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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Unexpected Things You Can Experience When You Start Lifting Weights

Person About to Start Lifting the Barbell Inside the Gym

If you've never lifted weights before, doing it for the first time can seem pretty daunting. You don't want to look stupid in front of people at the gym, but you also don't want to hurt yourself trying to do it at home. Once you've got up the courage, a quick orientation at your gym or a couple of hours with a personal trainer will help you feel a lot of more confident. And when you're started lifting weights and committed yourself to doing it regularly, you're sure to start noticing a few changes that you might not expect. It can have a variety of effects on your body, so watch out for these changes.

You're Suddenly Hungry All the Time

You need energy to exercise. If you want to lose weight, some of the energy you give your body might be in the form of the fat you want to burn off. But you still need to make sure you're eating enough throughout the day to give yourself enough energy for your usual routine, plus your time lifting weights. Building muscle requires extra energy, plus some specific nutrients like protein. If you find that when you start lifting weights, you're suddenly starving all the time, you might not be eating enough. Be careful though, because you could end up overdoing it if you keep eating. It's a good idea to plan your diet to keep things balanced.

You Have to Get a New Wardrobe

Lifting weights can change the size and shape of your body. Even if you start thinking that you just want to tighten things up a little bit, you can still find that your clothes no longer fit you in the way they used to. You now can't get into your jeans, or maybe you've burned off some fat, and your tops are all too big. After you've been weightlifting for a while, the urge and the necessity to go shopping is probably going to get stronger. It's always good to have an excuse to buy new clothes.

You Feel More Toned

You might have started lifting weights with the aim of toning up, but you never expected that you would actually feel more toned. It doesn't take long before you can start feeling like your body is tighter and stronger. You feel like everything moves less than it did before and maybe even that you have more control over your body. You can feel stronger in hardly any time at all. For many people, it's one of the best things about weightlifting, and it can give you a huge boost in confidence and self-esteem. Just try not to flex too much.

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You Don't Lose Weight - or Even Gain It

If you've chosen to lift weights to help you lose weight, you've made a great choice. A lot of people recommend weights as a way to start burning fat. However, you can find yourself feeling disappointed when you step on the scales. You feel like you're getting slimmer, but the scales actually say you haven't lost weight or even that you've put on weight. Don't worry, though. This could just be because you have put on muscle as you've burned off fat. For a more accurate way to see if you're reaching your goals, you can measure yourself with a tape measure. Visit for a guide on how to do this. Taking measurements of key areas like your waist or your arms and legs gives you a better idea of whether you're burning fat. Check your progress in inches, and not in pounds.

You Hold Your Head Up Higher

As you start getting more into weightlifting and your body changes, it can give you a boost of confidence. But that's not the only reason you might be holding your head up higher. You could be physically standing taller after a while, thanks to the benefits of lifting weights. It can help you improve your posture by making your muscles stronger. Stronger muscles can get you to stand up straighter. Plus, having to focus on having the right form when you're lifting weights can translate into your daily life too, and you can find that you subconsciously stand taller outside of the gym.

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Your Aches and Pains Are Gone

Lifting weights can certainly result in a few aching muscles. Being able to feel the burn the day after your workout isn't always the best feeling, although it can be a nice reminder of all the hard work you put in. But even though it can cause you to ache a bit, lifting weights could also help you deal with aches and pains. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or you're a generally sedentary person, it can cause problems in your back, shoulders or neck from hunching over. You might find that other joints, like your knees, suffer from not getting enough exercise too. But when you lift weights, you can give your whole body a good workout, and it can help to recondition your muscles and strengthen anything you haven't been using enough.

You Start Thinking About Protein More Than Ever

Before lifting weights, you might never have given much thought to how much protein you eat, beyond knowing you should have some in your diet. However, once you start weightlifting, you need to think about how much protein you're getting if you want to support your muscles. Protein is necessary for muscle growth, and you should get around 0.5 to 0.8 grams for each pound of bodyweight you have. An easy way to measure is to have a portion of protein the size of your palm. The most well-known source of protein is meat, but you can also get it from seafood, dairy, eggs, and beans. And, of course, protein powder. Take a look at to find some great sources of protein that aren't meat.

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You'll Have a New Way to Deal with Stress

Everyone has to deal with stress in their life, which might come from work, family, or other areas. Whatever it is that makes you stressed, being able to deal with it in a healthy way helps your mental state. When you start getting into weightlifting, you can find that it's an excellent way to deal with some of your stress. Some stress is best solved by coming up with practical solutions to problems. But often you just need to deal with the feeling of being stressed. Lifting weights gives you a physical way to do that, and it gives you something to concentrate on so you can get out of your head.

You Won't Be As Bulky As You Imagined

A lot of women, in particular, worry about getting too bulky when they start lifting weights. Although you want to be stronger and more toned, you might not wish to look like a bodybuilder. If you're a woman, your chances of getting really bulky from some routine weightlifting aren't that high, due to having a lower amount of testosterone. If you don't want to bulk up, you can manage your exercise routine, so you control the growth of your muscles. Of course, if you do want to be bigger, you can plan for that too.

You Can Improve More Than Just Your Strength

Your strength isn't the only area of fitness where you might notice an improvement. You can also discover that things like your flexibility, stamina and even speed are improved through lifting weights. Some of these you'll work on through weightlifting, while others you might improve by adding other elements to your exercise routine. You might add some cardio or even do some yoga to complement your weightlifting routine.

You'll Sleep Better

Lifting weights can help you get more and better quality sleep - and not just because you're exhausted. Lifting weights helps to kickstart your metabolism, which can make it easier for you to fall asleep. When you're more active, you'll be able to get rid of excess energy. However, exercising can also get you pumped up, so if you're having trouble dropping off, you might find it better to exercise earlier in the day. Mornings are a great time to exercise if you need something to get you going.

You Will Have More Energy

It might seem contradictory, but being more active can actually give you more energy. If you find that you're feeling energetic or that it's easy to concentrate, it could be thanks to your new weightlifting routine. Your body will be better prepared for your trips to the gym, which means you'll be ready for all your other daily activities too. Not only that, but the endorphins from exercising can give you a high and have you raring to go, ready to tackle anything that's put in front of you. Whether you're going for a walk or lifting a heavy box, you can find that you have more energy and strength to do it.

A lot of unexpected things can happen to you when you start lifting weights. Get ready for some interesting but positive changes.