First off: good for you! That’s great! Before we get into how you can get started with weight training and a suggested weight lifting program to get stronger, let’s briefly talk about why you should take care of your body in the first place.
(And as always, none of the information provided here should be considered medical advice. It is for informational/entertainment purposes only. Always consult your doctor for medical advice or before starting a new exercise or nutrition program)
You’re in your body every single day. You can’t take it off or switch it out like a pair of clothes. You’re stuck with it 24/7, 365 days a year – and you only have one. Doesn’t it make sense to take care of and invest time, money, and effort into the one thing that you’re stuck with until you die?
How you take care of (or don’t take care of) your body dramatically affects your quality of life. How you take care of yourself now will determine whether or not you’re able to keep up and play with your children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.
It impacts how long you will be able to stay independent, out of the nursing home, and living the life you want to live for as long as possible.
Yet the same people who complain about how bad of shape they’re in are often the same ones who will spend all kinds of money on stupid stuff but won’t invest a dime or an ounce of effort in their physical fitness.
You always hear people telling you to “invest in yourself” right? Well that includes your physical self, not just getting another college degree. Would you rather be 65 years old with $5,000,000 in the bank and severely overweight with bad joints and barely able to walk or 65 years old and healthy, still able to run and play with your grand kids?
The good news is that you don’t have to choose between having money and being healthy. Even if money is tight, it’s most often just a matter of being disciplined enough to take a good look at where your time and money are going, what’s really important to you, and re-prioritizing accordingly.
A membership to a solid gym with plenty of useful equipment shouldn’t run you more than $30-50 per month. If you get just a plain, medium coffee at Starbucks each weekday (and nothing on weekends), you’re probably spending around $50 per month on that alone. Double that number if you get anything fancier than a plain coffee. If you eat lunch out just a few times per month rather than bringing your lunch, there’s another $50+ in no time.
Over the course of one year, your gym bill shouldn’t run over $600 and could be low as $300. Is your ability to move and be independent worth $600 per year to yourself?
That’s assuming you need gym equipment to reach your goals, which brings us to the next point….
What are your goals?
Do you want to get stronger? Do you just need to lose some weight? Do you want to learn a specific skill or style of weight lifting? Are you only interested in cardio (running, swimming, cycling, hiking, etc)?
That is the first step: DETERMINE YOUR GOALS.
At StrongFriends, we HIGHLY recommend training with weights – specifically barbell training. Training with barbells strengthens your muscles and joints, improves your flexibility and range of motion, can make you significantly less susceptible to injury, increases your metabolism (can help you lose weight), and even increases your cardiovascular capacity.
That’s why if you’re looking for a way to feel good overall, look good, stay mobile, lose some unwanted weight, and minimize your risk of injury as much as possible, weight training is absolutely the way to go in most cases.
Having said that, there are a few common concerns and objections people tend to have regarding weight training:
1) “Won’t lifting weights make me ‘bulky’ and look manly if I’m a female?”
2) “Isn’t weight training dangerous? I’ve heard of a lot of people that hurt their backs or have bad knees from lifting weights.”
3) “I have a previous injury or nagging pain that makes it impossible for me to lift weights.”
4) “I’m way too old to lift weights.” (If you think this, you’re about to have your mind blown) We’ll cover each of those objections…. In the next blog post.
Until then, check out this Instagram video of an 89 year old man deadlifting 405 pounds TWICE.
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P.S. If you don't want to wait to learn more, check out our "6 COMMON (BUT CRITICAL) STRENGTH PROGRAM PITFALLS" PDF. It's free!