My whole life all I knew was cardio. In elementary school, PE class was all about cardio: we always warmed up with running and then we would have to do a mile run for time with a goal of always beating our last mile time. Sports: every sport I did consisted of cardio training-soccer, cross country, tennis, even softball. We always ran. Competitions: consisted of running in races around San Diego county. The gym: all I knew was the treadmill and elliptical. Weekend workouts: consisted of runs on my home beach. Workout movies: consisted of cardio containing moves. Cardio cardio cardio-that’s it. That’s all I did.
I never really knew of weights and what I did know was: weights are for guys. Girls don’t lift weights because if you do, you will become big and bulky. At least that’s what I believed. I had never been introduced to how to lift a weight. No one told me it was OK for girls to lift weights. No one told me weight lifting is good until I was 25 years old.
I wanted to look more toned and my whole life I thought I could get more toned by just doing cardio, but I was wrong. I needed to lift weights. I don’t think I lifted a single weight until the age of 25 and man was it intimidating to be in the gym, in the weights section, with all the guys using a dinky 5 pound weight. I felt like an idiot. I felt like I looked so dumb compared to all these other people lifting heavy weights, but I had to start somewhere. I was so determined to become more toned and fit looking. I was scared that I would become one of those huge and bulky girls: the unattractive kind. Boy oh boy is that a myth. Let me tell you-it is hard to gain muscle and tone your body in the first place, so becoming big and bulky would be extremely difficult. So, if you have had that same thought then get that thought out of your mind right now. You will not immediately become big and bulky if you stop cardio and move to weights.
Lifting weights has become such a fun and new learning experience for me. I get to research an entire new topic I never knew much about and I get to track my progress as I go. I get to see my physical progress by taking pictures and I get to track how much weight I increase on my lifts. It’s new and exhilarating. I feel like I am doing something really cool. The best part about all of this is there are real results from my hard work! See some progress pictures below.
Now don’t get me wrong-I don’t regret doing cardio growing up. Those are some of my favorite memories. I got to be on multiple sports teams and gain friends through those teams. I got to spend lots of quality time with my mom by running in 5k races around San Diego county or going on sunset beach runs with her. Cardio was (and still is) a time for me to escape my own thoughts or get some anxiety out. So overall, cardio was great, but I wish I had started lifting weights sooner.
My body has drastically changed since switching over to weights. My arms now look more toned, I finally feel like I am gaining some sort of a butt, and my stomach is even looking more fit-who would have thought!
So ladies I want to encourage you to take that leap of transitioning from cardio to weights. It doesn’t mean you can’t do cardio at all. I still do cardio about twice a week and still feel great. It is a refreshing feeling to try something new and see yourself succeed! Don’t feel intimated and get out there and make some gains!