You Can Do This: Weightlift­ing

Com­mon­wealth Games bronze medal­list Mona Pre­to­rius on the sport that’ll show you what you’re re­ally made of

Women's Health (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - By Michelle Oc­to­ber

Tone up fast with this fat-blast­ing sport

Weightlift­ing isn’t just about pick­ing up heavy things. It’s a dy­namic sport that mea­sures, not only strength, but ex­plo­sive­ness and agility (ever seen how fast they lift those things?) with a big fo­cus on form. It’s also one of the best ways to achieve your fit­ness goals in pretty much any sport. That last bit is what got Mona Pre­to­rius into lift­ing – now she’s a Com­mon­wealth Games medal­list in the sport. She shares some of the many other rea­sons you should pick up a bar­bell.


“Weightlift­ing is a great way for women – even older adults – to stay healthy and in shape over the years,” says Pre­to­rius. Science backs it up: stud­ies show that re­sis­tance train­ing has a pos­i­tive im­pact on bone den­sity, which in turn low­ers the risk of os­teo­poro­sis.


“You have to be men­tally strong and be­lieve in your­self in this sport,” says Mona. She sees this with the peo­ple she coaches. “When they start off, a lot of them don’t have a lot of con­fi­dence and they don’t be­lieve in them­selves,” she says. “But as time goes by, they start lift­ing a bit more weight, they get the ex­er­cises right and it ac­tu­ally shows them that with hard work and a bit of pa­tience, things will be achieved.” And that feel­ing of lift­ing a weight you couldn’t a month ago? Move over, Won­der Woman.


Be­cause the weights are heavy, form is enor­mously im­por­tant. Every­thing, from your butt and core to your neck, has to be in per­fect align­ment or you risk in­jury. For this rea­son, your first few lessons will in­volve light weights with most of the em­pha­sis on proper form. “Pos­ture al­ways gets em­pha­sised when we train,” says Mona. Now, good pos­ture comes nat­u­rally to her – even when she’s not train­ing.


Women are con­stantly ask­ing Mona if lift­ing heavy weights will make them bulky. “Weightlift­ing won’t make you look like a man be­cause a fe­male doesn’t have the testos­terone that a man has, so you will never build as much mus­cle,” she says. What she can guar­an­tee? A toned physique. “Your body will tone, you’ll be healthy and you’ll look great!”

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