Stop Lifting 1kg Dumbbells!

Unless you only go to the gym to take pictures and check in on Facebook, only to prove that you go to the gym. Because if you keep lifting 1kg dumbbells, you won’t get any results to prove that you are going, so you will need all the pictures you can get.

I must say though, I’ll give you a little credit for moving away from the treadmill (because the treadmill won’t get you anywhere) and over to the (light)weight section of the gym. A little pad on the back for that. But, the weights you are holding in your hands needs to be a little heavier. Actually, strike that, a lot heavier. Obviously, if you have never lifted weights before, start with a few easier sessions before you go really hard. But if the weights you are holding are so light that you can do 50-100 repetitions without having to stop, they are way too light (much like you would do in a weight lifting class to music – no name mentioned). Actually, if you can do just 15 repetitions, they are still a little light. Aim for 6-12 repetitions. And that should be it! That should be so heavy that you are not really able to do more than that. Rest for a little while, maybe a minute and go again – this time you might not even be able to do 12, but don’t worry about that, just worry about doing as many as you can do. That’s enough. Then repeat one or two more times.

Swap these...

Swap these…

...for these!

…for these!

And, don’t waste your time doing bicep curls and triceps extensions. Do some big, compound movements and get it over and done with faster. Who’s got time to spend hours in the gym every day, anyway? Compound movements means exercises that move more than one joint at a time. Squats for instance, excellent choice of compound movement, using your ankles, knees and hips and strengthening legs, glutes and core! Do more of the big things and less of the small things. Save time and get better and faster results!! Just make sure they are heavy repetitions.

What was that sorry? You’ll get bulky if you lift weights? Really? How come I’m not a massive unit then? Because I squat quite often. And do chest press,  chin-ups, pushups seated rows and leg press on a very regular basis. And last time someone called me bulky was, ehm, never! Words often used abut me; mini-person (I prefer big person in a mini body though), solid (as in I am a lot heavier than I look, because muscle take up less room than fat) and bootylicious (from all those squats, come on girls, you know you want to hear that too!). Never have I heard the word ‘bulky’ being used to describe my body.

You will not get bulky from lifting heavy weights. You will get strong, your bones will be stronger (no osteoporosis here thank you!), your body shape will improve from skinny fat (oh how I love this word) to hot and sexy and your posture will improve due to a stronger core (this means if you sit down a lot you are a lot less likely to get lower back pain). You will have so much more energy, walk with confidence and you will have the strength you need to do the things you love in life (such as throwing your little niece up in the air and listening to her laughing and saying ‘again, again’). You will be a lot less likely to get Type 2 diabetes, because your insulin sensitivity will increase (hurray for that) and you will no longer have to ask your husband to open up jars for you (although he will feel like you need him if you do, so maybe just keep asking anyway!). And on top of all this, someone might start calling you bootylicious!

cupcakes what happens

Do you need more reasons for going heavy? It’s fun! Or at least, the feeling of getting stronger and lifting heavier is fun! Moving house will be easier (mowing the lawn too). Your bingo wings will disappear. You will become a new you and you can probably spend less time in the gym than you used to, because suddenly your sessions became efficient and your increased metabolism (due to more muscles) will help you burn more energy every day.

Just promise me one thing? If you are going to the gym to lift heavy, please, please, please make sure you eat plenty of food too! Food that will nourish your body, give it building blocks to support your muscles as they are repairing. Food that will give you the energy to exercise. Food that will make you feel good. And enough of it! Stop starving yourself. Feed the muscles and you will burn the fat! Go lift!

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23 Responses to Stop Lifting 1kg Dumbbells!

  1. jon928 says:

    What a good article. Well said. 🙂

  2. Ice_Badger says:

    I am not even sure why 1kg dumbells exist…I wear boots to dance in that weigh 2kg each…
    my personal trainer makes me use the grown up weights with the big bar, and he has put them in my program so I have no option…but I don’t understand why you would lift weights that are so light you don’t notice you are holding them…my handbag weighs more than 1 kg (although some say this is not a good thing…)

    • The heavy handbag might not be a good thing over time (unless you carry it in your hand and do curls with it?!). I like your PT, grown up weights are the best!

      • Ice_Badger says:

        🙂 I agree…even when the bar is so big i think i might fall off the bench if I wobble! (he does spot me so i probably won’t do much damage)

        I do wear my hand bag across my body to try and balance…and I am attempting to cut down the crap i feel the need to carry about…

    • elias says:

      Working out should be based on four exercises and only those five:
      1.Push ups.
      2. Sit ups
      3.Squats
      4. Pull ups
      Weight lifting will help in the short term but you will go right back to square 1 after a couple months.
      Bodyweight lifters conserve their bodies without even going to the gym or working out,
      And the best part no need to pay for gym subscription just clear a space and get to work

      • Interesting, although I would find myself being awfully bored pretty fast…

      • Ice_Badger says:

        Those are good for a start, but not only those.
        Why would lifting weights make you go back to square one? What is square one? Surely that depends on what you want to achieve.

        I am aware you can work out successfully using only body weight…but again…it depends in your goal..

  3. Rebecca says:

    great post as usual – have to say, I kinda wish the weights I was using this morning were 1kg… *whinge* 😛

  4. jesus, finally someone who understands something about weight training and is willing to call some people out on it. I always get questions from people, mainly girls, about how they can lose their arm fat, or how they can gain muscle but not get bulky like those professional lifters. Unless you’re going to the gym every day for 2 to 3 hours doing heavy weights with great protein intake, i highly doubt you’ll bulk up to that extent. I tell a lot of my girl friends that lifting won’t get you bulky. If anything it’ll help tighten everything up and you’ll look even better. Korean women especially who are prone to osteoporosis have to do it too! but they don’t want to because they love the i’m-so-skinny-i-look-gross look. To each his or her own i suppose but yes, if you’re going to work out with 1 lbs weights, you might as well not do them because you’ll have to be in the gym for about half a day every day to get the results you want. great post!

  5. kaitielakes says:

    I am really trying to get better about strength training, and really want to learn more about weight-lifting. Thanks for a great post!

  6. Amy @ Healthy and Fit for Real says:

    Love this- it’s so true! I cringe when I see women lifting tiny weights.

  7. Great post! Definitely true for many women: They are afraid of bulking up, but don’t realize they can get great muscle tone and definition and not come close to looking “bulky.”

  8. Dena Maddie says:

    Amen sister. I don’t think girls understand how much WORK goes into female bodybuilders… you don’t just “get bulky” because you lift heavy weigts, you have to eat super clean, have a pretty intense workout regimen, and that kind of think takes DISCIPLINE.

    If people continue to lift the same weight, run the same route, and never alter their level of intensity or weight load, they will PLATEU and this is why people don’t achieve the results they want. I used to be one of those “I don’t wanna get bulky” girls but now I squat and lift heavy and just look super toned (thanks to my favorite food and drinks).

    Come on girls, get with the program!

  9. Reblogged this on Gramps' blog and commented:
    Note my advice elsewhere to stay away from some machines.

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