Weight Training 101 & Arnold Strength Workout: Act Like A Lady, Lift Like A Boss

The truth is, weight lifting has intimidated me for the longest time. It might have been all that iron or maybe all those bulk guys in the ‘guys section’ of the gym.

my arms are kind of big deal


You know what I mean! But then, I thought to myself, enough is enough! The Spartan Race training calls for strength training, so I’ve got to put my big girl pants on and suck it up. And what’s awesome is that nowadays there are more and more girls who lift. And I’ve got to admit, they look totally bad@ss!

Lifting for womenSource 

But then, on the other hand, you see all these ridiculous behaviors there! Grunting, loud noises, swearing! Gosh, guys looooove to show off. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to show off your skills. However, very often all you see is bad forms of people who have no idea what they are doing *Yes, even with my uneducated eyes! Imagine!* , and the only thought on your mind is, please don’t hurt yourself, please don’t hurt yourself! Haha!

bad form



Clearly, I don’t want to be one of them! Why get hurt because of lack of knowledge, especially that there’s so much information out there?!

I found some great rules of lifting etiquette and a few common mistakes to avoid at Bodybuilding.com. Here they are.


  • To start, always bring a towel and be kind enough to wipe off the machines, benches and equipment you use.
  • Be sure to re-rack all the weight and replace all the dumbbells or barbells that are used.
  • Don’t rest for extended periods of time on a machine that someone is waiting for; if possible work in with them between sets, most people are more than willing to share when asked nicely.
  • Finally, please, leave your cell phone in your locker or car; nothing is more distracting than listening to another person’s conversation, unwillingly.


  • Using too much weight, too soon; always start lower than your expected ability and work your way up that first workout. If your form suffers, you are swinging the weight, or using momentum, this indicates you may be using too much weight. Greater momentum increases the potential for injury and reduces the effectiveness to the muscle group being targeted.
  • Not using enough weight; always play it safe, but if you can perform 30 reps with a certain weight, it’s likely time to increase it a bit. Tip: Increase the weight no more than about 5% at a time.
  • Moving through repetitions too quickly, going too fast; there is nothing gained by lifting weights ‘fast’ some of the perks of lifting weight in a slow and controlled manner, include more total muscle tension and force produced, more muscle fiber activation both slow and fast twitch fibers, and less tissue trauma. *Remember, a joint is only as strong as the muscles that cross it; if you haven’t lifted in a long time, or ever, be careful what you ask of your joints.
  • Not resting long enough, or resting far too long; both can be a workout killer. Tip: The recommended rest period is between 30-90 seconds, for overall fitness.


act like a lady lift like a boss


As you have probably noticed, my workout for today is called Arnold. *The Spartan Guide is very creative when it comes to workout names!*

According to the training guide, some may say that this isn’t functional, but Arnold says. “you’ll be back,” for this change of pace! Repeat this 3 times, using a weight you can lift within the desired range.

10-15 reps each:

Alternating backward barbell lunge
Alternating dumbbell chest press with overhand grip
Alternating incline dumbbell row with neutral grip
Back extension on machine with arms across chest
Cable lat pull-down with underhand grip
Alternating dumbbell shoulder front raise
Barbell wrist curl with arms on bench
Barbell wrist extension
Alternating dumbbell bicep curl with neutral grip
Seated 1-arm dumbbell tricep extension
Bridge and leg curl on stability ball
Dead bug
Leg raise with flutter kick on incline bench or floor

*For dead bug and flutter kick make sure the lower back stays neutral.

+ 30 push ups for 30 days challenge!!!

I'm just strong


Now I’d like to hear from you, my weight-lifting friends! What are the most valuable lessons you learned while lifting? What are the errors I should avoid? Any tips or tricks?




Filed under Fitness, Health

19 responses to “Weight Training 101 & Arnold Strength Workout: Act Like A Lady, Lift Like A Boss

  1. Love this the most! Weight training is my most neglected area and I need to just do it!

  2. Great post!! I absolutely love the baby picture making that bad form face!! Hehe!! I admit, I’ve made that face while watching someone pushing too much weight, worrying that they were going to hurt themselves. Oh boy! 😉
    What have I learned from weight lifting? Well, I’ve been lifting heavy since I was 13. Finally a couple months ago, I decided instead of always lifting heavy doing 6 sets of 8-10 reps, I’d lift a little lighter now doing 6 sets of 15-20 reps!! It fatigues my body less!!

  3. I love weight training. As soon as I started I noticed changes in my body and i had more energy! Good luck with Arnold 🙂

  4. Great post! I used to weight train all the time… not so much anymore… I wish I still had time for it! Love the pictures in this post, as always!

  5. I spend a whole lot of time in the weight room and totally agree with all of these. I love the etiquette especially – re-racking weights is common courtesy!

  6. absgoldberg

    I love weight lifting! I’ve actually been meaning to build up the courage to get into my gym’s weight room, it’s a bit heavy in testosterone there if you know what I mean 😉 I think the best tip is to have a plan for what you want to do before getting started

  7. debbiepolain

    Weight training is much more effective for weight loss, for improving posture, shape, and all round health than can be achieved through just running. Have been weight training for a couple of years now and there are now men only areas of the gym, just women you lack the confidence to go there!

    Suggestion? Never start weight training without any advice, get an initial session with a PT to show you how its turn and to help with posture and form – not everyone can safely and healthily do a proper weighted squat.

    Once you get into weights you will wonder why you left it so long it will change your body and make it strong, sexy, healthy and fitter than you can imagine!

  8. OMG! No kidding about the loud grunts coming from the weight-lifting room! Guys can be so loud. Although I find myself grunting right along with them sometimes when I really push myself. LOL!!! I try not to though. When I do it at home my husband always makes some funny comment about it. But then I shock him by lifting him off the ground or dragging him along the floor. 😉 lol

    So many guys at my gym have bad form though. I can’t look at them because I don’t want them to see my expression of horror. Swinging their dumbbells, jerking the whole body for that extra boost… Some guys though…I’m guilty of oogling certain guys at the gym. Their arms are just so beautifully muscular! Swoon-worthy. Really.

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