Frequently Asked Questions


+ Is weight lifting safe? Is this really going to build me up instead of breaking me down?

Weight lifting has a reputation because of splashy stories about what happens to people who train unsupervised and lift too much too soon.

This cannot be over-emphasized. We lift weights for one reason: to get stronger -- and this happens GRADUALLY, at your body's own rate. That is the ONLY way -- not because I say so, but because this is how the body works. (Younger people get stronger faster than we do, but it’s still gradual.) This is part of the reason you are committing to being patient. The weight you can lift and/or are expected to lift increases very slowly as you build physical muscle and nervous-system skill. You’re with an experienced teacher, your two feet are on the ground, you are using both hands, and you’re starting light. This is safer than most forms of exercise, especially for beginners, and especially when supervised.

I describe weight lifting with gradually increasing weight as "building you up rather than breaking you down" as a plain-English expression for "anabolic" (muscle-building) exercise versus "catabolic" exercise, which can lead your metabolism to break down muscle into required protein or glucose. Our goal is to build muscle in order to be healthier and improve the metabolism -- not to engage in high-stress, prolonged, high-intensity "cardio" that often burns more protein (muscle) than fat. The metabolic processes are a lot more complex than that, but our goal of building muscle to improve wellbeing is a realistic and user-friendly one.