After publishing my blog "What you need for yoga at home", I got a slew of questions about what my recommendations I had for strength training. Mostly what sort of weights would be a good investment, and so my newest blog post was born.
Alright, so wether you're new to working out, or you've been doing this for awhile now - these recommendations are for you. Weights, and really any fitness equipment can take up a lot of space, especially as you get stronger and you need to upgrade to heavier weights. Also, they're pretty pricey. So these recommendations are geared towards these very two things and giving you the most bang for your buck when it comes to choosing your weights.
I'll also share with you below, how you can extend the life on those weights you buy, or the ones you've already got at home.
This is a great resistance tool when you're first starting out, you're woking smaller muscle groups, and on days when you don't feel like going all out, because you can get a full body workout with these space savers. And the bonus - you can choose the resistance you wanna use. When you're looking to challenge yourself a little more you bring your hands closer together or closer to where the band is anchored down, or if you need a little less, take your hands further away.
I prefer to use this style of band (flat) vs. the tube style ones with the handles, because I find them to be a lot more versatile especially for some of the uses I have in Yoga for Core + Pelvic Health.
Like I said, they're super versatile, but if I'm being honest, Therabands are great for meeting your body where it's at (which is my jam), but if measuring success keeps you motivated - Therabands might not be for you. You can't see the progress as easily, as when you see a number on a weight, so you end up going for a feeling. On the flip side, you go for a feeling, so as you get stronger, you need more resistance to match that feeling...so maybe not such a bad thing, whaddya think?
Regardless, I'm still a huge fan, plus they take up next to no space.
Please, please, please... put down those pretty pink 2lbs dumbbells! Now, think about the things you lift on a daily basis
- all the groceries from the car in one trip
- carseat with a baby in it (this isn't light, no matter how new your baby is)
- the things you're picking up around the house or at work
Guaranteed you lift more than 2lbs on a pretty regular basis. When we're lifting weights we're trying to elicit change in the body, and if your weights are lighter than the everyday things you're doing, you're gonna plateau fast. And I hate to admit, but most people stick with the weights they have and I want to see you get to your goals!
So what weight should you get? Start with 8lbs or 10lbs (yup, even if you're brand new). Maybe you won't get 12 reps in, but you do what you can and trust me, you'll be crushing 4 sets of 12 in no time!
"Should I get one or two?" I say get two, because if working out isn't your favourite and you have the opportunity to work two arms at the same time that's gonna cut some significant amount of time out of your workout - BONUS! Now personally, my brain prefers having two dumbbells that are the same size, with that said if you wanna maximize your purchase, you could get two that are a slightly different weight. Its a bit of a learning curve (more of a brain thing methinks), and I know some of my clients HATE this style of training, but you can hold two different weights in each hand. Just make sure you switch hands the next set to keep things even.
This will be your heaviest weight, because you're gonna focus on bigger muscles with these guys. When you're picking out your kettlebell, make sure that the kettlebell is heavier than your two dumbbells together. Example: 2x 12.5lbs= 25lbs... don't buy a 25lbs kettlebell - that's a waste of money!! And you can totally sub in those dumbbells for most kettlebell style workouts.
And when choosing the weight, aim for something that feels a little scary! You can use Kettlebells for Deadlifts, Squats, Rows, and more! Plus there are specific Kettlebell specific exercises that will change things up for you, and get your heart rate pumping for a cardio style weight lifting session!
How to extend the life on your weights.
Maybe you already have a set of those pretty pink 2lbs dumbbells, or you now need to upgrade.
- you can hold both at the same time (I show this in the video above) - instead of doing biceps with one weight in each hand, do one arm at a time holding two weights. This gets harder to do as your dumbbells get heavier.
- Slow the movement down, and count it out. Try a counting them out. Try count 4 up, and 4 down.
- Add a pause during a harder part of the exercise. Let's take that bicep curl again, hold it at the top (in front of the shoulder), or even try halfway up (elbow bending at 90 degrees) - which will train your biceps in a different way.
Don't just go through the motions! Feel the workout. Play around with it and have fun!
Now that you have your weights, you need someone to plan out the right workout to reach your goals fast. I offer a $0 assessment to see if Personal Training is right for you, you can book a Free Goal + Mobility Assessment right here.