per decade after the age of 30 is what kind of muscle mass decline you can expect to see. And this loss of muscle mass is often what causes older people to have to be put in a nursing home or use a walker or use a wheelchair because they have lost this muscle mass. And so if you have not taken the time to build the muscle mass when you're younger when you're able to build it right now, honestly, I don't care what age you are listening to if you don't take the time to build the muscle right now. Then as it declines, you're going to be behind the table. And so he had this experience and he came home and he was like, Okay, it's time to get to the gym. It's time to like, take the time to build some muscle now because when I'm 60, when I'm 70 when I'm 80 I want to be able to, you know, get up out of the chair, get up off of the toilet, be able to to do these things for myself and I don't want to have the experience where I can't even lift my leg up that I have to assistance in lifting that leg up. Okay.
Reason: You should lose fat first 20:04
Okay. So hopefully, we're at the place where you're like, Okay, I'm starting to see, I'm really starting to see that there's some value in this Amber. Okay, so let's talk about the second reason that I often hear of people who haven't started lifting weights, and this is a big one. And that is that you think that you should lose fat first. And then you're like, I'll figure that out in the future. Okay, weightlifting is for in the future, when I'm trying to build muscle, it's not for me now, because right now my priority is fat loss.
Opposite optimal environments of building muscle and losing fat 20:39
And here's what I have to say to that. First of all, it sounds like you really understand that muscle gaining and fat losing must be prioritized. And a mistake that a lot of people make is they tried to do them both simultaneously. They try to prioritize, I say, I'm gonna clarify, they tried to prioritize both simultaneously. And if you try to prioritize building muscle, and you try to prioritize losing fat, you cannot set up your programming to prioritize for both because they have completely opposite optimal environments. Okay, so the optimal environment for fat loss is lower calories, higher cardio. Okay, and I'm speaking in very broad terms, I hope that's clear. And the optimal environment for building muscle is the exact opposite. It's higher in calories and lower in cardio. So you cannot build a program that optimizes for both because they're the exact opposite in those two different ways. So can you lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously? Yes, with an asterisk beside it. And you know, with some caveats, however, you cannot build a program that optimizes for both simultaneously. And so sometimes people will hear me say that and they'll be like, okay, so I can't optimize for both. And then they make it mean, I can't do both. And so if I had to pick one, I want to lose fat first. So I'm going to focus on optimizing for fat loss. And they take that to mean, I will lift weights in the future when I'm not optimizing for fat loss when I've asked about optimizing for gaining muscle.
Weight training is constant in any fitness phase 22:28
But here's the piece that is missing in that logic. First of all, I talked about the optimal environment for cardio or for losing fat and gaining muscle, right, losing fat, high cardio, low calories, gaining muscle, high calories, low cardio. What I didn't talk about was weightlifting and the optimal way, like optimal weightlifting for each of those phases. And regardless of which phase you're in, whether you're cutting, whether you're reversing, whether you're maintaining, whether you're bulking, so that's literally any point in your life, weight training should be a constant. Weight training doesn't fluctuate up and down, it's a constant. Cardio fluctuates up and down based on your goals. Calories fluctuate up and down based on your goals. Weight Training is a constant, you lift the same when you're in a deficit and optimizing for fat loss, as you do when you are in a bulk, or at maintenance, or in reverse. Like all of the phases, weightlifting should be the constant.
Weight loss or fat loss? 23:35
And there's a reason for that. Let's talk specifically about weight loss or fat loss because that's where a lot of people are at when they skip weights, they're like I need to prioritize cardio so I'm going to skip the weights. Not realizing or not like taking this information that the one way to increase your metabolic rate is to add muscle. And what is going to help you with losing weight, in the long run, is having a higher metabolic rate. Burning more calories each and every day is going to make it easier and more effective to be able to see fat loss. And so if your prioritization right now is fat loss, weightlifting must be a part of your training schedule, to be able to support and optimize for fat loss. Can we say that again, if your goal is to lose fat, in order to optimize for losing fat, weightlifting must be a part of your programming? Okay, yes, you'll probably have some cardio, depending on your body type. Yes, we may have to go into a caloric deficit, right? We control that with nutrition. And yes, you must have weightlifting to create that optimal environment for fat loss and specifically for long-term fat loss. Okay?
Add weight lifting if you want to lose fat 25:05
Weightlifting is kind of like, well, losing fat, by like, adjusting your cardio is kind of like putting your money under the mattress. Okay, so you like go and go for a run, you put some money under the mattress, you go and I don't know, go for a row or go for a bike ride or whatever, you put some money under the mattress, okay, you're gonna go back, that money's gonna be there. Weightlifting is like taking that money and depositing it into a money market account. When you go back, the dividends that it's going to pay overtime are going to be so much greater than just that one-off calorie, as the calorie burn, right? Because that's what cardio is. It's like, yes, you burn X number of calories in that cardio session, good for you. But it doesn't do anything for you long term, whereas muscle if you don't burn as much when you lift in that moment. But the payoff is on the long end because of that increased metabolic rate. So the moral of the story is if you want to lose fat, add weightlifting to your plan, to that phase. Okay, optimal environment for losing fat, lower calories, higher cardio, and the constant of weightlifting.
Reason: You don’t want to get hurt 26:31
Alright, number three, is a very common one, you don't want to get hurt. Of course, you don't want to get hurt, right? None of us go into anything being like, you know, what I would like to do today, it would be today's a really great day to get hurt. So first of all, that's a very, like, rational fear. Nobody wants to get hurt. But have you considered that you are much more likely to get hurt if you aren't strong? So this is like, the backward thinking is like I don't want to get hurt. So I'm not going to lift weights and I'm not going to get stronger. And then the converse is true because you are not strong, you are much more likely to actually get hurt.
Short story of our friend who had a bad back 27:15
Okay, we had a friend who, throughout his back, I don't know, a long time ago. He's always struggled with back issues. You know, as long as we've known him, he throws out his back like a couple of times a year and it's bad. It's, he's, you know, like flat in bed for a couple of days. He's like popping pills, muscle relaxers, you know, it takes them out, like he can't go to work. And this happens and has happened a couple of times a year for a lot of his life. And my husband back, you know, we're talking about my husband, like trying to get everybody in their dog into weightlifting, my husband was like, you need to come and lift with me. Like you need to deadlift, you need to strengthen your back, your back is really weak. That's why you keep throwing it out. And this friend was like, no way. No, I have a bad back. I throw it out, when I throw it out, it's like a big deal. Like, no way am I gonna go and deadlift, I'm not gonna put that stress on my back. Well, my husband's very persuasive. And so over time, he wore this friend down, and he, the friend came over and started lifting and they started really light, right start with the bar, then you add like five pounds to the bar and 10 pounds. And you know, slowly he was lifting 135 pounds, slowly building up 185 like he was able to progress with his deadlift. And of course, the form was really important. And they took it really slow. But it was amazing that he noticed that as he got stronger. He didn't throw out his back anymore. In fact, the period of time that he was like weight training and strength training and coming pretty regularly. He didn't throw out his back at all. And it was such a good reminder. And he was shocked. Like he was really surprised because it had been a long time since he'd gone that long without throwing out his back. And the reason is that he strengthened those muscles as he put those muscles under load caused them to get stronger. Now when he goes down to pick up a pencil, it's no big deal because his body is stronger and is used to picking up that weight and so he was able to strengthen the back to the point where he stopped getting hurt. Okay.
Child parent relationship analogy 29:30
And I think about this in terms of, you know, a child-parent relationship. As a parent, I know that if I baby my child, if I do everything for my child and never require anything of them, am I setting them up for success in life? No. They're going to go to college and they're going to fall apart. They're not going to know what to do like mom's taking care of everything for me. As you know, I've never had to do anything for myself. They're not going to be successful in life, the littlest things are going to throw them out of whack. And it's the same thing for your body. If you aren't strong, the littlest tweak of your back is going to lay you up. Okay, way more people throw out their backs, picking something up off the floor than they actually do a deadlift. Now, of course, you need to do the movement properly. Of course, that's an important part of it. And, you know, form is a big deal. And making sure that you have proper form as you put a load on the bar is really important.
Facts about the risk with weight lifting 30:36
However, recognize that just like any other sport, yes, there is a risk with weightlifting, there is a risk with, you know, going to the gym and picking up weights. However, there have been lots of studies that have done and have shown that weightlifting has a very similar injury rate to running. And most people aren't, I don't want to get hurt going running so I'm not going to go running, okay. So if you've ever gone running before, and you weren't worried about getting hurt, consider that weightlifting actually has about the same rate of injury as going running. And it has a much lower rate of injury than many team sports, like soccer, basketball, things like that. They have a much higher rate of injury. And most of us, I don't know, some of us, especially as you get older, you're like, I'm not going to go play that because I don't want to hurt my knee. But you know, think about how we go and do all these things. It's just interesting when we start thinking about people's risk tolerance. We think that weightlifting is a very risky activity, when in actuality the rate of injury is very low, in terms of sports, and you know, equivalent to something that we don't really see as dangerous like running.
If it hurts then don’t do it 31:50
So knowing that you don't want to injure yourself, how do we prevent that? You know, how do we get you in the weight room? And how do we prevent injury, there are a couple of really easy things that you can do. Number one, if it hurts, don't do it. Period, like the end of the story, if there is pain, don't do it. Now the pain is different than a challenge. Is it hard? I'm not saying if it's hard, don't do it. I'm saying if there is pain, don't do it. Okay, so if it hurts, stop, that's a really, really good, you know, just caveat as you go to the gym.
Progressing gradually 32:29
Number two is to progress gradually. Notice when I told the story about our friend coming over, my husband didn't start him with a 135-pound barbell, he started with the empty bar. And you can even go as far as starting with a trainer bar or PVC pipe, okay, because a bar, you know, a standard bar weighs 35 to 45 pounds. If that's too heavy, start with like a PVC pipe, start with bodyweight, start with whatever it is that you can very easily and safely start, and progress gradually from there, he should not be like throwing way more weight on the bar than you did last time, you should be progressing gradually, put a little bit more on the bar this time than you did last time. And the next time put a little bit more, and then a little bit more and then a little bit more. And what that allows your body to do is it allows it to acclimate and get stronger, and be able to handle those heavier loads, and not you know, be such a shock and stress to your bodies.
Stick for a good form and execute the lifts fully 33:30
And then the third thing you can do is be a stickler for good form and execute those lifts fully. One of the ways that people get hurt the most is when they put too big of a load and they don't execute the full movement. So what I mean by that, for example, I'm thinking in my head a lot about squats. Because if you ever go, if you're going to a gym, you will see a lot of ugly squats, okay. And it's dangerous. It's dangerous to ugly squat. When I say ugly squat, a lot of times, what you'll see is people who are not going the full range of motion, they do like a half squat. So they bend their knees. And they push their butt back a little bit and then they stand up, okay, which is not a full squat. A full squat is when your hip crease drops below your knee cap. That's a full squat. And so what happens is if you're not full squatting, if you're just doing a half squat or a quarter squat, and you've to keep loading up the bar heavier and heavier and heavier, then if you accidentally go lower than that your body has never experienced that tension or that weight at that certain point of movement, right if you actually do end up going lower. Now your body is all of a sudden out of nowhere hit with 200 pounds at the bottom of a squat and that is where you hurt yourself. So good form is yes, it is important because doing the movement with good form is going to prevent injury. But it's also going to prevent injury because it's not going to allow you to up your weight until you can actually perform the movement all the way through the motor pattern. Right? No half movements, no half push-ups, no half squats, no halfway lunging. Like none of this, like halfway doing it, we want to make sure we're going through the whole range of motion, and that we can perform the lifts at the load we're at through that full range of motion. And that is one of the best things that you can do to be able to prevent injury.
Reason: You think weights aren’t for you 35:35
Alright, number four, maybe you think that weights aren't for you, because you're too old. You're a runner, you don't want to build muscle, you know, insert whatever reason it is like why you may think specifically weights are for other people, but they're not really for me. Here's the truth. Weights are literally for everyone. Our bodies were made to move and the way our bodies move is by muscle contraction. So if you're someone you're like, Amber, my goal in life is to lay in bed and never go anywhere, then you are exactly right. Weights are not for you. You do not need weightlifting. But if you want to move during your life, weight training will make everything easier.
Feeling and being strong 36:21
I have a client who I brought to my gym. The first time she'd ever touched a barbell was at our gym. And I walked her through the basics and she started lifting at her gym, kind of took what I taught her and went and started doing it regularly. And she came back and she told me she had she they was helping somebody move over the weekend. And she came back and she was like Amber, it was amazing. The guys were like, oh, let's carry this couch. We got it. You don't need to help us carry the couch. And she was like, no way. Like, I can carry the couch. So she picked up the couch with a couple of guys and carried and she's like I was carrying boxes in and out. And like, you know, everyone was like, Oh, she's so strong. Like she can carry all those boxes. And she's like, it was amazing to actually go to this move and feel like I was being useful and feel like I was being helpful and to feel strong to be like, yeah, I can go pick up that box and I can carry it up the stairs. And she said it was such an aha moment for her was for most of her life, she's had the story that like she's just weak, she has a weak upper body. That's the story that she's told herself for all her life. So she and her experience now are that she's proven that story that is very wrong, that no, it just was that she never actually lifted, and so she never got strong and she can get strong and now is strong. Okay.
Understanding that strength and muscle are not the same things 37:46
Now, I want to make the point, especially for someone who's like, I don't really want a lot of muscle. Amber. Cool. Do you understand that strength and muscle are not the same things? Okay, you can get stronger without adding a ton of muscle mass. So and that's because hypertrophy, which is increasing the size of the muscle fibers, which adds bulk, right, which adds like muscle mass isn't exactly the same thing as increasing strength. You can add strength without adding a bunch of muscle mass. And we know this because some of the very biggest people like you look at them and you're like, Oh, I have a lot of muscle and cannot lift very much weight. And some of the strongest people like you go to a powerlifting weightlifting competition. If those people who are lifting crazy loads were to walk by you, you wouldn't you might not even know that they lift, right. So understand that strength and hypertrophy are not the same things. Now there is an overlap. I'm not saying they're totally separate, but they are not the same thing. So if you're someone who you're like, I don't want a ton of great muscle mass. You can absolutely train for strength and prioritize that without building a ton of muscle mass.
Build muscle mass 39:05
Now, I think you should build muscle mass. I love building muscle mass. Adding muscle mass is one of the best ways to be able to improve your metabolic rate. However, if that's your caveat and the reason you haven't been lifting weights, then let's get you on to a strength training program. Not a hypertrophy building. Not a building program, but a strength training program. Okay.
Never too old to start lifting weights 35:35
I talked about this before, but if you're like I'm too old Amber, you mentioned like we start losing muscle after we are in our 30s and I'm 75, I'm too old to start. I want to make the point that you are literally never too old to start. You are never too old to at least start slowing down that muscle mass loss. And in a lot of cases, we can even reverse some of that muscle mass so you're 80 years old and haven't touched a barbell or a weight ever in your life. Great. Today is the day to get started. Because there is still so much that you can do and just a little bit of strength training, a little bit of resistance training, a little bit of weightlifting, can go a really long way for someone who's never done it before. It's like, you know that it's like a curve where the benefits of weightlifting are really steep at the very, very beginning when you're like, have never done it before. And then the more you do it, the more it kind of plateaus outright, and doubling your weight lifting, it doesn't double the amount of benefits that you get. So it really is that first little part of going from zero weightlifting to like some weightlifting, where you have an exponential amount of benefits. And that still holds true whether you're 50 or 60, or 70, or 80 or 90, you're never too old to start slowing down that muscle loss and start building some muscle up so that you're in a much better place as you continue to age because you're not getting any younger, nobody's getting any younger. Muscle mass is not spontaneously going to add to your body, we have to do something about it, it's never too late to do something about it.
Regardless of what you do, you may still benefit from weight lifting 41:10
And then the last one is, you know if I'm a runner weights aren't for me, because I'm a runner or a dancer, or I don't know, insert whatever you are that, in your mind doesn't include weightlifting, any sport, activity, anything that you do, you will benefit and be better at by lifting weights. And I'll give you an example. My mom loves to run. I didn't get that from her. But she's done like, I don't know, a lot of half marathons. In fact, when she turned 60, her goal in her 60th year was to run six half marathons in that year. And she did it. So she really likes to run. Being a runner really enjoys that. And she was getting some like overuse injuries with running. And so she's decided to cut back on her running and replace some of those days with strength training. So she was running about, you know, she cut back to running only about two days a week. And then the other days of the week, she was doing strength training. And she then went and did another half marathon. And she called me up afterward. And she was like, Amber, I can't believe it. I ran my fastest half marathon I've ever run before. And I was like, that's amazing. Mom, what do you think? How do you think you got there and she's like, it was the strength training. She was amazed that when I got stronger, I was able to train those muscles, I thought she's like, I thought I would get slower because I wasn't running as much. She's like, I actually found that by getting stronger, I was actually able to run faster. There's literally no sport out there that does not improve your performance does not improve if you lift which is why all of the sports like all the professional sports teams, gymnastics, the NFL, basketball, like all of those athletes lift, because they know that by lifting and getting stronger, they're gonna be better at their sport, okay.
Workshop; 5 things you need to have in your training program 43:16
The last one, I kind of talked about this at the beginning but you know, you don't know where to start, you don't know how to get started, you don't have a plan, you're not really sure of what that plan should be or what it should include. And you really just don't want to make a mistake. So you haven't started yet. If that's you, again, I'm going to go through this in a lot more depth in my workshop. So if you go to bicepsaftrebabies.com/workshop, I'm gonna walk you through the five things that you need to have in your training program, so that it's actually effective so that you aren't wasting time. So that you're actually able to optimize for building muscle and losing fat, which is what most women want to do with your body. So go to bicepsaftrebabies.com/workshop, get signed up, and I will see you there.
Alright, so that wraps up this episode, I hope that you are excited. Hope you're okay, I'm ready to do it, Amber, I'm ready to get started, I'm ready to dive into this process. And you feel a little bit more empowered about how to do that safely. And again, we'll talk more about this at the workshop. So make sure that you go get signed up for that because there's gonna be a lot more, a lot more detail in that class.
Share this podcast 44:29
Last, if you're listening to this, and there is somebody in your life who would benefit from hearing this. Maybe there's somebody who you've been trying to talk to about weightlifting or they're just starting to get into weightlifting and you're really excited for them and you want to help them understand why what they're doing is so beneficial for them. Will you do me a favor and share this episode with them, send it over to somebody so that we can be able to get this information out. My goal is for weightlifting to be as commonplace and as accept as essential as cardio is in our society so that our kids are like they grow up with this idea that of course, they need to be able to improve their cardiovascular fitness and they also need to get strong, to have those be the, you know, just everybody does it like it's just part of being a healthy part of keeping your body really, really healthy. So if you would share this with somebody who you think would benefit from it, that would be amazing. Thanks for joining me, I'm Amber. Now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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