Do not be afraid.
I think the biggest concern that women have is mostly the intimidation factor. When I started lifting weights, I was just a little stick girl who would be knocked over by trying to squat a barbell. Now, I can squat more than my bodyweight and it feels amazing. There are women of all ages, all shapes, all sizes that make friends with the barbell and end up loving it! Conquer your fear; tell yourself that you can do it, and girl – just do it!
While online programs may provide you with workouts and detailed explanations on how do to them, sometimes you need someone else’s advice to give you a little more confidence or an extra push. I had paid for a personal trainer (which was ridiculously expensive), but after the first few sessions, I knew that I was squatting properly, and knew the proper form on a deadlift. Even though I did not want to stick with a trainer full-time and break the bank, being able to have a solid foundation at light weights will help you as you move up in weight. If you do not have the funds to pay a trainer for a few sessions, see if they will give one session for free and cram all you want to know in that session! 😉
Since I just started Crossfit, I think that is another amazing introduction to lifting, and overcoming the fear and intimidation of scary lifts. The instructors are trained to teach functional fitness and the workouts can be scaled down to any fitness level, so you work from the bottom up.
If your budget does not allow formal training or Crossfit classes, find a friend, significant other, or even a fellow gym goer to watch your form as you do the lifts. There are also plenty of free online networks such as Fitocracy where you can find others doing similar programs or that have done similar workouts to compare notes, stories, etc.
Youtube is FULL of videos on how to properly execute certain lifts. If you are able, record yourself doing the movements so you can watch yourself. Many sites allow you to post your videos online and do “form checks” so others can critique your form, or even so you can see yourself perform various lifts. I love working out with a mirror, not because I enjoy checking myself out.. hehe.. but because form is so important when you start lifting heavy!
Find a Community.
Self-teaching can also open the doors for finding other resources or people interested in the same things as you. I have made huge connections on social networks such as Twitter and Instagram, and also by connecting on Facebook with other women who lift. It is always refreshing to find like-minded women and those that you can throw ideas off of and compare notes.
In Crossfit, community is huge, and being able to have someone who “speaks the language” and can relate to your lifting is key to progressing further.
I started writing this post just to give some pointers on how to start lifting, but it turned into a slight tangent of my lifting history and a huge promotional ad for NROLFW, though they unfortunately have not endorsed this post in any way shape or form. The book seriously will not just change you physically, but it will change you mentally, and change your perception on women’s lifting. You will gain massive amounts of confidence and self-loving. 😉