Heavy lifters

(45 Posts)
BsshBossh Tue 18-Jun-13 15:08:21

Are there any "heavy" lifters out there? By "heavy" I mean heavy to you smile. I've only just begun (2 months) using predominantly free weights (dumbbells). My routine includes deadlifts, squats, lunges, shoulder press, pulldown, bicep curls, tricep extension and a few more. I am still under 10kg for all the exercises but my goal is to move out of the "ladies section" and to the "big boys and girls" section of the gym and start using bigger barbells for the lower body work. My ultimate aim is to deadlift/squat etc my current body weight 140lbs (then go further!). But I need to lose the shyness first and move over to the heavier lifting section of my gym.

What do you do?

MrsGSR Tue 18-Jun-13 17:09:46

I was (we've just moved house and it took me a while to find a new gym, and now I'm pregnant so waiting until after 14 weeks before getting back into it!) doing a version of stronglifts 5x5 that a friend edited for me. I was doing 5 sets of 5 repetitions of squats, bench press, lat pull down, butterflies and then some isolation exercises for specific areas I want to improve. I loved it! I'm doing a lot of research to work out what I can take back up and what will have to wait until after baby is born.

mercury7 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:24:23

I've trained 'body builder style' for about 20 years, I am invariably the only woman in the mens section of the gym.
Yes it can feel a bit uncomfortable at times even though I'm very confident in the sense that I know what I'm doing when it comes to weight training.

I just focus on what I'm doing

BsshBossh Tue 18-Jun-13 17:57:50

I think I'm going to book a personal trainer to "take me into" the heavy weights section and ask him/her to help me with transfer some of my dumbbell routine to barbell and to help me with good form as I ramp up the weights. Perhaps in a few weeks... Will keep you posted.

I so love the impact weights is having on my body shape and the extra strength it's giving me for running. I do 3 days weights interpersed with 2 days running. My weights routine is full body. It also allows me to eat more and not put on weight (important to me as I am maintaining a 5 stone loss).

mercury7 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:02:15

I guess strength training would help stabilise things for running but in my case I'm not sure if it's helped, I have quite muscular 'footballers' legs but I'm the slowest runner eversad

If you want to really go for it with strength you may find it helpful to eventually use a split routine

MrsGSR Tue 18-Jun-13 22:32:17

I used a spilt routine for a few months (chest + bis, back + tris and lower body) but got better results doing a full body compound routine. I think it's important to experiment to find what works for you (and what you enjoy to keep you motivated). They do say with any diet or fitness plan that you need to try it for at least 3 weeks to see results.
I'm so excited about getting back into it, even a very tame modified version!

Hey Bssh congratulations on your weight loss and exercise achievements, you must feel (and look) amazing grin!

I think it's a great idea to get a PT to draw up a heavier free weight programme for you and take you through it to check your form is good. You should then get a 'feel' for good form and use this to change your programme around a bit every few weeks using magazines/websites etc for ideas, or see the PT once a month maybe, to review progress and introduce new things.

I love weight training and what it does for my body, like Mercury, I am usually the only woman in the free weights section of the gym too but it doesn't bother me at all -in fact I get quite a kick out of lifting the same as some guys do for some exercises wink-- I mix up the weights with HIIT so I may, after warm up do back to back bench press/tricep kickback for 3 sets then skip for two minutes, then do clean, heave and press sets followed by a set of burpees, etc etc.. ie aiming to keep my heart rate up throughout the session. I do this usually mon, weds, fri and also kickbox at least 3 times per week.

Yep, I crossfit so oly lifts (snatch, clean&jerk) at least once a week and strength work in every session. I love heavy lifting!

BsshBossh Wed 19-Jun-13 07:32:29

Thank you everyone.

So what weights does everyone lift eg deadlifts 65kg, squats 45kg, bicep curls 20kg (these are not my figures by the way, but one of my goals!).

I aim for sets of 8-10 reps, don't ever do bicep curls (rely on other exercises to hit them), deadlifts and squats i can do 60kg (my bodyweight), clean heave and press 25kg, chest press 30kg, tricep kickbacks 8kg. Lots of push ups (kickboxing also demands these). Still can't do an unassisted pull up though blush.

Will make you a friend so you can see a pic of me, I think I am proof that you can lift pretty heavy weights without getting too bulky <modest>

Argh, the mumsnet mates thing seems to have changed, have to take ds1 to school, back in half hr to look again!

EleanorFarjeon Wed 19-Jun-13 07:56:48

Wow, Sleepwhenide. I'm really impressed you can squat with 60kg. You must be so strong.

I squat with a measly 35kg at Body Pump and I have to get the instructor to lift it back over my head at the end!

BsshBossh Wed 19-Jun-13 08:16:13

Sleep yes very impressive and these are my goals. Do you use barbells for the squats, deadlifts, heave&press, then dumbbells for chest press and triceps?

Anyone else care to share their weights routine and amount of weights they use?

Barbells for chest press (in squat rack for squats) dumbbells for triceps, also for split squats and lunges.

BsshBossh Wed 19-Jun-13 12:48:02

Well I've booked a PT session at my gym next Monday to go through barbells/dumbbells, increasing weights and good form. So excited!

mercury7 Wed 19-Jun-13 14:47:48

I tend to use cables or dumbells for upper body, barbell pressing hurts my writs, although I like the EZ bar for close grip bench press...infact that is my favourite exercise

For legs I like leg press and barbel lunges, I dont squat any more because of old injuries.
For hamstrings I use ankle straps, and do leg curls lying on a bench, I think this is great but I've never seen anyone else do it hmm

Back in the day, I could....yeah well, that was then, and thats why I've got so many bloody injuries now blush

Really Bssh I'm loathe to give advice on routines because over the years I've learned what works for me but I'm not sure it would work for other people confused

Good luck with the PT session grin

I love lifting heavy!

I started strength training as part of a post-baby health kick a few years ago. I've kept at it in a fairly half hearted kind of a way, twice a week doing a push/pull split

(push= squat + bench or shoulder press plus other bits and pieces, pull = deadlift + rows or lat pull downs etc). I've steadily got stronger and fitter (also do occasional cardio of various kinds).

MY NY resolution this year was to step up the training and enter a competition. I did my first powerlifting comp in January! It was great fun. I'm going to compete in August, and it's really helped focus my training.

I'm now doing 4 days/week, which is pretty hard work! My current PBs are: squat 100kg, benchpress 50kg, DL 130kg (all for 3 reps, I haven't tested single reps for ages. Might do in the next week or so).

For a starting program the new rules of lifting for women and starting strength are both good.

There are some good websites and facebook groups for womens strength training. I'll post some links if you're interested?

Hope the PT session goes well. smile

BsshBossh Wed 19-Jun-13 16:39:14

strong great weights!

Thanks mercury.

Right, I've been studying Stronglifts and although I don't want to do it 5x5, I like the basic routine. Then I'm going to add in a few more that I enjoy. I already do these moves using dumbbells and machine but barbells will be new to me:

Bench press
Bicep curl
Tricep extension
Twist (obliques)
Side bend (obliques)
Lat pulldown machine

I'll bring this list to the PT and ask her to help me with form and weight.

BsshBossh Wed 19-Jun-13 16:39:51

Forgot to add:

Bent over row

BsshBossh Wed 19-Jun-13 16:43:49

Yes, definitely interested in websites strong. Thanks! I am a member of various lifting groups on MFP, also Female Bodybilding forum and peruse Scooby forum. Am also aware of Nerd Fitness.

All you heavy lifters how's your body weight - do you find the weights keeps your weight / body fat down? I no longer have to focus too much on my food intake in terms of calories anymore and am happily maintaining a 5 stone loss still eating over 2000 cals but not having to calorie count at all.

strongandlong I am loving those numbers! Is that a back squat at 100kg?

Re diet - I follow the Paleo diet, noooooo to calorie counting! For me it has made a big difference in body shape and my training.

Technotropic Fri 21-Jun-13 10:18:33


Your workout looks good, with some decent compound moves. Just a few comments though that I hope may be helpful.

Is the OHP a standing move or sat on a bench? If it's sat then you will get more benefit from being stood up with your feet close together.

I'm pretty lazy so prefer to do more compounds and less isolation. I think you could dispense with the curls and tricep extensions and get more benefit if you could do chin ups and dips. If you can't quite shift your bodyweight then perhaps a station with a weighted platform will help (if you have one of those in the gym).

Also it's definitely worth putting a row on your workout. Either a bent over row with a bar or on a bench with dumbbells but something to work your back a bit more.

The lunges are great but with the squat and dead lifts I'm not sure if they're really needed (unless you enjoy them that is).

I would definitely do the squats and deadlifts on different days (apologies if you're doing that already) to maximise strength gains. I don't think I've met anyone who can max out both on the same day.

Anyway hope this helps. Sounds like you're going to enjoy stepping things up smile

BsshBossh Fri 21-Jun-13 14:32:44

Techno, very helpful feedback thanks. I do bent over rows, forgot to list that, and my OHP are standing ones. Will continue to do curls but will swap out extensions for dips.

For time reasons I prefer doing full body weight sessions Mon,Wed,Fri and HIIT cardio Tue,Thu as I read it's best not to mix cardio and weights in a single session. So could I split the leg work as follows?

Mon - lunges (I love them)
Wed - deadlifts
Fri - squats

And not do all three each weights day?

mercury7 Fri 21-Jun-13 14:57:26

as I read it's best not to mix cardio and weights in a single session
I'm not sure that there's anything inherently wrong with it, and I often do about 40 mins strength training followed by 45-60 mins cardio, depends what your goals & priorities are.

For back I'd try and include some wide grip and some close grip (as well as pulling the into your chest and pulling down from overhead already mentioned)

It can get a bit much trying to work all muscles from all angles confused

I'm also a huge fan of lunges, I like to use a barbell and a long stance, all the reps on one leg, then rack the bar, regroup and all the reps on the other leg.
I find they work my glutes and hamstrings like nothing else (except glute/ham raises)

Thats the thing...individual bio mechanics tend to mean that a movement that really hits the spot for one person doesnt do much for another person.

I tend not to deadlift any more because my lower back goes into spasm and I never really found that squats hit me much in the quads.
But I am totally in love with the 45 degree legpress grin

mercury7 Fri 21-Jun-13 15:06:33

...also if you want to go heavier I'd suggest that training each muscle group 3 times per week doesnt leave enough time for recovery, the heavier you go the more time you need to recover.
You may make more progress training each muscle every 4-7 days

Technotropic Fri 21-Jun-13 15:07:05

Hey BsshBossh

No worries. I thought you might have missed something as your workout looks pretty balanced and covers the entire body. It just seemed odd not to see rows in there so glad you've got it covered already.

Dips are amazing as they'll hit your triceps, delts, pecs (if you lean forward or widen your grip) and the back/lats to a lesser degree.

Full body workouts are tough going. Your schedule sounds identical to mine as you get a day off the weights Tues/Thurs and squeeze some cardio in. Definitely don't do cardio and weights on the same day if you're lifting heavy.

What you've suggested with lunges on Mon, deadlifts on Tues and squats on Fri sounds ideal to me. I definitely wouldn't do all three in one day unless you only lift light(ish) weights. As your thread is about lifting heavy though you will find the heavier you go the harder it'll be to do more than one compound leg exercise a day. Especially if you're doing 5 sets of reps.

Anyway I hope this helps. TBH it's nice to see people taking an interest in the classic compound moves. What you've got on your list is the staple of any decent workout so hope you enjoy. Just make sure you focus heavily on form. IMHO it's better to lift less with perfect form than to lift 2x your body weight with poor form. When you switch to the more serious end of the gym I've no doubt you will see big guys showing off but doing it all wrong. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to follow suit.

All the best smile

BsshBossh Fri 21-Jun-13 20:40:25

Thanks both of you. Okay, from what you've written I think this is my plan:

- Use the beginning of my journey (with the lighter weights) to focus on form and nail that
- Continue with full body sessions but split the compound leg exercises
- As I start lifting heavier and heavier, start doing split body routines for all body parts

Really excited now but still terrified of entering the big, heavy weights section. It's a silly terror really cause the users of my gym are really very nice and not at all scary! It's all in my head. But I'm glad I'll be breaking virgin (for me) territory with a personal trainer by my side.

EMUZ Tue 25-Jun-13 04:45:17

I dabble a little bit, weights lift my mood massively I find. Mainly I work with a PT or in my boot camp class. I have sciatica and totally put my back out a few months ago resulting in gas & air to scrape me off the floor grin I wasn't even in the gym at the time!
Not sure on weights, I know I leg press 110kg
Did a horrible workout today with a 10kg barbell. Basically 1 rep of each then sprint, then 2 reps of each, all the way up to 10 reps of each then back down to 1 confused
Squat, clean and press, lunge (1 rep = both legs), bent over row. Sounds easy but it killed!!!

Technotropic Fri 28-Jun-13 00:04:11

Hey Bsshbossh

How's it all going? Thought I'd check back and your plan sounds good so hope the PT helped build on it and set you off on the right foot.

There's nothing quite like aching glutes lol.

All the best smile

Hi Bssh I was just thinking about you and wondering how you are getting on? Sticking with it? Enjoying? smile

I have just finished reading "New Rules of Lifting" and am inspired to start the workout programme after the summer holidays as I am feeling like I've lost a bit of direction and need a change/more focus. A lot of the stuff in there is things I regularly do - so I was wondering if anyone has started the workout programme when already a fairly experienced lifter? Should I still start at the beginning but adjust/include weights so they are appropriate for me?

In other news I finally cracked the unassisted pull up grin. Can manage 2 but working on increasing it!

Another odd question too, I have been looking at the bra intervention threads and keep getting comments about my measurements (32E) not being possible because I am a size 8 (this includes from people in RL). I think it must be because of the weight training increasing lats? Body fat is fairly low and rib cage certainly isn't fat....anyone else who lifts have similar phenomenon?

kelpeed Sat 17-Aug-13 11:23:50

good for you.i used to play competitive sport, and to just keep up with the fitness training sessions, i started doing extra fitness. I used to do heavy heavy stuff (for me), with 5x squats about same /120% body weight, leg press 120kg, 50kg bench press, loadsof unassisted chinups, plus 10k runs a few times a week, cycling to work.

then came (nonsleeping, extra strength crying volume) babies. it was hard to maintain the above lifting weights as i didnt/couldnt go regularly , ie 3 x per week.
now i just do medium weigths a couple of times a week. i sometimes do cardio afterwards in a vain attempt to catch up the lost and (and still loosing sad) years.

i think the issue of women scared of doing heavy or even free weights can be helped a lot by the gym management. the gym manager at my gym was very nice just after the babies were born was supprotive of women doing hand /free weights, and heavy stuff. All his prorgams included half and half free and machine weights. He used to put up photos of ordinary women lifting weights (wearing normal workout clothes not skimpy outfits) around the free weigths area to help break down the blokes only stereotype in that partof the gym. there were always a few women in that area at any one time. the next gym that I went too also had some female olympic athletes train there, and their training inlcuded using heavy weights, so no problem with dilletante blokes trying to manslpain how to use the weights there. they just got laughed at. once a horrible angry man (probaly steroidy) came up to try to push me off the squat rack cos i was in the way of his timed program but i kicked up a stink and told the management who immediatley cancelled his membership (he had apparently tried this on others previously). I did go to one gym where women used the weights section less, but i really didnt care what anyone thought. To be honest, i think blokes probably focus more at checking themselves out, than checking out women.

my lifting was mostly was all for fitness and sanity, not for body buidling. those with the least experience with being fit were the biggest and most negative commentators (stereotype alert , mainly older generation --dad-).

kelpeed Sat 17-Aug-13 11:53:47

might i add, that other women, not so much men, seem to be more judgey than the menz when it comes to weights, let alone heavy weights? -"oooh too much for meee, i will grow big and musclesy" and "i just cant keep up" when they havent even tested this out for themselves.

interested in whether others have sensed this?

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Mon 19-Aug-13 21:51:50

I've been on a heavy lifting plan for the last five weeks having got sick of cardio/body pump style lifting. I do each body part twice a week and a bit of HIIT to strip back fat and am amazed at the difference in my body already - I've got some great progress photos so far.

My weights are creeping up, I can now deadlift more than I weigh and am getting close on the squat. A pesky shoulder issue is holding me back on chest work, but I'm focussing on fixing it properly so I can train hard in the future. I'm absolutely loving the energy it gives me, the amount I can eat, the way I'm looking and how easy it is to sleep now!

kelpeed - I find that quite a lot. I either get the "I like my light weights, I don't want to bulk up" or, on the rare occasion "You don't look like you should be able to lift that." I tend to ignore it, like I do the odd perve who doesn't realise I can see him in the mirror when he's watching my bum as I deadlift. Most of the guys in the weight room are far more supportive!

BsshBossh Mon 19-Aug-13 22:26:39

Hello, OP here smile Still lifting, but still in the ladies section! Had to cancel my PT session due to illness and never managed to reschedule. But come the new school year, I'll be booking a new session to conquer my "fear" of the big weights section.

My body is really changing shape, it's amazing: the diet and cardio are stripping the fat down to reveal some nice muscle - I can't stop looking at myself in the mirror. I'm a huge convert to heavy (to me!) weights!

Technotropic Wed 21-Aug-13 21:59:09

Cool, glad to hear you're enjoying it. Weights are the bee's knees smile

Shame about the free weights end but there really is nothing to fear. I hate meatheads that crash weights down and leave equipment lying around etc. but don't take it personally. They're rude and crap to everyone so you just need to get stuck in and ignore.

It's all relative so is all about what's heavy for you. Lots of people put me to shame but hey ho!

BsshBossh Thu 22-Aug-13 17:21:45

That's the crazy thing - the guys in my gym are fine (no obvious meatheads) so the fear is completely based on "making a fool of myself" (whatever that means!).

But I'll get there.

Oooooh kindred spirits!

Around a year ago, I was very into free weight work. Then I took up figure skating and had to give up my gym membership to fun that as I wasn't working at the time.

Now I get a gym membership through work, to a VERY nice health club/gym. I went for an induction today, and told the trainer doing it I liked freeweights. However, I'm around 4 stone overweight so I have a heavy cardio plan at the moment.

Might ask to be shown deadlifts, could never do them...

At my best, I was doing 15kg for upper body, and 30kg for squats (we had a squat rack in my old gym - VERY useful bit of kit).

Really want to get back to those numbers, and improve them. I'd love to squat over my body weight (when I weigh less than 70kgs haha!)

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sat 24-Aug-13 18:49:13

Lollipop you don't need to go cardio heavy to lose weight. The lifting, and frankly mostly your diet, will have you shedding the lbs. Cardio will get you skinny-fat!

Does your trainer have you doing any resistance work at all? What have they suggested for you?

Can I ask the rest of you what you do re dietary supplements? I struggle to get enough food in (hence losing mass) and wonder what I should be using to supplement my diet. There's a lot of contradictory information out there so does anyone have any regime that works for them?

Hotel I actually bumped into him during my session today, and he said that yesterday was just a quick induction - when I get my membership card that works with the computers and machines and whatnot, we'll add some resistance work onto my routine - starting out on the machines to ease me back into it, then in 4-6 weeks, I can get my programme changed and get some freeweights going smile

Urgh, after all this hard work on Slimming World, skinny-fat is NOT what I'm aiming for! I want a little muscle, but nothing too extreme smile

Isabeller Sun 25-Aug-13 16:19:10

I have wanted to do this for years. I'm currently obese & pregnant but so excited by thread I have to ask - where can I find help and advice?

Every time I've tried to get help I haven't been taken seriously. I do quite physically demanding work and lift fairly heavy things regularly.

Isabeller you could either ask a personal trainer, or one of the heavy lifters at your local gym. Or Youtube, even if it's just to see the different exercises.

I REALLY want to deadlift, but you can really hurt yourself if you do it wrong, so I'm waiting til I get my exercise programme changed, then I can ask for advice.

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Sun 25-Aug-13 16:43:21

Splendid stuff Lollipop ! I'm going to pop a photo up on my profile which shows me after months of 1200 calories a day dieting, tons of cardio and a few body pump classes a week next to one of me after 4 weeks of heavy lifting, 3 short cardio sessions a week and 2000 calories a day. I'm due to take my 6 week photos tomorrow, and whilst they won't show as much of a change I'm hopeful that there'll be some results. I'm a bit evangelical about it at the moment as I'm newly returned to lifting and love how it makes me feel - I really regret stopping!

Isabeller there's loads of information on bodybuilding.com with decent programmes for all levels, videos of how to do exercises and lots of support on the forums. I also find most of the people on the gym floor quite helpful - there's a trainer in my gym who I speak to quite a lot, in fact I'm considering asking him to coach me, as he trains the way I like to and looks good - he has the fitness model type build so looks like he understands what I'm after. I'm also often approached by women in my gym as I don't work out like they do and am always happy to help/chat.

Isabeller Sun 25-Aug-13 17:32:46

Thanks for the advice, will mentally bookmark for next year smile

gindrinker Mon 26-Aug-13 07:19:10

I'm just trying to get into heavy weights. I had my induction at the gym yesterday and really surprised myself.

I explained I did body pump and trx so he had me doing squats with a 24kg kettle bell and hamstrings/glutes with 28kg. He had me doing supersets with the arm machines 8-12 reps on each 3-4 times.

Hmm, did NO weights at the gym yesterday, just cardio and a swim, and appear to have tweaked my lower back hmm

See, you lot were right, cardio is bad for you! grin

Hopefully it's just a case of slightly overdoing it this weekend.

Roll on my next session when I can get back to strength training, as nice gym man is going to sort out a routine for me smile

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