Thursday, 29 August 2013

A weighty issue

For the past year, the only exercise I have done (bar a couple of Davina McCall DVDs - such a fangirl) is running. But I keep hearing people singing the praises of a little weight training here and there.

Now I know the "but I'll end up bulky" myth has been busted a thousand times over (and to be honest I'm kind of proud of the little baby quads I've started to build), so what is my problem with weights?

Call me a big ol' teenager, but in the end I just feel way to uncomfortable with the way weights in my local gym are geared towards men.

Now I don't have much experience of gyms, having only ever joined my local one and my uni one. But this seems to be a recurring problem. I just have no desire to make my way over into testosterone land to do my 5kg bicep curls. Maybe that makes me a wuss, but seriously, I tried it once and I have never felt so self-conscious.

Having said that, I know that free weights aren't the only option and many people swear by weights machines. I have definitely got on much better with these in the past and although some people say it's not as good a workout as free weights, I certainly still feel the burn!

I really would like to build some weights into my week's workout but I don't currently have any form of gym membership as a) I am stone cold broke and b) I am moving house in about a month so there doesn't seem much point.

I've also seen and heard a lot about Crossfit, but in all honesty that just seems waaaay out of my league. I definitely think this is an area I need to do a little more research into though.

So what's the answer? Do I give up, sign on the dotted line and learn to deal with my ridiculously teenage embarrassment? Do I buy some of my own weights? (with a move coming up this doesn't reaaaally seem ideal) Or is weight training not all it's cracked up to be?

Harris x


  1. In Northampton the local leisure centres have really good gyms (better than many private gyms, new equipment, TV's on every bit of equipment) and you can sign up for a leisure card and then pay for gym sessions as you go. So I paid £7 for a year leisure card and then pay £3.50 as and when I want to use the gym. Worth checking out your local council run leisure centre.

    1. I'm moving flats so it might be worth having a little research when I'm in the new place :) thanks Karen!

  2. Hehe reading some of your posts on your blog really sound familiar! Newbie runners/night shifts/weights-phobic! I am actually trying to address my strength training as I've read all about the benefits and really want to feel them for myself instead of being a constant cardio-fiend. I've actually recently joined a "virtual training group" which has just begun to help encourage me to conquer my fear of weights (to be honest it is for the same reason as you, I don't like the "weights section" at the gym because it's just men pushing iron and I would end up feeling awkward) and to incorporate strength training into my routine.

    Luckily, my gym membership has just unfrozen and they do great classes e.g. kettlebells and body conditioning which I've started to dabble in. I've also just bought a set of 1.5kg weights (I'm a weakling ;) ) and am doing Jillian Michael's level 1 of her 30 day shred (free video on youtube!) so that I don't feel like a total plonker in class.

    Slowly but surely!

    PS what day is your 10k race? Slightly tempted!!

    1. Haha I definitely feel like I'm experiencing many of the newbie runner worries! I just really don't like the thought of trying and failing to lift my teeny-tiny weight in front of loads of muscly men! I really like the idea of doing some classes though, perhaps it's finally time to invest in a gym membership...

      It's Regent's Park one on 3rd November - they have one every month and Regent's Park is so lovely I though it'd be a good place to start.