Girls Who Lift: A Beginners Guide

Zanna Van Dijk gives us the low down on getting started

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The weights area of your gym can be intimidating. But we all know that lifting is good you in so many ways. If you want to get fitter and stronger, you should be lifting, simple. Zanna Van Dijk is a personal trainer, nutritionist and internet sensation, she told us why we really should be lifting and how to get started. If you still need persuading, here she is in action…

 

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Why should I be lifting?

Lifting weights is amazing for your body. Not only does it make you sweat, but it challenges your body and makes you get stronger. By building up muscle mass you will work towards developing a lean and toned physique. It also supports bone strength and density, something which women in particular are subject to having issues with.

How do I get started? 

Do your research. Look online at weighted workouts and routines - there are loads of YouTube videos which show you step by step exercises. Write down a handful of exercises you want to try, the sets and the reps and go to the gym and give them a go. Take a friend to make it less intimidating and if you want to be extra safe, and book a session with a personal trainer to make sure you're doing the exercises correctly and aren't injuring yourself. 

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Zanna’s Top tips for lifting weights

Warm up. Prepare your muscles before weight lifting. I recommend popping Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll on Lotion on your tight muscles such as calves, hamstring and glutes. Follow this with an aerobic warm up. 

Focus on form - make sure you're doing the exercises correctly to avoid injury.

Write down your workouts before you hit the gym, so you feel confident in what you're doing.

Get a friend involved, so you can get stronger together.

Don't be afraid to lift heavy - you won't get bulky, you'll just get stronger, fitter and more toned. Make sure you're really pushing yourself.

Keep progressing. Every time you lift weights ensure you're increasing the weights, sets or reps - it increasing the difficulty in some way. This way your body will keep changing and progressing.

Mix it up. Don't do the same routine over and over again. Change the program every 6weeks or so.

Get started today with this full-body routine

Warm up: body weight squats, lunges, high knees, butt kicks

Weighted goblet squats 3 sets of 10

Weighted walking lunges 3 sets of 10 each leg

Seated cable row 3 sets of 10

Lying dumbell chest press 3 sets of 10 

Seated dumbell shoulder press 3 sets of 10 

Plank - 3 x 1 minute

DONE! 

Follow Zanna on Instagram here for regular inspiration. 

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