Hi there! I am so excited to share this post with you. My gym friend (and birthday buddy), Ashley, is such an inspiration when it comes to working for something you want. She has worked SO HARD at achieving her fitness related goals (pull-ups, to be one of them) and the research and knowledge gained throughout this process can be portrayed throughout so many areas of her life, which is just one of the many reasons why strength training is so wonderful. Ashley is so honest, open, insightful and encouraging in this post and never mind this being a guest post, I just think it’s an incredible piece of writing and I hope you all feel as motivated to tackle your goals as I do after reading it!
7 tips to help your strength training journey
Hey Burpees to Bubbly readers! My name is Ashley Parent, and I’m a friend of Monique’s from (you guessed it) the gym! Monique asked me to come on the blog to talk a little bit about how I got started with strength training, where I am now, and to share some tips. For the sake of transparency, you should know that I don’t have any sort of fitness, health, or training certifications. Because of this, I’m going to talk less about the specifics of exercises and programming and more about tips regarding how to get the right background information and how to get in the right mindset for strength training.
I have a few years of experience and lots of casual studying on the subject. I have a training age of about 7 years (I was 21 years old), and I first got started learning the very basics of strength machines and free weights at a college class at Hampshire College (man, I miss the days of free gym classes that actually give you credit towards a degree). Looking back, I knew pretty much nothing then compared to what I know now, but it gave me the confidence to know my way around the weight room and do some basic moves. Fast forward to 2013 when I decided I wanted to practice some more complex moves (i.e. deadlift, turkish get-up, etc.) and start to go much heavier, so I contacted a local strength coach for some assistance. I learned so so much working with a coach for about 9 months, but I couldn’t afford to do it forever. Luckily, he’s a great person and lets me check in every now and then to make sure my form is still on point.
Currently, and for about the past 8 months, my main focus/goals have been sustainable fat loss and being able to do my first unassisted chin-up. Strength training should still be at the forefront of your training program when your goal is fat loss, so my fat loss goal has mostly been accomplished through my diet. I accomplished my chin-up goal on my birthday (April 14), so now my goal is just to do more chin-ups, of course! There are many articles out there about how to get started in the weight room if you’re a complete beginner, so I’m going to try to share some tips that are different from the ones you might see on those articles. If you want one of those, see number 6 below for some blogs where you might find one. Without further ado, here are 7 tips for strength training (I’m going to count them down, and number one is the most important, so skip ahead if you have to!):
- Know your goals and what you need to do to get there.