You may know that in the last year Lauryn has gotten super into weight training. It’s something she never pictured herself doing. She’s always been a Pilates girl, but since moving to Austin, finding Brent Hruska and lifting heavy, she’s noticed such a difference in her body. Lauryn still loves Kim Kelly’s classes, Melissa Wood Health and Pilates but adding weights has been a game changer.
Today we have Claire Bays on the blog to give us even more reasons to get into weights and resistance training. Claire is a trainer and health coach who Lauryn met at a nail salon recently. After a great conversation and seeing Claire’s killer bod, Lauryn invited her on the blog to share tangible tips for transforming your body, plus a workout you can do at home in 15 mins.
With that, let’s welcome Claire to The Skinny Confidential.
Weights and Resistance Training with Claire Bays
What’s up cuties? My name is Claire Bays. I’m a 30 year old sober gal in recovery, living in Austin, TX – aka, the wellness mecca of the South. I’m a movement, mindset and nutrition coach through my app, host of the podcast Conversations with Claire and the author of Thrive and Shine, a free weekly newsletter.
I grew up in “small town” Oklahoma. I didn’t play sports and was also raised on fried chicken and ranch dressing (you know, the deep fried in “canola-blend” oil and the illegible ingredient list ranch dressing). We hardly ever ate at home and if you would have referred to a “macronutrient” I wouldn’t have had a damn clue WHAT you were referring to.
Growing up, my sister was obese from elementary school on and my father was morbidly obese. By the time I graduated high school I started to gain weight. I wasn’t willing to accept obesity as my path, so I got curious. Fast forward 12 years and I now hold a handful of certifications within the personal training/nutrition/coaching space. I’ve also had an insatiable appetite for optimizing wellness ever since.
That being said, I’m here today to tell you why RESISTANCE TRAINING is so important for health and longevity. Let’s get into it!
A few reasons why resistance training should be a priority for you, and then some tangible tools for how to incorporate this into your routine.
Why Resistance Training is Important for Health and Longevity
♡ Increases Strength. Women begin to lose 3-8% of muscle tissue, on average, every decade after their 30’s. Strength is a key indicator of vitality.
♡ Enhance Bone Density. If we want to live long and vibrant lives, this should matter to us.
♡ Boosts Metabolism. We love to see this.
♡ Improves Body Composition. You know, those shapes we like. The “hourglass” as opposed to the “skinny-fat” look.
♡ Enhances Cardiovascular Health. Again, if you want a long, vibrant life.
♡ Improves Insulin Sensitivity. Thus, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
♡ Reduces risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
♡ Enhances Mental Health. Reduces stress/anxiety & increases self-esteem through the empowerment that comes from having the discipline to show up for you and become strong.
♡ Improves overall QUALITY OF LIFE!
Tangible Tools & Tips:
Below are some of the things I focus on with clients and myself.
♡ Focus on Posterior Chain:
This means the back of your body including your glutes, hamstrings, back and shoulders. We live in a forward motion world, and most people have weak posterior chains. Focusing on strengthening the backs of your shoulders, your entire back, your glutes (we’ll talk more about these), and hamstrings will improve your posture.
Not only do we want perky juicy booties because we love the way they look… but they are highly functional. I encourage you to focus on resistance training exercises for your glutes twice per week. Here are a few exercises to incorporate: Hip thrusts, split squats & lunges, abduction exercises (these target the gluteus medius – which is that upper outer portion of the glute that we may not even know we like… but she’s pretty!), and kickbacks.
♡ 2:1 Ratio of Pulling to Pushing Exercises:
When doing your resistance training, I encourage you to do 2x as much pulling as you do pushing. (Think rowing and pull down exercises vs bench and shoulder press exercises.)
♡ Aim to Resistance Train 3-4 times a Week:
Doing roughly 8 to 10 exercises for 3 to 4 sets with varying rep ranges is a great way to get results. I encourage you to do this thing we like to call progressive overload – which just means that you intentionally go heavier week over week or do more repetitions with the same weights.
*A common argument against resistance training with heavier weights is the fear of becoming bulky. Here’s the deal, I DARE you to even try to get bulky. Building muscle is such a slow process and one that requires intentionality, consistency and loads of patience. You won’t wake up one day and have grown substantially in size. That’s just not how it works, so I wouldn’t worry too much about that.
Grip strength is a key marker of vitality and mortality. There has been a lot of research done on grip strength and its relation to overall health. Being able to hold and carry heavy objects is something we should all work towards. An easy way to incorporate this into your resistance training program is to do exercises with dumbbells or kettlebells held at your sides or even carrying them for distances.
Here’s a quick workout idea you can use anywhere, anytime:
The EMOM structure. You can easily get a very challenging workout done in as little as 15 minutes with this structure. Select up to 5 movements and cycle through the movements for 15-30 minutes depending on your fitness level and time you have available. I would set the clock and at the beginning of every minute I would do one movement for 0:45 and rest/transition to the next movement for 0:15. Repeat this as you go through the movements for the remainder of the time you selected. Here is an example workout:
15 min EMOM: (work 0:45/rest 0:15)
1 – Back Step Lunges
2 – Burpees
3 – Banded Lateral Steps/Hip Thrust March
4 – Quadruped Tension Hold
5 – Bent Over Row/Bent Over A-T-Y’s
Alright, I think that’s a beautifully sufficient amount of information to hopefully provide some education around how to go about this thing and why it’s so important.
Here’s the part I want to leave you with:
I want to remind you just how capable you are. Being uncomfortable is a wonderful place to be. Seeking ways to expand your capacity is so fulfilling. Resistance training is a habit – and one that you can build and then build upon. I would love to be a resource to you further from here and would love nothing more than to hear from you.
Whether you’re seeking advice specific to your situation or just looking for some inspo – please keep up with me on socials. I mean it when I say I WANT to talk to you. Creating content is such an opportunity but it’ll never compare to actually having real conversations. So DM me, get involved in my coaching program (where I write your custom workout and meal plans AND coach you directly with access to a private community we’ve built.)
Lastly, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself and pour into your own journey. You are beyond capable and worthy of a vibrant life.
Be sure to check out Claire on IG at @clairebays for tons of inspo and tips. Hope you loved this post and that it motivated you to start lifting some weights. As we said, Lauryn swears by it these days.
G2G, off to lift.
x, The Skinny Confidential team
+ for more on why we love weight lifting, stalk this post.
++ check out these self care tips for women.