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Get out of your comfort zone!

January 6, 2010

Have you tried a little weight training and you’re a bit underwhelmed with the results? Chances are, you’ve made one of these mistakes:


  • TOO LIGHT:  You didn’t use weights heavy enough to elicit a training response. That is, your muscles didn’t grow so you didn’t “firm up.”
  • TOO LONG:  You performed the same routine over and over, for too long a period of time.
  • TOO LITTLE:  You just didn’t do enough exercise, or perform it consistently, to get results.

Time and again, I see women using the lightest weights in the gym.

Now, everyone has to start somewhere. Many years ago, I began with 3 and 5 lb. DBs on my living room floor. So I never judge a person–male or female–using light weights in the gym.

But, over the years, I moved up. Now I do chest presses using anywhere from 35 to 50 lb. DBs (with a spot on the heavy DBs, of course). That’s an example. I use different poundages on different exercises.

To get results–a shapely, toned body–you DO have to WORK. But that’s as it is with EVERYTHING, no? With being a good parent, mate, employee? With having a clean house? With paying your bills on time or saving money for important expenses? It all takes a bit of time, discipline and a bit of pushing yourself. Same for achieving a strong and healthy body.

I’ve noticed that women–and men, too–seem to stop performing reps at a certain magic number. Say “10.” Well, if you’re strong enough to get 14 reps with that same weight, those 10 reps aren’t going to do you much good.

Just as common, many people put the weights down when they just start to feel their muscles. Mistake!

Here’s what you do! Go for 2 more reps!

When I feel like stopping, I push for 2 more reps. More often than not, I get them. But even if I get only one more rep, that one’s a bonus! Just leave a little “in the tank” for the rest of your workout.

Another thing I tell people I train: “You’re stronger than you think you are!” Keep this in mind when you hit the weights next.

Picking up the heavier DBs–or getting those 2 extra reps–is when you start to make progress!

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