Strength training should not make you feel bulky. As with anything in life, you need to start at the beginning and ease your body into any different type of activity that you’re attempting. I’ve been there, diving head first deep into things and not feeling too well afterward. Sometimes, I think it’s smart to listen to failing attempts by those who have crashed and burned before you.
Let’s put the negativity aside and see what I’ve learned. As with any other fitness training, start slowly and with exercises that you’re already familiar with by deepening their understanding and getting the best of them. Moreover, it comes in combination with healthy nutrition and proper hydration but mainly quality sleep.
This type of training namely increases your lean body mass, which leads to better metabolism functioning. Yes, you might be feeling hungry more often, but as long as you have healthy snacks on hand, you’ll boost the nutrition. In turn, the nutrition will boost your productivity levels and you’ll easily become more efficient in everything you do.
Don’t look at the bodybuilders, they are a specific group of people with specific training and nutrition plans. Yours should first and foremost be sticking to lean protein in combination with heaps of veggies that add lots of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Plus, women produce considerably less testosterone than men do. So, a little weight training won’t make you bulk up, it will rather make your muscles look lean and your mind fresh and strong to tackle things from your agenda.
With strength training, opt for higher repetitions that will, in turn, lengthen and tone your muscles. Go for the types of exercises where you go slow on the contracting part of the exercise. Like for example going slow into the squat and then exploding up into the starting position on the extending part. Furthermore, that will activate your muscles and make them super springy and full of energy.
Start slow. I can’t emphasize that enough. Challenging your body is a good thing, but stay within healthy limits. Maybe start with a lighter set that weights somewhere between 3–5 lbs. and for the second round of the same exercise either make it heavier or drop it depending on how comfortable you were completing the round.
One thing it is really important, especially when you feel the exercise is challenging you is that you keep a good form. Check yourself in the mirror. If you don’t think you’re doing it right, you’re most probably right. Then it’s a good time to drop the weight or perform the exercise with your body weight only. It provides plenty of resistance, especially at the start of your strength journey or on the days when you’re feeling under the weather and you’re using your training as a pick-me-up.
Make sure that you fuel your body right within a short time window within the completion of your workout. Have some healthy snacks on hand. A simple piece of fruit in combination with some nut butter does the trick or even a non-dairy cocoa milk. Did you ever think a healthy lifestyle can treat you so lusciously with yummy foods?
At the end of the day or week, take time to recover. I would jot down at least two days per week that are dedicated solely to routines like yoga and stretching. Your body will be grateful for it. In combination with a quality good night’s sleep, it is all you need for feeling strong and, in turn, confident.