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Ask a Young Woman: What Should I Do When Lifting Weights Alone?



Dear Swole Woman,

Hi everyone! So I do crossfit courses three or four times a week and have access to open time in the gym to add weight the rest of the time. I like the mix of cardio and weightlifting that courses give me, but I want to dedicate my open gymnasium to lifting only. The problem is, I often feel like I'm going to the gym, making one or two movements for an hour and then going home. I'm not sure what exactly I should do to maximize the time for my open gym ̵

1; should I create an open fitness program for myself? Are you just following the movements that I am doing and the improvement that I see? I know that the first step seems to be a sexy moleskine in which I can take notes (at least that's what I think of my gym colleague, but what am I putting in there?

I love this column, thank you [19659004] – Perplexed Practicing

Lifting is one of the core components of Crossfit, but since crossfit workouts are often done with the goal of completing high intensity reps, open fitness sessions would be a good time to slow down to slumber and do the preliminary work.

I never tire of talking about how magical strength training can feel – you do not have to do so many repetitions, you come to [19459005Whenyou'requalityandnotfocusedonquantity you can choose between rest for one minute, and the sessions are usually completed after 30-45 minutes. In a world in As we are always encouraged to break the sweat and go as hard as possible and leave the gym dizzy for five days with aching abdominal muscles, strength training is a nice and purposeful (though intense) encouragement of all this. If you have at least one force base (ie take the time to build your skills and techniques in basic power movements) this may be a significant reward in "functional fitness" overall, as Crossfit calls it, to to Experts . One of the core tenets of Crossfit is that the structure of the workouts is always different. If you want to get better or even more competitive with Crossfit, it can greatly help you to spend time and care on how to train in more intense strength training. [19659008] I'm not a coach, but if your goal is to improve lifting, I'd strongly recommend starter weight training . Initial programs are usually three training days a week. It is worth noting that most trainers recommend maximizing rest outside the three days of lift, as this is necessary for recovery and strength building. If you try to do other intense activities besides a power program, you may not make much progress. However, I think I must at least use this time and look for this training frequency to focus on the development of the core movements, including squats, bench, deadlifts, rows and overhead presses (or if you're Olympic weightlifting, bats and cleans and jerks) can really contribute to your overall progress. There are many simple starter programs where you only need three movements per workout. This is not much more than what you are doing right now. Instead of focusing on doing many repetitions, focus on repeat quality.

"Quality" is a bit of a foggy term, but in general this means that you prefer a little less weight (though it's still hard enough) you'll be tired after a few reps) so you can do the movement right. "Right" is also a bit of a nebulous notion, and whole books have been written about how to do squats or deadlifts or presses, but it does not take much to learn good form basically. I can not handle everything here, but I strongly recommend that you watch videos online with the correct form and then film yourself during your open gym so you can see how you feel. If you're not sure how to read your own form, you can post those videos online as form reviews to get feedback if you feel like you're getting better.

The way this pays off is how well (or badly) your form is actually an obstacle to getting stronger. If you do not take the time to perform these movements properly, you are at a higher risk of injury, and you will not use the muscles of your body together in Concert as they are literally made to use . Taking the time to be slow and focus on quality will build the foundation for making your sport better and stronger. (By the way, especially if you continue your Crossfit courses in the same frequency as now, make sure you eat enough, sleep, and take at least some rest days, muscles are not dreams, they are food and self-sufficient.) [19659011] What's in this 1945940 notebook is a mess in person, but I write down what I'm up to, including the moves and how many reps and sets and how much weight, and then what I actually did, sometimes with notes about whether I missed a repetition, how movement or weight felt, or if I even got into shape, so I remember what to look for next time. You can also write down how the training has felt overall, allowing you to spot trends. It's like a little diary!

Sometimes I also need a few pages to write notes from my trainer or all the mental attitudes of clues I try to remember before going into a movement, for example, when I lift myself up would like to straighten my feet in a certain position relative to the pole, flex my lats, hamstrings and glutes, push my belly to my legs to straighten my back, get my body weight behind the bar, fix my look easily left to adapt to my slightly curved spine, and then push the floor away. All these clues have accumulated during the last years of the iteration and are particularly important for my challenges in this lift. However, if you practice and find out what you are having problems with, you will start a similar workflow, and the goal is to reach a point where it comes to second nature. It's impossible to perfect everything every time, but that's part of what I love about lifting. it's all iterative, and there is not really a perfect or even universal standard to stick to. Many of the best lifters have a weird shape and are still doing better than all of us, and that's the beauty of it.

Their challenges will also change from year to year, and elevators can feel a bit complex. Writing from time to time helps me so. You can draw pictures. You can scribble. There are no rules, it's just a notebook. But to make your time in the gym productive, it's generally the idea to basically make a note of what you're up to and what you've actually done. One nice thing to following a set program like the one described above is that you at least know what to write down first, what your intent is, and then what you actually do is your goal. That way, you do not have to remember that you did the last time. Remembering does not sound like it's so hard given the beautiful simplicity I've talked about before, but I get a special kind of happy, empty mind when I lift myself, and when I'm the two days off I'll do it, I'll do it. I'm meant to go back and do another workout. I'm not going to remember the weights I've made, or more importantly, how they felt or if I did them right. Therefore, it is extremely useful to have these notes.

Strength is for everyone, but especially for women. Ask a Swole Woman is a column for people who are tired of being less and less, of eating less, of doing less and of making it look perfect and effortless. Do you have a question about weight training or other topics? When you're ready to give your body what it needs to test your grain and become more than you've ever been, send an e-mail to AASW@self.com.


Casey Johnston is the editor of the future section of The Outline and a competitive powerlifter with a degree in applied physics. She writes the column Ask a Swole Woman for SELF. You can find them on Twitter: @caseyjohnston .


Letters to the AASW are edited by length and context, and the content of each AASW column is the author's opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of scribers against SELF or SELF editors.


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