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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!

Sleepwhenidie Tue 18-Jun-13 23:18:13

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.

drowninginlaundry Tue 18-Jun-13 23:25:31

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!).

Sleepwhenidie Wed 19-Jun-13 07:39:48

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>

Sleepwhenidie Wed 19-Jun-13 07:43:54

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?

Sleepwhenidie Wed 19-Jun-13 08:25:49

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

strongandlong Wed 19-Jun-13 15:14:10

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.

drowninginlaundry Thu 20-Jun-13 06:33:39

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

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