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Overcoming the fear of the unknown: weight lifting

A person learns lifting techniques for the seated row weight machine.

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Regina Zhuckkahosee (right), 150th Medical Group medical readiness NCOIC, exercises on a seated row machine under the supervision of Guy Leahy, 377th Medical Group health promotion coordinator, at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Jan. 14, 2020. The class introduced participants to the basics of weight training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

A person learns lifting techniques at a gym.

Contessa Morrison (right), participant of Weight Training 101, receives instruction about the seated leg press exercise from Guy Leahy (left), 377th Medical Group health promotion coordinator, at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Jan. 14, 2020. The class introduced participants to the basics of weight training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

A person selects the weight on a weight machine.

Individuals from Team Kirtland participated in a Weight Training 101 class at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico January 15, 2020. The purpose of the class is to present basic weight training principles to attendees who have little or no previous weight training experience. Future classes will be held based off of demand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ireland Summers)

People talk about weight lifting.

Guy Leahy (center), teaches Weight Training 101 at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Jan. 14, 2020. The class is intended for beginners to weight lifting but all are welcome to future classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

People perform the plank during a weight training class.

Participants of Weight Training 101 learn about the importance of core strength at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, Jan. 14, 2020. The class aims to help people lift safely and effectively, preventing injury. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Austin J. Prisbrey)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Going to the gym can be frightening, especially if the numerous machines and free weights at the gym are foreign to you.

Guy Leahy, 377th Medical Group health promotion coordinator, is looking to change that.

“Weight training is very safe, but can be intimidating,” said Leahy. “People are more likely to engage in weight training if they are familiar with the basics.”

A Weight Training 101 class hosted by Leahy was held at the East Side Fitness Center Jan. 15 and 16, 2020 to introduce the basics of weight training to those interested.

Leahy says the basics will help people lift safely and effectively, preventing injury.

“There are numerous examples of weight training ‘facts’ on the Internet which have no scientific basis,” said Leahy. “It’s important to dispel these ‘facts’ so people know what works, what doesn’t work, prevent injury and ensure progress towards individual goals.”

For Contessa Morrison, a participant of the class, her goal was to improve her form.

“I took the class as a refresher, mostly because I wanted to double check my form and technique,” said Morrison. “I get busy doing my workout, and sometimes forget to pay attention to those details.”

Leahy says the classes are intended for beginners but everyone is welcome. He hopes to hold the class every other month depending on what the demand is.

“Weight training is for ‘every body’, not just bodybuilders,” said Leahy. “Weight training is as important for our health as aerobic training, and can help improve scores on all PT test components.”

For more information, contact Guy Leahy at 505-846-1186.