Kill It in the Weight Room With These Tips from an Insta Fitness Star
When you work out, are you thinking about weight? We’re not talking about dieting — we want your workout goals to be about getting stronger, faster and feeling better mentally and physically for life. If you’re looking to up your typical fitness regimen (or you just can’t take another minute of HIIT cardio), it’s time to check out what workout fit women are obsessed with and give weight training a try. We got some tips on the benefits of lifting, nailing proper technique and overcoming gym jitters from weight room superstar Holly Perkins.
In addition to being a #fitspo Instagram legend, Holly is a trainer, the author of Lift to Get Lean and a contributing health writer for Women’s Health, Prevention, SELF, Shape and more. And in 2015, she launched the Women’s Strength Nation movement, which helps women find internal strength by getting physically stronger. We couldn’t think of a more perfect person to advise you on your journey to getting jacked (or just fitter and stronger) than Holly.
B+C: What are some reasons that women should get into lifting?
HP: Strength training is the only tool that allows you complete control over redesigning your body. At some point, cardio and toning efforts won’t change your shape or metabolism, but lifting weights will. Muscle *is* your metabolism and is the gatekeeper to body fat. Diet and cardio are important in decreasing body fat, but strength training is the driver. Beyond that, strength training improves your bone mass, helps to balance hormones and gives you a major boost of confidence and self-reliance. Numerous research studies now show that strength training is a powerful tool in fighting stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
View this post on Instagram
There is a moment just before you attempt to push or pull a heavy weight. It's a weird, amorphous fear that is illogical. Something just feels scary, as if... "I don't know if I can do it" I can't tell you how many times I've watched people back down to that fear. And yet, if you just confront it, ask it what's up, and take action despite the fear, you'll find something really cool and glorious on the other side. #WomensStrengthNation ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #fit #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #squat #deadlift #WomensStrengthNation
A post shared by Holly Perkins, BS CSCS (@hollyperkins) on
B+C: What are some basic form and safety tips you would give to first-time lifters?
HP: First and foremost, commit to learning excellent technique. (Check out my Women’s Strength Nation website for free workouts and video tutorials.) This allows you to build your body the exact way that you want. Slow down and pause at the point of the move where it’s hardest to stop and hold. For example, if you are performing a squat, the bottom position would be very hard to pause at, right? Pause there for two seconds and continue each rep. This helps to ensure muscle activation, great technique and strength building. Mirrors are in gyms so that you can observe your technique. USE THEM! Observe yourself and watch to make sure you’re using the right and left sides of your body equally. And don’t be afraid to approach someone to help give you some pointers or for feedback on your technique.
B+C: What are some good types of lifts you like beginners to start with?
HP: When starting out, I am a big fan of using single-joint moves, so that you can learn to activate the right muscle groups. I LOVE leg extensions for quads, leg curls for hamstrings, the leg press for quads, hamstrings and glutes, the cable lat pull down for the back, the seated chest press for the chest muscles and the seated overhead press for shoulders.
View this post on Instagram
You're not the only one; strength training IS confusing and an imprecise system. When you add the complexities of the human body, it gets WAY confusing. When you add the twists and turns of a woman's body, things get down right cray. I needed to find a system to address the confusion, and ended up creating 3 easy steps to make things simple. Step #1 of my book Lift to Get Lean is "Technique Trumps All" It's critical to ensure gorgeous execution of your strength training moves. The goal is to correct your weaknesses and reinforce your strengths. Start light, learn right, and soon you'll be a pro. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 ▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃▃ #fitness #fitspo #fitfam #strength #gym #workout #exercise #fitnessaddict #girlsthatlift #bodybuilding #fitgirls #healthy #instafit #GirlsWithMuscles #Women #WomensStrengthNation
A post shared by Holly Perkins, BS CSCS (@hollyperkins) on
B+C: The weight room can be full of big, burly dudes. What advice would you give to someone who feels nervous or intimidated going into the weight room at their gym?
HP: The most important thing to remember is that nearly everyone is a bit unsure in the gym — even men! Think of the gym like a playground. Go in with the intention to play and learn. It helps to have a program to follow too, which is another area where Women’s Strength Nation can help. Also, see if you can find a friend to join you to help disperse your nervousness. Remember, this is YOUR life, fitness and health. You can’t allow a bit of intimidation to keep you from being the best and brightest you. Even one trip to the gym will give you tons of new confidence. Just think how you’d feel if you went three times per week for two weeks!
B+C: Do you have any recommendations for home exercises or equipment for someone who wants to lift, but doesn’t belong to a gym and can’t afford to buy their own weights or machines?
HP: You can get a great workout at home with little to no equipment. At a minimum, you’ll want one to two sets of dumbbells ranging from five to 15 pounds. You’ll also want one or two resistance bands. That’s all you really need to get an effective workout. You can do dumbbell squats, lunges, deadlifts, bicep curls, overhead presses and tons more moves. Check out this workout on my site to get started at home.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com