Weight and Resistance Training - A beginner reporting back from the other side!

01-08-2012, 07:26 PM
6 weeks ago I was a total beginner at weight training. I had started a couple routines at different times, but never got past about 2 weeks.

For the last couple years, I have been doing lots of cardio, but in the back of my mind I knew I should be strength training, too.

Well, I started, 6 weeks ago... and stuck with it! I'm posting this now so beginners might know what to expect.

First, I found this routine: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/12-week-beginner-training-routine.html (During this same time I was also doing cardio a couple times a week and counting calories.)

I modified it a little bit to suit my needs. The first time I did it, I had to spend a lot of time wandering around the gym looking for the right machine, then figuring out how to set it up. I felt stupid, but I stuck with it. I told myself, "I pay for this membership! I have a right to use these machines just like anyone else!" After a few sessions, I knew all the machines and what settings to use. Obstacle 1 down!

In the first few weeks, I just used whatever weight "felt right" at 15 reps, something challenging but not killer. Most of them were embarrassingly small weights! But whatever. You have to start somewhere. Now I pick a weight where I can complete 2 sets of 8 reps, but can't finish 2 sets of 12 reps. When I can do 2 12's, I add some weight. Simple.

I wasn't losing weight for about 4 weeks, then in week 5, it started to drop quickly. This was upsetting for the first few weeks, but I have read that it's common. It may not be related, but about that same time, I got really serious about drinking enough water, and I think that helped.

Now, here's the best part! After only SIX WEEKS doing this twice a week, I can LIFT MORE and I can SEE NEW MUSCLES! Seriously, there are no words or emoticons to express how happy this makes me! :) And almost as great, after sticking through those first few awkward weeks... I started to like lifting! I'm one of those people who grunts and sweats on the machines, and I don't feel one bit of shame about the tiny stack I'm lifting, because it's working.

I'm so excited about this and really wanted to share, so thanks for reading. :) Also, if you haven't started yet and feel paralyzed, I really encourage you to find a routine, make it your own, and promise yourself to keep doing it steadily for 6 weeks.

01-09-2012, 10:41 PM
Thanks, Kara. I'm hearing a lot of positive things about it. Sounds like a good next step...

01-11-2012, 09:34 AM
That's awesome! One of the main reasons I LOVE lifting are watching my body transform and the muscles come out. It's so lean and sexy! The weight is dropping slowly for me about a 1lb a week but things are shifting more and moving and I'm losing inches. Keep going! You start to feel so strong and powerful! Glad you stuck to it and finally seeing some amazing results! :cheer:

01-11-2012, 09:38 AM
Awesome! :carrot:


01-13-2012, 10:00 AM
I've been doing rigorous kettlebells since Dec 1 & lifting heavy for a few weeks. I haven't lost weight, but I've upped my calories from 1200 to about 1900 & haven't gained. My jeans got too big and I got back into a smaller pair (same size, different cut, but hey, smaller is smaller - they didn't zip before). My shirts are loose as well.

I have visible biceps for the first time in my life and the shape of my body has improved noticeably. The narrowest part of my body used to be right under my ribs; now it's closer to my belly button.

I'm involved in a sport & I used to be relatively slow. Now I'm one of the fastest in my peer group. It's from the KB & lifting. I have more stamina & can maintain proper form all day long.

Focusing on getting stronger rather than getting lighter & focusing on macros rather than calories has been wildly liberating. Finally, something I can live with.
I eat plenty, eating out while traveling is no longer a huge problem, & I enjoy my workouts. Last week I deadlifted my body weight plus 20 lbs & I felt like a superhero all night & the next day. I never felt like that after an aerobics class.

My lifting routine right now is dead lifts, squats, bench press, bentover rows, shoulder presses, and planks. I use the heaviest weights I can lift. It's simple and fairly quick.

In summary, everything you said +1. I can't wait to see how my body changes over the next few months (and years).

02-29-2012, 12:39 PM
very motivating - it can be scary when you don't see results immediately or even after a month but i'm glad to hear of someone who stuck it out for longer and is extremely happy with the result. thanks!

02-29-2012, 05:07 PM
That's so great to hear! I'm a relative beginner too as I started about six months ago. I'm almost done with NROL4W and have seen my body transform and change in ways that cardio alone couldn't do. It's nice when you actually start to see results.