Women and weight training
Last week I was speaking to a woman who was telling me about her weight loss journey. During our conversation she explained that she’d been advised to do some weight training to aid further progress, and improve her shape but fear and lack of knowledge was holding her back.
Women tend to favour cardiovascular, aerobic based exercise for their training needs. The problem is that most don’t get the results they are looking for, putting in a lot of time and effort for little reward. Even if they do some resistance work it’s often an afterthought, or at the end of a long cardio session. Men on the other hand seem to end up in the weights area and never the twain shall meet. Why do women keep their distance, what are their common fears?
It’s often thought that weight training will create huge, bulging muscles. Unless a woman is extremely genetically gifted, uses anabolic steroids, or overeats to the point where she is gaining excess bodyfat, she will not develop a big manly physique. Most female bodybuilders are very small when they compete, fitting a UK size 8, when on stage they are trying to make themselves look big, and without perspective there is no way to know how small they actually are. I have trained for many years purposely trying to grow big muscles, and I can assure you that it just doesn’t happen.
Men only area
There are plenty of ‘ladies’ gyms, which seem to have been created out of the notion that the weights area is male territory lest any female ever dare enter. Many PTs, boyfriends and male friends draw a blank when asked by a woman for a training programme. Like the women themselves, they often have the same concerns about size and bulk, and just don’t know where to start.
The benefits of lifting weights for women, are however huge. Increased metabolic rate means you can eat more during both weight loss, or maintaining your weight, improved bodyshape, improved bone density (helps avoid osteoporosis), improved confidence. Saggy bottoms, pouchy stomachs, bingo wings, poor posture can all be fixed via weight training. Learning about the muscles being used and seeing them work, can also act as a motivator to train.
Confidence doesn’t however come overnight, and this is where working with a personal-trainer is useful. Learning the basics simply how to pick up a dumbbell or barbell in a safe way, learning to use them effectively is invaluable and provides a starting block for any weight training plan.
Starting at your own pace I can offer introduction to weigh training sessions, during which I’ll show you around the gym at a time which is most appropriate for you, provide you with a basic progressive weight training plan, instruct and check each exercise you perform, and pass on tips and knowledge which will help you gain the confidence and motivation to keep on with your plan. We will also agree on a way to track your workouts so that you can see your own progress. Nutritional and supplement recommendations also available alongside, and can be included as part of a long-term plan. I have use of a gym local to me, or I can with permission, come to the gym in which you train. You’ll always get a non-judgemental approach with me, it doesn’t matter how inexperienced, or where you are in your fitness journey. I’m also happy to check over any current sessions you are using.
Please contact me directly for a chat about your requirements, and how I could help you.