Gracie Carroll - Equinox Canada - Weight Training Tips for Beginners

It wasn’t so long ago when I was completely afraid of weights, and avoided them at all costs. Even though I worked out all the time, I was a ‘Cardio Queen‘ and could barely get through a rep of 10 bicep curls with 5 pound weights before feeling like my arms were going to fall off. Beyond my lack of upper body strength, I had a crippling fear of using machines, mainly due to my lack of knowledge and experience with them.

When I teamed up with my personal trainer, Jessica Morris Health, nearly two years ago to help me get me into shape super fast before heading overseas to shoot the first Style Jaunt videos, she pushed me to face my fear of weights, and even help me learn to love weight training.

I can’t tell you it wasn’t gruelling, tough and painful, but after a few weeks, I started to discover a feeling of strength that I’d never known before. Soon, my endorphins would go wild every time I trained with weights, and I loved feeling badass and strong.

Now, I incorporate training with weights at least 2 to 3 times a week, and my body has started to crave it. Since I’m still someone who prefers to workout in a class setting rather than on their own, I love that so many of my favourite workout classes at Equinox involve high cardio and heavy weights for incredible full body workouts.

I turned to one of my favourite instructors at Equinox, Julian Ho, for his tips on how to approach weight-training for the first time. If you’re a newbie when it comes to working out with weights, check out Julian’s advice below!

Gracie Carroll - Equinox Canada - Weight Training Tips for Beginners

Julian’s Tips for approaching weight training:


KNOW YOUR WHYs … why are you weight training? 

  • Clearly define your goals
  • Set yourself on a timeline
  • Balance your goals with other goals in your life
  • Prioritize your wants with your needs


KNOW YOUR WHY NOTs … why don’t you weight train?  

  • Self-reflect. When you remove biases, myths and stereotypes on weight lifting, you thus remove excuses.
  • Accept your fear as your fuel. If you are afraid of getting bulky or hurting yourself, use it as motivation to educate yourself and get help. 
  • Accountability. Build a support system by either finding a friend to go to classes with or sign up for personal training.  
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your membership pays for access to the professionals that want to help you get better. You never know if you never ask. 


Gracie Carroll - Equinox Canada - Weight Training Tips for Beginners


  • Why should I lift?
    • Start with why? Then why not?
  • If I lift heavy, will I get bulky?
    • Firstly, have you ever tried for a consistent period of time? Instead of how it makes you look, shift your thoughts on how it makes you feel, and use that to assess your pros and cons of lifting weights. 
  • What weights should I use?
    • In a class, ask the instructor how many reps should I be aiming for per set. If it’s a long set with high reps, then you know to use weights on the lighter end. If it’s a short set with low reps, then you know to use weights on the heavier end.
    • Goals > Rep Ranges: Strength gain > 2-6 reps. Hypertrophy (muscle growth) > 8-12 reps. Endurance/Skill building 15-30 reps.
  • Am I lifting weights correctly?
    • Consult a professional. Lift weights with a programmed plan. Use the mirrors or ask a friend for feedback and support. Quality over quantity. Move well first, then move more often, then use more load, then move faster. 


  • Julian’s classes work with weights aimed at Hypertrophy (growth) and Endurance, and Skill building. 
  • His classes should be taken because they offer challenge, they coach technique and execution, they focus on quality and balance, and they offer fun and enjoyment through great music and a sense of community.
  • Try: METCON3, Ropes & Rowers and Streamline Sculpt.

For more information on EQUINOX in Canada, please visit




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