I've been lifting weight for a few years now and can say that it has been without a doubt one of the best things I've done for my physical and mental health.
The discipline, dedication and consistency that lifting requires has translated to all other aspects of my life.
Although weight lifting has become a positive part of my life, I wasn't always so "gung-ho" about going to a gym to lift strangely shaped heavy things...
When I was first starting my weight loss journey, I pretty much avoided the weight room like it was some type of nuclear danger zone.
I would beeline for the cardio machines, do my hour of stair-stepping and then leave while simultaneously avoiding any eye contact with grunting sweaty dudes in tank tops.
After years of research, reading and personal experience with losing weight, It's become abundantly clear that lifting weights is one of the best things you can do while dieting.
However, I can understand why some folks may get intimidated by it all.
When most people think of folks who lift weights, their minds immediately turn to loud, obnoxious bodybuilders in weird tank top thongs or larger-than-life bearded trolls bench pressing the equivalent of a small European car...
While I hate Planet Fitness, there is no denying the marketing genius they used by playing on this stereotype in their commercials.
Even worse is that some people aren't necessarily afraid to lift weights, rather they are either misinformed or unaware of the many benefits weight lifting can provide, especially for someone on a diet!
I've already written about the benefits of lifting weights on a diet, but I haven't touched on ways to overcome the psychological fear that many are faced with when they think about walking into the weight room.
My hope is that this article will provide you with more courage and motivation to take up weight lifting so you too can experience all of it's physical and mental benefits!
Overcoming Your Iron Pumping Fears
"I'm Too Big To Lift Weights"
Many Folks I talk with feel that they are simply too big to lift weights. They think there's no reason to build muscle when they have flab covering it all...
I had these same thoughts when I was overweight, and I can understand the lack of motivation to lift when you are already carrying more than your fair share of extra pounds.
However, just as you should treat losing weight as a journey rather than a destination, lifting weights should not be thought of as a short-term benefit.
Yes, being overweight makes it harder to see the results of your hard work from lifting weights, but it will provide a number of benefits that will make losing weight easier.
What's more is that you're still building muscle, although it may not be immediately apparent.
Because I started lifting weights early in my weight loss journey (about 3 months in), I ended up having a good chunk of muscle after dieting.
This helped me avoid the dreaded "skinny-fat" conundrum that many folks who diet without lifting weights end up in.
Approach lifting weights NOT with the plan to build muscle in the short-term, but rather to assist you in dropping fat and to obtain the many benefits it will provide in the long-term.
"I Don't Know What To Do..."
Most overweight people have never resistance trained before and simply don't know how to lift weights properly.
Here are a couple of ways to overcome this hurdle:
- Ask for Help - Trust me when I say that most people in the gym are more than willing to assist you with exercise advice. I would advise that you look for someone who seems to know what they are doing, or even better, ask a staff member for help.
If you see someone doing any of these "exercises"... ask someone else:
- Get a personal trainer - Yes they do cost money, but if you are serious about lifting weights, it's definitely worth the price.
Plus, you don't have to use a personal trainer forever. They may even have a class that you can attend that goes over basic weightlifting protocols.
- Youtube It - What can't Youtube solve nowadays? If you are unsure how to execute a particular exercise, whip out your cellphone and type "[insert exercise name] tutorials" and you're sure to get a few dozen results.
- Get a proven program - This is my favorite option because it accomplishes two things. Firstly, it will give you a program that explains how to perform exercises and why you want to do them. Secondly, using a program proven to be effective will ensure you are doing the best exercises to get results.
I personally recommend the Aggressive Fat Loss Program by Greg O' Gallagher... it's the program I used to get past my weight loss "sticking-point" and I continue to use his lifting philosophies because they are so darn powerful at getting results!
"What If People Laugh or Stare at Me?"
First off, I highly doubt that anyone is going to be laughing or staring at you for lifting weights.
Like I said earlier, most people in the weight room are actually quite friendly and helpful.
If you do encounter someone who is looking at you funny or laughing under their breath, why give them the satisfaction of quitting?
Far too often people allow other's opinions and perceptions of them to dictate whether or not they accomplish their mission.
In my opinion, this mindset is limited and is in no way conducive to a mind primed for weight loss...
If you let what someone else's opinions of you influence your actions, then how do you expect to overcome your own mind's temptation to eat that extra cookie or watch Netflix instead of going to the gym?
You and you alone are in control of your personal weight loss destiny. What other people think or say shouldn't matter because they aren't undergoing the same journey as you.
In fact, if someone is laughing at your for trying to better yourself, then they probably aren't a very happy or successful person to begin with...
That's not to say that you are totally on your own in losing weight. Having a support system of people around you who build you up is a good thing.
At the end of the day, your progress and weight loss success is entirely up to you and the work you put into it.
Don't let others actions dictate whether you succeed. You know that lifting weights is going to benefit your weight loss journey and what others think shouldn't matter.
I hope this article has given you a new sense of confidence towards lifting weights.
Considering how important lifting weights is on a diet, any obstacle standing in your way of doing it should be eliminated or overcome.
Click Here to read my article about the benefits of lifting weights on a diet.
If you want to ensure that you are going to the gym with a proven-effective workout plan, the I highly recommend you check out one of the programs I offer.
If you are a guy losing weight and looking to get into lifting weights, click here
If you are a gal losing weight and looking to get into lifting weights, click here