Tips to starting weightlifting

Do you even lift bro?

If the answers no then where have you been for the last 18 months.

Lifting is everywhere and it’s here to stay.

Weightlifting is a great way to build muscle, fight fat, increase mobility and even ease depression. Not only will it help you on your way to getting that banging body, it’ll also help you lead a healthier, and all round happier, life! So what are you waiting for?!

Read on for my top 5 tips on starting a weightlifting program.

Get your form on point

I can’t stress enough how important this is. Not only will it help to keep you safe and injury free; it’ll also help you to keep hitting those coveted PB’s you’ll hear gym goers getting overly excited about.

Additionally, it’s much easier (and quicker) in the long run to spend time dialling in your technique to begin with than it is to correct poor form once it has become habit.

How to:

Find a personal trainer – yes it might be expensive but it is so worth it. Just a few sessions will help you with your form as well as giving you a good idea of what you can achieve/do in a typical gym session.

Start Light

Don’t be one of those people! You know the ones with the massive egos?! You might think you’re god’s gift or that you’ve been doing xxxx sport for ten years but that doesn’t make you Arnie. Start off light and work your way up – you’ll probably get to the bigger weights quicker as you’ll have concentrated on learning the correct technique and preparing your body for all the extra stress you’ll be putting it under in the coming months.

How to:

Literally start with an empty barbell and once you have mastered that, add some weight. Every lift you perform should feel right and should be performed to it’s full range of motion. So if your lift is anything but perfect, take the weight off and start again.

Set yourself goals and stick to them

It’s so important to set yourself goals and weightlifting is the perfect way to do this as you can easily track your weights to see how much you are improving.

How to:

Set yourself smaller short term goals and larger long term goals. It might be to perfect your technique by the end of the month, increase your weight by 10kg in 3month or enter your first powerlifting competition in 6months. No matter how big or small, as long as you are setting goals, tracking them and pushing yourself hard you won’t be hitting the dreaded plateau.

Look after your body

You only get the one body so make sure you are looking after it. Yes our bodies can take a lot of stress and will work hard under pressure but make sure you’re looking after, and not abusing it – your lifts will suffer if you’re not treating it right!

How to:

Firstly, make sure you warm up before your workout especially if you sit at a desk all day (check out my article on keeping healthy at work). Do some static and dynamic stretches before getting your heartrate up and finally warming up your lifts.

Secondly, make sure you are getting enough sleep. The more strain you put your body under the more rest it will need to recover. For more information check out a recent article on the blog here.

And finally, make sure you are feeding your body right – as the saying goes, you wouldn’t put regular unleaded in a Ferrari!

Just Start

…because there’s just no time like the present!!!

How to:

Stop reading this blog post and get your ass to the gym before I come round and drag you there – just joking! But definitely look into how you can get started – research local gyms, PT’s, lifting classes or get in touch with your friend who lifts to see if they will show you the ropes. Once you start you’ll turn your back on your cardio bunny days for good!

Please remember if you have any underlying health issues then make sure you consult a doctor before starting any new fitness regime.

And finally, if you have anymore questions about starting a weightlifting program or need pointing in the right direction then please leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to help!!

Happy Lifting!

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It’s that time of year again when we want to look good for our Summer holidays but we don’t want to substitute our social lives; the sun is out and we want to enjoy it while it lasts – which we all know won’t be long!

So instead of stressing over whether we can join our friends for dinner in the sun – lets just be a little more considerate about what we’re putting in our stomachs. A few wise food choices can go a long way. 

Now I’m not saying that you can’t have the ‘unhealthy’ option – just save it for the weekend maybe..!

Read on for my Top 10 Healthy Food Swaps…

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I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve attempted to make a healthier coconut cake (using coconut flour) only for it to turn out too sloppy, too flat or too dry. I’d nearly given up when my parents invited me round for Sunday lunch and I thought I’d give it one last go.

My Dad is a coeliac you see and has been since before I was born – so it’s always been difficult to make treats that are suitable for him when we get invited over. One Christmas time I even had a full on meal prepared with a delicious stew bubbling away on the stove, only to realise, as I was running through the ingredients one more time with my Mum before plating, that I’d used the wrong type of stock and that my Dad couldn’t have ANY – it was heartbreaking watching my Dad watch us all eat whilst nibbling on a Gluten Free mince pie! Needless to say, these days I need to take extra care that I get it just right – I don’t think I’ll ever live it down.

With the memories of that foodless Christmas time meal I knew that I had to try one last time to make a delicious coconut cake that would meet my Dad’s approval and wouldn’t send his stomach into overdrive with that rogue glutenous ingredient. So armed with my previous failed recipes I headed to the kitchen scooped up all the ingredients I needed and got to work…

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sleep blog

‘Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and built in bed’

Ever heard that saying? No. Well let me break it down for you, when we train, especially when weight training, the strain we put our bodies under causes tiny tears in the muscle fibres – this is where DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness comes in. Most of you probably know that in order for our muscles to recover we need to re-feed our bodies but I think a lot of fitness fanatics probably forget that rest and more specifically a good nights sleep is actually just as important? And I’m not just talking about getting your 8 hours of sleep, I’m talking good quality sleep.

I used to be one of those people who took hours to nod off. As soon as my head touched the pillow I’d have a million and one thoughts swirling round my head – how much money I had in the bank, how my career was going, the email I hadn’t responded too, that thing I said to someone at work or that embarrassing thing I did when I was a teenager trying to find my place in the world (we’ve all been there). And even when I was asleep I was waking up every couple of hours, tossing and turning before hearing the sound of my piercing alarm for the tenth time since I hit snooze. Yep, it wasn’t a good time. I was physically and emotionally exhausted.

So how did I shake it all off and learn how to get a good night’s sleep? 

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Crossfit

If you religiously read my blog or follow me on social media you’ll know that earlier this year I competed in my first Crossfit competition (read it here) at The Rainhill Trials. Even though the weekend was insanely stressful and tiring I have to say it’s the most fun I’ve had in ages. I thought I would be self-conscious competing in front of the crowds of people as I’m not even a fan of coaches watching me in the gym (yes I have issues!) but on the day I completely forgot that the crowd was there and just focused on each wod, each rep and enjoyed every minute of it!

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