I stumbled across Zoe Pablo Smith’s blog the other day and was immediately drawn in and impressed by both her writing and her skills. Who is she? Well she’s a British Olympian and holds the record for the clean and jerk. She weighs 58kg/127.8lbs and lifted over her head 267lbs. You read that correctly. This is what she looks like:
Not what you were expecting, huh? I’m not quite sure how tall she is but she’s not what most people think of when they think of girls lifting weights. Especially big weights. So let me shatter that myth once and for all ladies, unless you set out to look like a body builder, you will NOT “bulk up” if you lift weights. You especially won’t bulk up if you lift stuff that’s more than 5lbs.
I like lifting weights! A lot. There’s something very satisfying in a primitive way of picking up something heavy and putting it down again. And then repeating that a bunch of times. It’s tiring and when my muscles are screaming at me to stop, I feel very powerful putting up that last set with perfect form.
Marital arts has been good for my soul but weight lifting has been good for my body. Extensive research has shown that weight bearing exercise (like lifting weights!) is useful in preventing osteoporosis. Do you hear that, ladies? You won’t Hulk out *and* you’ll make your bones stronger!
I also lift because I love challenging myself and having concrete goals set up. Non-competitive weight lifting isn’t about out lifting the other guy, it’s about breaking your personal record. It’s about setting the bar up a little higher and reaching it. I love seeing my repetitions go down while the weight I’m pushing (or pulling) goes up. I feel stronger and more capable to tackle the problems life sets before me. I can also feel myself walking a bit taller with my head held higher. I know I look good but, incredibly, I believe that. And deeper down, I feel good. I feel good about myself and I feel more optimistic.
I am a lifter! Hear me roar! Except, try not to do that at the gym. It’s can get really annoying. I realize the gym is an intimidating place. Heck, I sometimes feel nervous going to the free weights section because it’s mostly just dudes in there. However, as I’ve blogged about before, no one is really looking at you. And if they are, most folks are looking at your form. An exercise done incorrectly not only is a waste of energy, it can also lead to injuries down the road. Most people who are seriously into lifting weights will often times give a newbie some pointers on correct form.
So get out there and lifting things up! Channel your inner meat head and do it! Lift things up and put them down! Your body will thank you for it.