How to Get Started with Weight Training

Hello friends — I have a guest post for you all today from my friend Tina of Faith, Fitness, Fun! Tina and I met at Fitbloggin’ last month; she was the sweetest ever in person and I’m honored to have her share some of her weight/strength training tips with you all today.

tina headshot

We’re doing a “guest post swap” of sorts — I wrote a guest post for her readers about running (to be shared next week!), and she wrote this one for me about strength training! I’ve been seriously slacking on the weight training lately and this was just the motivation I needed to get back into it :) Enjoy!

~  ~  ~

How to Get Started with Weight Training

by: Tina 

~  ~  ~

Eight years ago I fell in love with fitness — strength training playing a vital role in that love. Eight years ago I picked up my first weight and immediately felt empowered. I started to see changes in my body that amazed me. I increased my physical capabilities. I could turn to weights as an outlet when dealing with my past struggles of depression and binge eating.

Eight years ago I started strength training and I haven’t stopped since. Instead, I have competed in a fitness competition and frequented the gym floor even while 9 months pregnant. Despite a newfound passion for running, I remain determined in my strength workouts as I make progress in my Body After Baby goals. Now, I hope you’ll join me as I share my personal journey into strength training, including ways you can get started too. Thanks for reading!


I Found A Comfortable Place to Get Acquainted with Weights
Although I feel comfortable now at my gym, I used to not have such confidence. In fact, I likely would have never started with strength training if not for beginning in the comfort of my own home. Thanks to the old FitTV programs, I had the chance to try out a few workouts such as The Firm and Cathe Friedrich. Cathe’s workouts quickly became my favorites and I began building a library of her workout DVDs. Side note: You can imagine my excitement to meet her at Fitbloggin’ after years of training “with” her.

with cathe

Over the course of a year, I learned various weight training moves from her workouts and built up a base in my strength training. Eventually, when I joined a gym, I continued to get more comfortable with strength workouts by attending group classes, such as Body Pump. Group classes and workout DVDs can be a great starting point to gain confidence with weights at your own pace. I also highly suggest utilizing the free introductory personal training offer at most gyms to receive a quick run through on the use of equipment and workout safety.

I Did Some Research
When I get into something, I go full out! The more I learned about weight training, the more I wanted to keep learning. It started with figuring out moves in my DVDs, then grew to subscribing to Oxygen magazine, ordering the e-book Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle, and poring over resources such as The New Rules of Lifting For Women. I began feeling excited to branch out from the group classes and try some of the ideas in these resources for my own.


Following a pre-set program, like you can find in The New Rules of Lifting For Women, provided a great way to break in to doing my own thing at the gym. From there I continued to research and learn ways to set up my own strength training plans, turning to things like the Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises for ideas.

I Started Basic
So many varieties of exercises exist. Before breaking out the Bosu balls, sliding discs, and other fitness tools — I stuck with the basics. Pretty much every body part is trained with a few standard motions. For back exercises, there are rows and pulling motions. For chest exercises, there are pressing motions and fly motions. For biceps, curls. For shoulders, raises. You get the idea. I learned the standard moves for each body part and perfected those before mixing up my workouts and adding a new challenge. Wait for the plank rows. ;)

plank rows

I also began using machines for most exercises until I learned the movement. It helped guide my motion as I gained strength. Then, I progressed to barbells and dumbbells. I would also always start light and slowly add more weight once I knew I could handle each move safely. I didn’t want to end up with an injury!

I Began Adding More Variety and Gained Ideas From Others 
Finally, after taking gradual steps into strength training, I hoped to continue making progress and push my training to higher levels. I wanted more challenges and started implementing new training techniques. I will search out new things to try — like TRX bands and kettle bells. Now, I look to others for inspiration and have a solid enough foundation in strength moves that I feel capable implementing them in my training.

In short, strength training provides so many benefits. Don’t let fear hold you back from reaping those rewards. It takes time, but we all have to start somewhere. Find a way to go for it. Then keep learning and you will only get stronger. I promise you can do it!

I would love for you to stop by my blog, Faith Fitness Fun. I can assure you I share openly and honestly on all things. From post-baby progress and body image to workout ideas and recipes. Hope to see you there!

Thanks again for the great guest post, Tina! :) You’re such an inspiration — especially to new moms looking to get back into shape!

I hope you guys are now feeling as motivated as I am to get into (or back into) strength training. Did you know I have a whole section on my blog dedicated to demonstrating my favorite strength and core exercises?


Check them out:

For awhile, I was doing these moves frequently at the gym, but now that I don’t have a big gym anymore I’ve kind of let strength training fall off a bit. I’ve been doing a lot of swimming and yoga this spring/summer, so that definitely counts as an arm workout, but I still think it’s time to get back after it with the weights :)

Do you like strength training? How frequently do you do it?


  1. 1

    Hi Tina. I am one of Anne’s everyday senior reader’s (61). I love your post today. I have been doing kettlebells for 11/2 yrs. now and I can really tell the difference. I wish I could go at it like you young ones, but I do what I can. I have really toned and “almost” eliminated my angel wings. Yea. I didn’t start getting into fitness until my later years because I was busy raising and chasing after 5 kids, but I am making up for it now. Like you stated in your post, some of us do or did have a fear that we might hurt something, I know I did. I am amazed at how good I look. Am I allow to say that? Lost 50 pounds and walking and doing strength exercise. I am actually looking forward to my senior years. For you senior readers out there “go for it”.

  2. 4

    This was a great post, and so important for women (and men) to read and learn about!! I learned early in my weight loss journey that strength training is a must if you want to be a fit femme! These are great tips, and I appreciate them so much because I definitely need to add some more strength to my workouts.

    Yay guests!

  3. 5

    Great guest post, Tina! Since my Track season has ended and I am no longer running every single day I’ve been incorporating more strength training into my routine and I love it! I’ve been doing a lot of upper body weights and have seen a difference already. I love it when my hard work begins to show! Thanks for the tips! :-D

  4. 6

    Weight training is sooo ballerrr :) I am happy to say that I enjoy lifting!

  5. 7

    I enjoy strength training but I have a hard time motivating myself to do legs and abs because I just don’t enjoy the exercises! I try to go to Body Pump once a week and do something on my own once or twice per week!

  6. 8

    Thanks for the interesting post. I’ll be 60 this year, and have enjoyed the benefits of weight training for several years now. Since I’m such a mover and a shaker, I enjoy alternating sets of upper body exercises with lower body exercises. That way I don’t have to insert a rest period between sets. It mixes up the workout, and gets me out of the weight room sooner, and on to cardio.

  7. 10

    Wow, great post & tips! Weight training and strength is so important…I’ve been really inspired by a new show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (Monday nights on ABC at 10pm/9c). The first ep showed Rachel, who did some serious weight training and got the weight off!

    I prefer cardio…as it gets me outside, but this post inspired me to pick up the weights! Thanks!

  8. 11

    HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you Dad’s out there and to our military Dad’s who are serving our country and are deployed.

  9. 12

    I am very much into weight training too, and can relate to much of this – starting off with gaining comfort and knowledge with classes and videos and working up to become the regular “token woman” in the squat rack with NROLFW. Can’t say I’ve ever done a fitness competition though ;) I’m always trying to encourage and motivate women to get into lifting, so I love reading stuff like this from others!

  10. 13

    Nice post Tina!

    I started weight lifting because I had no choice. I disliked strength training and was total cardio junkie. Then I got a running injury. I had to take a few months off from running and in order to stay sane and fit, I had to pick something else. I chose weight training and the changes were immediate. Within one month I lost 5 pounds (which is a lot for me at this weight), I was suddenly toned and stronger. I kept at it and grew to love it.

    Once I was able to start running again, running took a back seat to weight training. I’ve been doing it 2-3 times a week since September and I LOVE how my body has changed! I wouldn’t give it up for anything!

Speak Your Mind