Weightlifting Part 5: Tips for Maintaining

Once you get started lifting, you may never want to stop! However, there are times when life gets busy and chaotic and you may start to reconsider your workout plan. I get it, keeping any kind of plan, working out or not, can be difficult, especially if progress is slow (let me just say: goals take time!!). So I have put together some tips on how you can maintain that #liftinglife (it’s a thing) and continue with your healthy lifestyle!!

Tip #1: Be Patient

Patience is truly a virtue, especially when it comes to wanting to change something with exercise. I think all of us can say we are guilty of wanting that quick-fix, or that one exercise program that will get us to where we want in 2 weeks…well unfortunately that most likely will not happen. Change takes time, especially with your body whether that be gaining muscle, losing weight, changing your physique, etc. But, the good news is that fitness (especially weightlifting) isn’t just about end results, it’s about the journey you take through your transformation and growing to be better everyday. So don’t panic or ditch lifting if you don’t see progress that you want in a few weeks; it may take months or even more than a year to get where you want to be. But trust me, once you get there, you won’t want to stop and you’ll never look back!

Tip #2: Be Consistent

Along with being patient, consistency is key. You cannot expect results when you only stumble into the gym 4 days a month and sporadically at that. Your muscles and body needs routine, needs constant and consistent work (depending on your goals of course). It can be hard to continue and be consistent when you don’t happen to see “results”, but not being consistent won’t get you near those goals, consistency will. One way to combat this “lack of progress” is to take pictures along the way so that you can truly see yourself and the progress you’ve made. This will help you stay consistent with your lifting and workouts which will lead to better and more positive results.

Tip #3: Challenge Yourself

When you use the same weight week after week after week, especially if it’s light, it’s going to be hard to see progress. Now, I am not saying that using light weights to start with are a bad thing, or that you should throw yourself into lifting super heavy right at the start when you’re not ready. It’s important to use a safe weight until you can go up, but it’s also important that you go up in the weight you’re lifting over the weeks, that means you are getting stronger and seeing progress. The amount and the time are going to depend on the person. But, one way to maintain lifting is to challenge yourself to one more rep, or 5 pounds more than last week, or maybe even not to take any pauses/breaks during a set. Whatever it may look like for you, constantly challenging yourself in the gym will A) get results which will make you want to continue and B) allow you to have fun with your lifts because you’re always in there pushing yourself to become better.

Tip#4: Switch it Up

Another way to help you maintain lifting and not get bored by it, is to switch things up every now and then. While consistency with your routine is key, sometimes your body can get used to certain weights and movements, and you seem to have hit a plateau. If this happens, or if you’re just getting bored with your routine, don’t be afraid to change things up! Try circuit training, high rep/low weight or low rep/high weight. Try a new machine, do new exercises, or find a strength and toning class, if your gym has one. My point is that to keep things fun and interesting with your lifting and your progress, it’s okay to switch things up and find something new!

Tip #5: Have Fun

Lastly, I know I mentioned this before, but the most important thing to remember when lifting is this: make sure you are having fun and enjoying yourself. Working out and fitness shouldn’t be a “punishment” or “doing it because I have to” mentality. It should be you doing something you enjoy because you love it, the way it makes you feel and the healthy lifestyle it is helping you create. So if you start at lifting one way and it isn’t working for you, try a different way or type or style. Find the routine and the workout that you have fun and love doing! Because at the end of the day, lifting may not be for you, but living a fun and healthy lifestyle doing workouts you love while feeling good about bettering yourselfIS!

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