Hello everyone! Today I am starting my second “series” on the blog: weightlifting!! (In case you don’t remember or this is your first time, my first series was on nutrition) I’m really excited for this 5-part series (stick with me, there’s so much great information needed to be shared!!) I’ll be starting because I absolutely love lifting weights! This first part will be my story: how I got into weightlifting, what I like, why I do it, etc. I think it’s important to not only get facts, but also someone’s real life experience and opinion on the matter to. So let’s dive in…
I first got started lifting weights in high school during volleyball off-season. As a skinny freshman (who still hadn’t been through my entire growth spurt of 8 inches in a little over 2 years), I didn’t know very much of what I was doing. I would do the weight workout that my coach had on the board and just think about getting stronger. And it definitely did help with that. At this point, I enjoyed the muscle, but I didn’t really have the love for it. It was more of something I just did because I had to twice a week kind of thing.
Flash forward to college volleyball and now I get into more olympic lifting, power lifts, etc. rather than just the basics of squat and bench (although we still did versions of these too). My fall semester of freshman year I loved seeing the results that my weightlifting brought to the court, and those results and wanting to be better is what drove me. At this stage, I liked the movements and the results, but again as a freshman I still didn’t know much. I was still just doing workouts that were given to me and lifting what and how much I was told. It wasn’t until I quit the team (small injury) and started to workout on my own that I really found my love for weightlifting.
Even after I was no longer an athlete, I continued to lift weights 3-4 days a week simply because I enjoyed it. At first, it was partly just habit and wanting to be in shape. But it quickly turned into something I did because I loved it and I absolutely enjoyed choosing my exercises, weights, plans, etc. and still seeing the results from my hard work. For me, this is when lifting became my passion! I started out doing full body workouts like I was doing before, but then about 4 months later I switched to doing splits (don’t worry, there will be a later part that discusses these terms more) because I seemed to be hitting a plateau at the time. I loved the feeling of splitting up my routine even more and for the month over Christmas break, I was in the gym 5-6 days a week, loving life and doing my thing.
Now, I have rejoined the volleyball team (yay!) and I am now back to more full-body, powerlifting movements, which I still enjoy. There are some parts I miss about being able to do splits to target certain muscle groups, I know that the movements I’m doing now are helping me on the court and I have all the time after I have graduated to do my more targeted exercises. I love the aspect of lifting with the team and lifting heavy and really seeing my muscle grow again. As you can tell I’ve mentioned results and muscle growth a lot here–and these are probably some of the biggest reasons that I continued and will continue to lift weights for as long as I can. Not that you can’t see results from other types of workouts, but I love the toned, defined look that lifting gives me.
On top of this, I continue because of all the amazing benefits that lifting gives you, your body and your health. I feel strong and confident and proud of my body that I know I have created with hard work, sweat and heavy lifting. I love finishing a workout or a set and knowing what I just did. That I just squatted 1.25 times my bodyweight or that I can use a heavier weight to incline dumbbell press. It not only strengthens me physically in this way, but mentally as well. Lifting is great for mental toughness and it has been great for me to realize that I am capable and strong and freakn’ awesome (which everyone should always feel!).
Sure there are days where I don’t necessarily feel like working out or I’m tired and sore, or I don’t want to get up early. But let me tell you, after a lift: I never regret it once. Lifting makes my body and myself feel so amazing and I enjoy every bit of it. I will continue weightlifting because I love it. Because I’m doing amazing things with my body’s strength. Because I’m addicted to the results. Because it’s my passion. And because, that’s what being beyoutifully healthy is all about!