After hours of hated ‘fitness’, Jo Wilson tried my Ladies Who Lift course and has gone from strength to strength! Over to Jo…
“I was put off by the model of fitness I have always been given.”
I am a big strapping bird and have always been quite physically powerful. As I get older and spend my days in office work and my weekends on the sofa, the muscle started to turn to jelly.
I wanted to get my strength back but was put off by the model of fitness I have always been given, which I don’t like and don’t think I could attain even if I did.
I dutifully joined gyms anyway and tried to pursue a programme but found that I hated, really hated, cardio work. Not surprisingly, I figured that was my own fault for being a lump and tried to continue. Even less surprisingly, I found it hard to continue when I found it so unpleasant.
“Weightlifting seemed more ‘me’ than spinning or Zumba!”
I looked around for something I might actually enjoy and kept running into weightlifting. It seemed much more ‘me’ than spinning or Zumba classes and was supposed to be at least as good for your physical fitness.
Some of the blogs I read are written by women who enjoy weightlifting and are keen to encourage other women to give it a try. One led me to Sally’s site not long before I joined a gym with a decent weights area and the intention to use it and – serendipity! – shortly after that, Sally announced she was running a Ladies Who Lift class at that very gym. I had already experienced the fabled intimidation of the free weights area and knew I would need a bit of help getting started so I signed up.
What Sally does for a newcomer to lifting is simple but fundamental. You may or may not enjoy weightlifting but you’ll never find out if you don’t try, and trying properly means getting under a barbell.
“You’ll never find out if you don’t try”
Many women, even those of us who think of ourselves as pretty bolshy, are intimidated by the free weights and may have some fairly legitimate fears about safety.
All the reading in the world might not make you happy to march over to the squat rack and start loading the plates on your own, but that’s the first thing you’ll do with Sally. For a beginner, I think that alone is worth the price of admission, because then you will probably be okay to do it yourself when you’re in the gym and so build up confidence and muscle.
Sally takes a small group class in an open gym, so there are other people to deal with and courtesies to work out with other users and that’s pretty helpful, too.
In terms of work done, Sally gets you sorted for the most basic lifts (and by basic, I mean the big whole body lifts that all the hardcore lifters swear by) and makes sure you push yourself.
I found the emphasis on raising weights and hitting your limits to be really inspiring and was pleased to lift my own bodyweight in the back squat in the final class. And by ‘pleased’, I mean boasting to everyone I know!
Since then I have continued to lift a couple of times a week and given myself some interesting goals, such as make my bodyweight a working weight rather than a one rep max and do at least one unassisted pullup.
I enjoy going to the gym now, and really like feeling like my strength and energy are coming back!