Unexpected benefits of lifting weights

by Khushboo on November 16, 2015

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve read about me trying out various forms of exercise.  From running to yoga, Body for Life, boxing, bootcamp, Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and swimming it’s safe to say that I’ve managed to keep my workouts fairly varied. Since I got back to Mumbai at the end of August, I decided to refocus my energies towards lifting weights.   For a very long time cardio was the focal point of my workouts and I treated weight lifting as an accessory.  Like most people, I just couldn’t believe how a workout that doesn’t leave you out of breath could be more effective than running.  

I decided to join a better-equipped gym & hired a personal trainer to ensure my form is right & really help me push me to my limits.  After discussing my goals to get stronger and lose a bit of weight, he devised a 4-day split for me which incorporates:

Day 1: Lower Body

Day 2: Chest

Day 3: Back & Biceps

Day 4: Shoulders & Triceps

And 1-3 cardio sessions, including both HIIT & steady-state

I’ve lifted weights in the past but this time round something has clicked. Along with hitting my initial goals of seeing strength gains and shedding some weight, I’ve also experienced psychological benefits which I never saw coming.  In the past 2 months, I have been more confident and comfortable in my own body than I have my whole life.  I’m sure anyone who lifts weights can agree that it’s empowering to see what your body is capable of and with each workout & new PR, you start to appreciate & respect it more.  Initially you look at a specific weight as being “too heavy” but over time, you inch closer to hitting your goal and eventually crush it.  I personally think this benefit is transferrable out of the gym.  In life, we place so many limitations on what we can & can’t do based on self-doubt.  Ultimately it’s that challenge & breaking through self-imposed barriers that make us stronger mentally.  Nothing is impossible if you are ready to put in the work. 

Lifting weights

Do I think that weight lifting is the best form of workouts? Not necessarily but I do think that it’s the best for me as of now.  My body has been responding well & I can’t remember looking forward to my workouts this much.  It’s sad that the myth continues to perpetuate about women lifting heavy & consequently looking ‘manly’.  Countless studies reveal that we as women don’t have enough testosterone to put on that kind of bulk.  If a woman puts on weight after lifting weights, chances are she is overestimating her caloric burn and eating more than her body requires.  To any females who are debating weight training, I strongly encourage you to give it a shot- I’m almost certain you will be pleasantly surprised. 

Do you lift weights?

What workouts are you currently doing?

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig November 16, 2015 at 8:03 pm

You know I’m totally on board with this post! For me, the best benefits of weight lifting are mental. I would be lost without it!

Reply

Khushboo November 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm

If anyone knows where I’m coming from, I knew it would be you :D!

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Parita @ myinnershakti November 16, 2015 at 8:27 pm

I was in the best shape of my life when I was strength training consistently 3x a week! Trying to get back to that while incorporating my favorite form of cardio…running!

Thanks for helping to dispell the ridiculous myth about ST and women!

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Khushboo November 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Even if it helps clear things up for one person, it’s all worth it :)!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. November 16, 2015 at 9:28 pm

Definitely love the psychological benefits that come with lifting weights! I kind of fell off the lifting bandwagon, but I’ve slowly been incorporating a little bit more strength work into my workout schedule over the past couple of months, and I’m loving how it makes me feel. Is it strange that I actually love DOMS? 😀

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Khushboo November 17, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Ooh I feel you- I have such a love/hate relationship with DOMS!

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Jen @ Chase the Red Grape November 17, 2015 at 8:07 am

You know as a CrossFitter I obviously love lifting! But I think people forget the mental power that lifting has – the more you achieve the more you believe in yourself more, inside and out of the gym.

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Khushboo November 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Absolutely- lifting is equally mental as it is physical!!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 21, 2015 at 11:22 am

I definitely feel more confident when I’m lifting. It’s empowering… mentally and physically!

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Khushboo November 30, 2015 at 11:31 am

Amen!

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