My intro to lifting.. and weightlifting tips for women

by ~jenniferlynn on December 30, 2012

in NROLFW, Weight Lifting

Can you believe that it is just about 2013 already? While everyone else is recapping their 2012 progress and setting up 2013 goals, I wanted to do something a little different and give a little guidance for those who are trying to set goals for the new year. From a lot of the bloggers that I follow, many focus on running or yoga, and always talk about wanting to put more strength building or weightlifting into their routine, but aren’t sure how to start. I wanted to share how I got started and share some tips that hopefully can guide you gals in the right place by providing some weightlifting tips for women. This may be a bit of a repeat for some who know my lifting history, but for the new readers, I wanted to share it again.

2012 was the first year that I ever wrapped my bare hands around a barbell, and honestly, I believe the first time I ever lifted a dumbbell. Other than using machines at the gym haphazardly moving 10lbs at a time, I did not understand anything about weightlifting; I thought only guys were supposed to do it, and really had no desire to lift anything other than a shopping bag. But then late January something changed. It all started with an article that Jared had sent me from Nerd Fitness. It was about Staci, the powerlifting superhero. While I was initially offended by the article as I thought he was trying to tell me (at 5’7″ and 119lbs) that I needed to lose weight, the main point was that girls SHOULD lift and you will become empowered and gain a whole new level of confidence that you did not have before. I became obsessed with her (in the least creepy way possible) and I wanted to look just like her “after” pic. Not the cardio-after, but the heavy lifting, super-girl after.

So after much Google searching about various programs designed for women, I ran across New Rules of Lifting for Women, and on January 26, 2012 the book was wirelessly delivered to my Kindle in an instant. I was intimidated, nervous, scared. But I read the book cover to cover and was eager to get into the gym. The book stresses that men and women’s workouts do not need to be any different, yet the book was tailored to women in a non-intimidating, fun manner. At the time, I had hired a personal trainer so had some sessions available in which he made me do crazy insane Crossfit-style workouts that I HATED. But once I started using my personal training sessions for assistance with NROLFW, my attitude changed. I didn’t need a personal trainer telling me what to do or what I should be doing. I cycled through FOUR trainers at the global gym trying to find one that understood that I was a girl and I wanted to lift HEAVY (men.. just didn’t get it!). I eventually gained the confidence I needed to learn to follow the book’s instructions, ditched the trainer, and found the NROLFW Facebook group which provided endless amounts of support.

Through the Facebook group, I discovered Mindi, and followed her journey through the program and was inspired even more (she went on to be a state record holding power-lifter!). You can see the progress from another lifter, Katie, who overcame an unhealthy way of dieting to become a strong, powerful woman. These women were not born athletes. They discovered the program that changed their lives for the better, and became empowered to want to do more for themselves, both in and out of the gym. I will admit that I did not finish the program exactly as intended; I skipped two stages, however, the foundation that this program gave me was amazing and I do not think I would have the confidence in the gym that I do now had it not been for the program. If it wasn’t for this program, I would never have been able to hit major milestones that I had, such as completing my first real pull-up!

While I am not saying that this book is for every girl.. wait.. yes, I am.. hehe. Honestly though, this book does more than just tell you what workouts to do; it details why you should workout this way, and how you should eat, any why eating MORE calories is actually better for you than not eating enough (even to lose weight!). But even if you don’t decide to do this program, I still want to provide the key take-away points that I got from the book that can help you if you are unsure how to bridge that gap between never picking up something more than 3lbs and learn to “lift like a man, look like a goddess.”

Weightlifting Tips for Women:


Weightlifting tips for women. Post explains how I got started with weightlifting and why other women should do the same. Includes helpful tips for overcoming the fear of the weight room. For more posts on women's weightlifting check out

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!

deadlift 135 girl lady lifter jennifer

45’s! First major lifting milestone- deadlifting my more than my bodyweight!

Ask for help.

While the book and other 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!

Read the book. Read more books. Read blogs. Read forums. Read all the things! Educate yourself on proper lift form and lifting techniques.

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.

Weightlifting tips for women. Post explains how I got started with weightlifting and why other women should do the same. Includes helpful tips for overcoming the fear of the weight room. For more posts on women's weightlifting check out @winetoweights blog at

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. 😉 (You can check out all of my phases here).

I hope that you at least found some useful information here and can add some heavy weights to your 2013 goals! If you want to check out the book, you can click on any of the links above or the links below for this book, plus others from the same author (including one new one that is supposed to be super awesome, and supercharged!).



Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for the review of this program, and I paid full price for the Kindle version of this book as well as the paperback version and the authors did not pay me to say positive things about this book, nor reimburse me for the book after my great review. However, if you click on any of the links above, you will be taken to my Amazon affiliate site, where I will earn a few pennies (literally, pennies) if you purchase the book.

Twitter: Ms_MLove
December 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm

I gave a friend that book to help her get started — I think it is a GREAT tool for women who don\’t have a lifting background! PS NICE PULL-UP! Still working on that…one day 🙂

~jenniferlynn December 31, 2012 at 8:59 am

You’ll so get those pull-ups!!
And I know this book helped me tremendously so wanted to share my story again!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

You’ll get there! I’m working on kipping now.. and can’t even hardly do them with a band.. lol

Mary Long
Twitter: inmyheadspace
December 31, 2012 at 12:19 am

I was looking for this book today at BN but they only had the Abs edition. I was not sure about the kindle version because I was not sure if this would be more of a reference book needed to flip around in. Would you recommend the Kindle version? Maybe I will get that now instead of ordering the paperback. I got a weight bench/weights for Xmas and I am eager to learn to use it correctly!!

~jenniferlynn December 31, 2012 at 8:59 am

It’s much better to buy the physical book! I bought the kindle version first but ended up buying the full book so that I can easily flip pages between the workout descriptions and workout plans, plus now I can share my book where the kindle is restricted from sharing.

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Definitely paper book.. I bought the Kindle one then ended up buying the real book after; much easier to tote to the gym; reference pages, and then you can share it when you’re done!

Melissa December 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

I have to add that book in my arsenal! Look at those darn abs! Get it! Muscle is definitely sexy!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

It’s a great program! You seem to know what you’re doing already though, but still feel like anyone could benefit from it!

Kat P. December 31, 2012 at 10:43 am

You go girl! No girl should fear lifting, it\’s what makes our true shapes pop! 😉

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Heck yeah! Keep lifting, Kat!

Nicole December 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

What a great post Jen! Seems like an awesome book to read! Not only do you look more tan in the \’after\’ picture in June, I can tell there is more definition in your tummy!!! Good for you! I\’m doing something similar, doing a 30 day ab challenge with and doing a before/after to see if 1 month makes any difference. Either way it is good for me to do 🙂

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Thanks, Nicole! I hear tan makes the muscles show more.. hehe. I think those bodybuilders are scary though; that’s about as dark as I get and I’m paranoid of the sun… lol.
How’s your challenge going?

Connie Du January 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm

First of all, Happy New Years!! I desperately need to catch up on your blog. I\’ve been a bad blogger because of the holidays! I love love love this post. So many girls are intimidated by lifting heavy, and I hate it when girls think they\’ll get bulky! I think your post will help others realize that lifting is the greatest thing in the world haha. Your progress picture looks AWESOME by the way. Your abs are coming in nicely! Your pull ups are pretty darn cool too. Keep up the good work girl!!!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Holidays make blogging and keeping up on blog posts stinky! I’m still not feeling caught up yet!

Molly Antos January 1, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I read this book also, and it changed MY perspective on weight lifting! happy new year!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Awesome, Molly! Keep lifting! 🙂

Jacki January 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm

That nerd fitness post inspired me as well. Didn’t Staci look awesome. And I love how she didn’t eat to lose weight, but to gain strength. About the asking for help, another option might be online trainer. Everyday Paleo and Lifestyle is offering a huge discount on one month membership through January 31st, and you film your lifts and get feed back from them. Haven’t used their programs (just devote podcast listener), but for only $5 for a month, it could be invaluable.

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I don’t regularly follow NF, but they have some great info for “normal” people on there lol. Well, normal and sub-normal.. hehe.
That sounds like a neat idea with the online trainer.. great for people at all levels I think!

Alison January 2, 2013 at 10:26 pm

You look amazing. So very inspiring! Thank you for sharing your tips.

~jenniferlynn January 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Thank you! ALL women should start lifting heavy! 🙂 It’s sooo empowering!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Thanks, Alison! 🙂

Alex Meyer January 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Lol, did you write this post for me? Seriously though, I am going to start lifting THIS YEAR. Great post!

~jenniferlynn January 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm

YES!! 😉 hehe. I wish I could by all my running bloggers a copy! It’s such a great program!!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

YESSSS… DO it!!! 🙂 And I’m holding you accountable because I do read your blog..

Alex Meyer January 10, 2013 at 12:34 am

Lol crap … now I can’t hide.

Courtney January 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

I love this!! NROLFW was how I got interested in lifting too. I didn’t actually finish the program because I started CrossFit, but it was a great intro!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

I didn’t follow it exactly, but I think the premise is awesome and it really is a great intro for anyone scared to try!

Joanna Broadbent January 5, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Great post and you can definitely see a difference in the before and after! Get after it lady!!!! You are AWESOME!!!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks, Joanna! Loving watching your progress pics, too!

Jennifer Hudy January 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Heck yeah! Let me know what you think of it!!

Jenn October 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

Great article!
I am going to check out the NROLFW FB page.
I do already lift – but always love new information or motivation!

~jenniferlynn October 8, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Thanks for reading, Jenn!! 🙂 Happy lifting!

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