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Expert NYC trainer explains 7 easy tips you can rely on to start Resistance Training

By Kianna Darrow

Thanks to fitness influencers like Whitney Simmons, Grace Beverley, and Paige Reilly, myths like “lifting makes women look masculine and bulky” or “women shouldn’t lift weights” have gone away.

More than ever, fitness brands cater to women’s apparel, weightlifting belts come in cute colors such as baby pink or lavender purple, and some gyms even offer a women’s only power hour (a set time for women to come in and train) or have dedicated space for their female clients, but, in most gyms that I’ve trained at (and I’ve trained in a lot), it’s still rare to see more than 25% of the gym population at a given time to be women. Have you noticed this too?

Why you want to workout!

Most health organizations suggest that only 20-25% of women meet the recommended strength/resistance training guidelines (at least two non consecutive days per week), but a lot of us don’t meet that requirement. If this sounds like you, I’m not here to scare you, but I encourage you to try because there are so many benefits.

Achieving a certain physique is motivating. Women of all ages can use strength training to boost their quality of life, manage chronic conditions like:

  • Arthritis

  • Diabetes

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

  • And can prevent certain cancers. 

Pregnant and post-natal women can use it to prepare for labor, delivery, and recovery. As we age, we can use strength training to reduce muscle and bone loss to hopefully decrease the risk and harm of a fall which impacts thousands of elderly women each year. 

Are you convinced? Awesome. In that case, here are my tips for getting over these hurdles and moving towards a healthier and happier life.

1. Enter the gym with confidence and a plan

If you’re new to lifting or it’s been a while, I recommend starting with a full body workout with some type of squat, overhead press, and pulling movement such as a lat pulldown, pull-ups, or deadlifts. To make it simple, start by doing 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps of each exercise. 

2. Do your research

In order to have a plan, you’ll want to do a little bit of research. This doesn’t have to take too long. Bookmark a video or a description of the exercises that you plan on doing, this way you’ll be able to easily pull them up if you forget during your workout.

When I first started, I would watch a video of the exercises a couple times while warming up on the treadmill to mentally prepare myself for the workout. 

3. Wear clothes you feel confident and comfortable in

That could be a matching set or sweats and a T-shirt. Personally, I typically like to feel put together with leggings and a cute tank top. It adds to the experience (cute look = increased confidence = better workouts. Hopefully, one day Andrew Huberman will inform us on the science behind the theory).       

4. Stick to the basics.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Common exercises such as squats, lunges, rows, overhead presses are used so often in programs because they work.     


5. Hire a personal trainer.

Needing good form or structured workouts aren't the only reasons to hire a personal trainer. Hire a personal trainer so you can be accountable to someone.

Whether it’s just for a couple sessions to learn the proper form of an exercise or a lifelong commitment, a personal trainer can act as your coach, cheerleader, and friend. Additionally, personal trainers know how to organize workouts to make sure you get the most out of your session, even if your time is limited.

6. Have a great playlist.

Put those headphones on, zone out, and get to lifting. Curating your favorite gym playlist can be the extra push and enjoyment that you need.

7. Remember everyone starts somewhere.

Can you start with 10 minutes a day? The strongest/fittest people in your gym were once beginners, too. Don’t be discouraged because it’s your day 1 and someone else’s day 2,000. You just need to keep going.

I’m rooting for you and I believe in you.



P.S. If you want to know more, Kianna Darrow is a world class personal trainer with over 3,000 followers on her main page @ksdfit_. Located in New York City, she has trained multiple clients to get their body back, but not in the traditional sense. Clients like how they look after training with Kiana, and they also like how they feel. For no BS fitness training, click here to work with Kianna.

Kianna's instagram is @kbnycfitgirls, follow for for free workouts, nutrition tips and an experienced perspective.

Also, a little gift from me as a thank you for being here. Do you want to start a blog? I’ve made a free resource here on best practice writing tips. If you want to book a free call with me to discuss your blog goals click here.


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Jan 28
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Kianna is the B E S T !!!!! Worked with her when she worked in VB and she really made me confident in the gym as well as gave me great knowledge about how to do certain things, CORRECTLY, might I add !!

She is also just a beautiful soul who you can tell really cares about her clients !


Jan 28
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Can’t say enough about this gal. She got me into the gym and can’t get me out! She’s constantly teaching and making me stronger!


Jan 27
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Couldn't say enough positive things about kianna! She is so knowledgeable and knows exactly how to push me to be my best!


Jan 27
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great article with practical advise especially for women!


Jan 27
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Kianna is the best trainer. She provides the best tips and advice when you’re a beginner in the gym. Also, she challenges and pushes you to be the best physical version of yourself.

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