“Unsexy” training, pie, & the myth that lifting weights is dangerous.

I received an amazing response to my last post “Unsexy Training Methods Produce Sexy Results”.  I’d like to share a particular reader’s response that addresses a very common mentality about lifting weights – common for people who don’t have enough knowledge (for whatever reason) about the benefits of lifting weights.

Myth:  Lifting weights is dangerous. 

Fact: Being de-conditioned is dangerous.

But first things first.  Let’s talk about unsexy training and pie…

I hope everyone got their “unsexy” training in so that they could enjoy their fill of turkey, stuffing, and pie over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

We had our Third Annual Turkey Swing at Iron Body Studios

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My sister and my 11 year old niece and 8 year old nephew participated in the swing.  It was awesome.

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The Iron Body Studios Turkey Swing is a big event and I busted out my wireless mic from my days as a spin instructor special for the occasion to make sure that everyone could hear me loud and clear.

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Putting on my “Britney Spears” brought out the spin instructor in me like a reflex with cues like “You got it!” and “Push PUSH”.  When that happens I stop and reflect upon the things that I say and I think, “Seriously.  Who am I???”.  Anyway, Both my niece and nephew helped me to lead warm up and then they continued on to take the ENTIRE class.  They are amazing those little ones.  We did Tracy Reifkind’s 33 minute 760 Swing Workout.  They stood by my side on the turf and faced the class and swung away all 760 swings.  My niece and nephew had never swung a kettlebell before and with a few corrections, by a few sets into class they were swinging like pros.  It was amazing to see the improvement.

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Everyone who attended, including my sister who smiled the WHOLE time, did an amazing job, pushed through (“Push PUSH!”), and worked hard.

After the Turkey Swing, I did my own short and sweet “unsexy” training and then Eric and I headed up to my parents’ for Thanksgiving dinner.

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The day after Thanksgiving was my 20 year high school reunion.   I cannot believe I have been on this earth long enough to have graduated from high school TWENTY YEARS AGO HOLY COW!

It was great to see everyone and even more incredible to think back to my 15 year high school reunion and to think how much has happened in the past 5 years never mind the past 20 years.  5 years ago I had just left my IT consulting job to work as a personal trainer and now I own my own gym.  That was a dream of mine 5 years ago and now I am actually living it.  It’s still a bit surreal.

So, now onto my first point about this myth (that I would like to dispel with this post) that lifting weights is dangerous…

I received a reader response, which I have posted in its entirety below because I thought it brought up a very important point and a common misconception that I hear often.  Not to mention her response literally made me laugh out loud at some points…

“…people I talk to about lifting think it’s dangerous. This is hilarious to me as I’m a serious horse rider who does much more dangerous stuff on horses than with weights…. I’m even more entertained when it comes from horse folk as these are people who know what it’s like to get bucked off and thrown from a horse.”

I hear this all the time from my clients who have heard it from their friends who do not exercise or lift weights, or random people who don’t have proper knowledge about lifting weights:

“Lifting weights!  That’s dangerous, don’t do that, you’ll hurt yourself!”

Seriously?  People are more apt to have an accident in their own kitchen with their Cuisinart or break their toe on the coffee table than in the weight room, ESPECIALLY if the person is lifting weights under the supervision of a personal trainer or an instructor.   In addition, if you don’t lift weights, then how do you expect to be strong enough to be able to lift your groceries, suitcase, or children?  If you do not lift weights how do you maintain muscle mass in order to increase and/or maintain your metabolism as you age?   If you do not lift weights how do you expect to maintain bone density as you age or be strong enough to carry a loved one out of a burning building???  Come on people, REAL LIFE is lifting weights so why not prepare for it properly in the gym, preferably under the supervision of a trainer or an instructor.

There is a lot more I could say on this topic but I will leave it for now and include this reader response and I welcome any and all reader feedback as I love to hear what you all have to say!  Now get after your “unsexy” training!

Than you Jenny for letting me share this, I look forward to receiving more of your responses. 🙂

A Reader Response to “Unsexy Training Methods Produce Sexy Results”

Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate your posts. They’re right on target and very motivating.

But, one thing I never read about—and it’s happened to me multiple times—is that people I talk to about lifting think it’s dangerous. This is hilarious to me as I’m a serious horse rider who does much more dangerous stuff on horses than with weights.

In February of last year I decided to join a gym. First time in 20 years as I’ve always preferred my exercise outside—running, tennis and especially horses (I ride 5-6x/week). I got four free training sessions with a trainer and really enjoyed his approach. He helped me work up to heavy weights with kettlebells, dumbells but have to admit my favorite by far has been barbell deadlifts. 9 months later I’m close to breaking 200lbs for my deadlift (among a host of other goals). He has been a patient guide and invaluable in introducing me to strength training. I’m in some of the best shape of my life.

 During this journey a lot of acquaintances have commented on how good I look (I’m a 40yo Mom with two kids) but they can’t believe it has anything to do with weights as I’ve always been on the thinner side comparatively speaking. And, even though I train young horses and do quite a bit of stuff on horseback that would scare normal people—people seem to think horses are sexy and safe. But, the response to lifting I get 8 out of 10 times is that it’s dangerous.

Friend: You look great Jenny what have you been doing? It’s a complete thrill to lift heavy stuff.

Jenny: I joined a gym for the first time in years and have really been enjoying lifting weights

Friend: You are doing what?

Jenny: I found I have a love affair with lifting heavy stuff.

Friend: You can’t do that. It’s dangerous

Jenny: It’s great.

Friend: What have you been doing to look so good?

Jenny: Lifting heavy stuff.

Friend: You are going to hurt your back. Really, you’re joking. What have you been doing?

Jenny: Lifting heavy shit. Let’s just leave it at that.

Not sure if your clients hear this “it’s dangerous” stuff, too.

I’m even more entertained when it comes from horse folk as these are people who know what it’s like to get bucked off and thrown from a horse.

Horse Friend: You look great Jenny what have you been doing?

Jenny: I joined a gym for the first time in years and have really been enjoying lifting weights. It’s a complete thrill to lift heavy stuff.

Horse Friend: That’s dangerous

Jenny: I just galloped Ziggy (my young horse) for the first time alone in the middle of the day on the trail. I would say that was a lot more dangerous.

Horse Friend: You should be doing Crossfit

Jenny: (laughing) I’m much more likely to be injured doing Crossfit.

Horse Friend: You should be doing yoga.

Jenny: Like this?…I then proceeded to demonstrate a handful of yoga poses.

Horse Friend: Maybe that weightlifting is making a difference.

Thanks for sharing your insight.

Jenny

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