My Intro Letter To Women and Novice Trainees on Strength Training 2019
I am always thrilled to get asked by women, “How do I get started?” I get even more excited when women want to strength train. One comment that stood out was “I’ve always enjoyed doing weights more than anything at the gym, but I need help.” We’re all off to a great start when strength training is on the radar!
I know that you are ready to begin a program and to get Stronger Now. I am happy to be here and to pass along my knowledge in what works well in strength training for novice trainees.
My goal is to be able to do my best in educating, guiding, and providing the proper tools to you on your journey into strength training, as we are doing this long distance (online, social media, email, direct messaging, etc). Also, preparing you to continue training on your own is key as well.
Two startup strength (and conditioning) programs that I have created in the past for novice trainees are posted on my website at www.suzanneprevost.net. These two programs are variations of a basic plan, and they have been successful with trainees just starting out as well as for persons at any strength level. The only difference between a novice and the advanced lifter is that the weights are heavier and the training experience is longer. Novice lifters will see progress quickly; whereas, advanced lifters see progress more slowly.
The time frame for a strength program is about 8-12 weeks, then the plan should be adjusted or a different plan should be followed, depending on your goals. This time frame works well, since it will give you time to settle into your training environment. You’ll also have the chance to familiarize yourself with the weights, the equipment, the gym space, the routine, what works best for you, and even get to know the other gym enthusiasts. It may feel intimidating at first, but you will quickly realize that it’s easier than you think.
Initially, it will take some time (~1-2 weeks) to get used to how the weights feel or what weights to start with or progress to. Begin at a conservative level and progress from there. There’s no rush. There’s no right or wrong. This is the starting point.
Strength training sessions should take 40-45 minutes per session, and no more than an hour. It is important to take up other activities you enjoy as well, like walking, hiking, mobility and flexibility work, etc., to enjoy even more benefits of movement for the body and brain.
Going into the “sport” of strength training should be fun, a long-term commitment, and something that becomes part of a lifestyle. Trying to push it along to see certain results quickly is a sure way to not enjoy it anymore. There are many program variations and other goals that can be focused on to keep training part of a lifestyle in order to stay strong and healthy.
It is important for me to give you an idea of what to expect with strength training, because novice trainees sometimes realize that it wasn’t what they expected. The plan is to get stronger rather than mix many exercises together that provide mostly fitness and no sure way of measuring true strength progress. So, the purpose of my strength training plans are to:
- create a “strength” starting point
- settle into a simple, effective, and efficient program
- understand there are more effective tools and exercises than others
- learn that at times “lifting” is performed at a slower pace
- prepare the nervous system for tension and load in order to adapt
- consistently practice technique and skill
- learn how to document and refer back to training sessions from a log
- monitor strength progress
- realize it may feel repetitive
- get excited about every small progress
Lastly, my background is in strength training and not nutrition, but I do get asked about nutrition and how to lose weight. Novice trainees usually mention losing weight and treadmill in the same sentence too, but read on.
The most realistic way to approach healthier nutrition and to maintain it is to take it in small steps. Training may help with weight loss, but it is not the answer. The saying is true that: “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” My Stronger Nutrition Guide is a smart starting point to begin healthy nutrition practices.
I am happy to answer any questions about nutrition and to provide my personal experiences, general information, different tools and strategies, and to guide you along the way, if you are interested in me doing so. If so, then my goal is to help you with it as you strength train, because both consistent training and good nutrition habits and practices must work well together in order to see progress.
I look forward in hearing from you and getting you started. You can also download my 2 free programs on my website and train on your own. If you have any questions about this introduction, then please do not hesitate to ask. If you have any “sciency” questions about fitness, training, or nutrition, then Mike, my husband, can respond to those by email. We work well together!
Welcome to the world of strength training : ) ——-Suzanne