12 Things That Happen When You Start Lifting

12 Things That Happen When You Start Lifting

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As a woman, there was a point in time that I didn’t even consider lifting weights. It was a concept outside of my scope and just something I thought men did to get buff. For women, I thought running and cardio was the key to “toning” & looking hot. Turns out I was pretty wrong.

I got into lifting after my husband dragged me kicking and screaming into a CrossFit gym. I eventually agreed to join a light program they offered that didn’t include barbells because I was so intimidated by them. When I decided to “graduate” from that program and started to lift actual weights–my whole life changed.

The cute little diet you used to be on? Yeah, no.

Now that you’re lifting weights suddenly you want to eat fucking everything in sight. That full jar of peanut butter? Yeah it doesn’t stand a chance against your new appetite. It’s like you’re always hungry. Figuring out exactly how much you should be eating can be a pain in the ass, as you dance between the realms of starving to death and being full. But one thing is for sure, that puny little salad for lunch is no longer going to cut it.

You no longer just want abs

Abs are like the universal sign of fitness (even if they’ve been achieved in an unhealthy way). It’s like, if you have them you’ve somehow “made it.” But after awhile, it’s no longer just all about the abs. You find yourself dreaming about quad definition and hammie pops. You get excited when you can spot your traps, delts & lats. Abs may or may not still be a goal, but now you have a whole slew of new ones.

You realize most people have no idea what they’re talking about

Oh you want to be toned right? Yeah, lifting heavy won’t get you there. You need light weight and high reps.


Doesn’t lifting make you bulky?

Actually, no.

Carbs are bad for you.

Just. No. 

People who don’t or haven’t really lifted can’t quite wrap their mind about what it does for a woman’s body. They are stuck in ignorant societal ideas and can’t really see past them.

A “quick” lifting session turns into a 2 hour excursion

I used to not understand how people could spend hours in the gym. I would run in, run on the treadmill for 45 minutes and then run out. When you’re lifting, you burn some time going through your warmup sets, working sets and while resting in between. If you stretch afterwards (which you should) that’s even more time spent. Depending on the program you’re doing most of us end up spending a minimum of 1.5 hours in the gym just to get it all done. For people who aren’t really into lifting it may seem like a time suck, but to those of us who are, it’s more like an extra long therapy session.

You find yourself wanting to lift more to the point where you won’t be happy until you can flip a car

Something stirs inside a woman when you hand her a barbell. Feeling your physical strength for the first time is an amazing feeling– seeing your strength grow is addicting. When we discover our strength we start to see the beauty in it and it’s impossible to not want more.

You catch yourself checking out other girls

You often find yourself staring at other chicks admiring their gains, curves, muscles– whatever. It sometimes can be awkward when she catches you and it’s more than likely you have a girl crush walking around your gym that you haven’t gotten the nerve to say hi to yet. Totally normal.

You read food labels for everything

If you’re like me and track your macros, your world becomes a game of food Tetris. Carb, fat & protein content are important and some things just aren’t worth eating. That cookie has how much sodium?? You find yourself wanting to put good things into your body to fuel your lifting.

All you wear out in public is gym clothes

You always look like you’re coming from or going to the gym and 98% of your laundry is athletic gear. You avoid wearing real, actual pants especially jeans (helloooo leg prisons) and have now opted for comfort over style. Not to say that you don’t own a ton of stylish workout gear, because of course you do.

Not everyone will support you

People will always have their opinions on your body.

“Don’t get too skinny!”

“You look better with more meat on your bones.”

“Don’t you think your muscles are a bit much?”

People won’t always understand your love for lifting just as they won’t always be able to wrap their mind around what it can do for your body. It’s especially sad when that person is your significant other. It’s amazing that some people can’t see that you’ve chosen a new, healthier lifestyle and don’t want to support you in your new journey. It can be hard, but try not to sweat it. Get yourself some online friends who share similar interests and I promise it will go a long way.

You’ve become a supplement junkie

BCAAs, Whey, Casein, ZMAs, Pre-workout, Creatine, Recovery drinks– you take it all and are always on the lookout for deals on your favorite supps or new ones to try.

People ask what you’ve been doing to look so awesome…

…but their eyes glaze over once you start to tell them. Most people are looking for the magic pill, so when you get all excited to tell them about the kickass program you’re doing and the amazing meal plan you’re working– they don’t want to hear it. You’ve been working hard, and they were hoping you tripped one day and got fit.

Your confidence skyrockets

When you fall in love with lifting, your life changes. You don’t just look better physically, you feel better mentally. You find self-empowerment, a confidence inside yourself that you didn’t know existed and a new outlet for release. You can now start taking that inner strength and showing it on the outside.

Are you a chick who loves to lift? What am I missing?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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Chrystal Rose
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