For many of us, the new year brings a resolution to get fit. At Leisure and Culture Dundee, there are experts and facilities that can help you make the positive changes you need to take up the healthier lifestyle you crave. Tele features writer Amy Hall is showcasing some of the things on offer from the city-based operator of leisure centres and gyms – from fitness classes to weightlifting and even the swimming pool. This time, Amy is pumping iron with fitness trainer David Low at the Douglas Sports Centre.
I feel like a champion lifter, even if I only managed to lift the bar without any heavy weights on it.
Girls’ weightlifting has experienced a massive increase in popularity lately and it is easy to see why when you give it a go.
I headed to Douglas Sports Centre – which has recently seen an improvement in its free-weight facilities – and met fitness instructor David Low, who was going to put me through my weight workout.
We started with a warm-up on the rowing machine, with David on hand to push me through my 30-second sets.
He assured me the rowing machine was the best for an all-over-body warm-up, which is definitely needed before pumping iron.
We then headed through to the weights section and although it seemed daunting at first, David was there to talk me through techniques using the weighted bar, hand weights and my own body weight to work on biceps and triceps.
David developed a workout which used a 21, 15, nine, approach which saw three different workouts put together for a really tough but enjoyable challenge.
First I completed 21 squats with a weight, then 15 dead lifts using the weight bar before finishing off with nine overhead lifts using the hand weights.
By the end, my arms felt like I had slept on them and had gone completely dead – which is apparently a good thing and totally normal.
My legs had turned to jelly but I genuinely felt really good about what I had managed to do.
I never lift anything heavy and had always thought of myself as a bit of a weakling but the workout David had me do showed that this can be adapted to any capability and it is definitely an addictive sport.
David explained all of the benefits of weightlifting, saying: “With strength training, the aim is to perform compound movements like a squat, a deadlift or an overhead press to target the largest muscles in the body and get maximum benefit from lifting weights.
“These types of exercises use more than one muscle at a time and therefore maximise your time in the gym.
“Sessions can then finish with accessory work like bicep curls and tricep dips to target specific areas of the body, depending on what your goal is.
“Lifting weights is beneficial for absolutely everyone and goes way beyond helping you look better.
“It can assist with weight management, increase sports performance, improve mental health and help control or prevent a wide range of medical conditions.
“The aim is to always start with correct form and coaching, learn the basics and then increase intensity at your pace.”
Find out more at the Leisure and Culture Dundee website.