You Can Do This: Weightlifting
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mona Pretorius on the sport that’ll show you what you’re really made of
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.
1 YOU’LL AGE BETTER.
“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.
2 YOU’LL BUILD RESILIENCE.
“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.
3 YOU’LL STAND TALLER.
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.
4 YOU’LL GET TONED.
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!”