I like to lift heavy because it is fun. However, when I first began lifting and progressed to heavier lifts, it was scary. I was afraid to try because I didn't know what I was doing so I had no confidence in my body's ability, and I was afraid that one wrong move would cause me to hurt myself. Also, when I started lifting heavy I had two small children who needed me to care for them and quite frankly, I couldn't afford to get hurt.
I didn't have confidence in myself lifting heavy weights, but I was confident in my knowledge of form in certain movements and lifts with little to no weight, and I was confident in my trainer to spot my lifts, correct my form as needed, and teach me how to avoid injury when I reached the point of failure. As I became more familiar with certain lifts, improving in my strength and practicing proper form, I felt less afraid of heavy lifts and excited by how empowering it was to see how strong I really was and how quickly my strength developed.
I was also very pleased with the physical changes in my body from weightlifting, and the ease the added strength provided to other areas of my life. I have now been lifting weights for over a decade and certain exercises I am very strong and confident in. However, certain others are still very new or unfamiliar to me, and I struggle with proper form, increasing weight and feeling confident in even performing them at all.
One of my goals as a trainer is to be well rounded and well educated. I understand that fitness is not a one-size-fits-all formula and so having a broad knowledge of fitness lifts, techniques, and styles is helpful in creating variety, and also tailoring workout programs that are effective for my clients in reaching their individual goals. I love to help others on their fitness journeys, keeping them motivated and excited for their workouts by keeping it fresh and progressive, but I also want to do it with the utmost safety in mind.
This is why I put so much emphasis on building a strong core. Building on a weak foundation is a recipe for injury and disfunction in other parts of the body. If our core is weak, it will greatly reduce the amount of strength we are able to build in our other muscles and can not provide the trunk stability needed to practice increasingly progressive lifts and exercises.
I also work slowly and steadily with clients, teaching them foundational, functional movements using little to no weight and focusing on form, and taking time to build up mobility, flexibility, and strength in stabilizing muscles before loading them with weight. This is especially important for clients who are new to lifting, have been away for awhile, or have come back after an injury or some other event that resulted in huge changes to their physical fitness and function, such as having a baby.
I try to apply my same philosophies of personal training to myself in my own fitness pursuits, even though I tend to go too much too soon, or get excited to try something new and overdo it. As I get older and recovering from minor tweaks and pulls takes a lot longer than it used to, I have become more aware of my weaknesses and notice discomforts in my workouts much more easily than before. Rather than "pushing through the pain" and risking injury, I make adjustments to my workouts, identify the cause of the discomfort and make the necessary changes to correct it.
Sometimes I increase my weight too soon and I drop it down a bit and increase reps, other times it is a matter of incorrect form and I will record myself lifting to review my form and make the necessary tweaks to correct myself. This practice of record myself performing lifts, watching the recording, making fixes to my form and recording again is a practice I highly recommend to anyone who is working out with online programs or on their own without a trainer.
Sometimes the thing that is holding us back in seeing progress, or advancing in our workouts without nagging pain, is a simple tweak to our form or movement, dropping weight to strengthen stabilizing muscles while increasing mobility and flexibility, or the awareness of a properly engaged core.
If you are completing workouts on your own and are feeling frustrated with your lack of progress or nagging aches and pains while working out you could greatly benefit from working with a coach or a trainer. If you are interested in getting some feedback or support from a trainer, please join our private Facebook group ME Fit Moms where you can post your questions or send me a DM. Happy Lifting!