Last week I wrote a blog post on the importance of warm ups for all types of training, it can be found here. For this week’s blog post I have decided to write on a topic that is quite relevant not only in ABC but also in gyms across the nation… strength training for women!
Firstly, strength training itself has so many misconceptions in regards to both men and women, in this post I hope to clear some of them up. Furthermore, strength training can be dangerous, a qualified trainer should be on hand the whole time to ensure your safety.
Remember, just because the t-shirt says ‘coach’ or ‘personal trainer’ does not make that person qualified. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t bring your car to get serviced by your hairdresser just because they also drive a car. Why get trained by an individual who is incompetent? You only have one body, give it the best service possible.
Strength training can have such a positive impact on women especially and it is something we try to convey to every woman joining ABC, I’d be confident in saying that they all agree and enjoy coming to lift and get a huge sense of accomplishment when they lift heavier than they did the day before.
“Weights aren’t for me, I want tone.”
Before I go discuss the many benefits of strength training I’d like to debunk the most common misconception and fear among women. Strength and weight training alone will not turn you into a fitness model look-a-like with boulder shoulders. That type of muscle size and definition would take years of dedicated training and a strict nutritional regime. I was often told by women who started in ABC Gym that lifting weights wasn’t for them, they wanted to get ‘toned, not bulky’. There is a belief that strength training does nothing for fat loss. In fact, strength training is a fabulous tool for fat loss and often the perfect starting point if you’ve a long weight loss journey ahead of you. While metabolic conditioning (Cardio conditioning) burns huge calories during the session, strength training will continue the calorie burn for hours after the training has stopped. A combination of both along with good nutrition can lead to amazing results.
Bone health and weights
Due to no fault of their own, women naturally have lower bone strength than males. Weaker bones can lead to more breaks and fractures; this can become evident especially in older age where it can cause real problems. Weight training exposes the body to added external loads. This extra load puts the bones under abnormal stress which helps strengthen them as well as the working muscles. There has been a movement occurring in America recently with specialist weight training sessions for elderly men and women because of the benefit it has on both health and strength. The training could save a bone from breaking after a fall. This is the type of benefits it has.
All the celebs are doing it
And there’s a great reason why! Social media is a fantastic thing; it’s how I’m talking to you now. It also lets celebrities like the Kardashians and Ireland’s very own Joanne Larby, i.e. The make-up fairy (Thanks to my girlfriend for telling me about this one), show their followers the work out regime they go through to get the looks they have. These women do large amounts of weight training and also follow a good nutrition programme. Recent years, thanks to celebs like this, women and young women especially have started trying out more weight training which is a great thing! If their one reason is too look better then so be it, but they will get all the extra benefits from weight training without even knowing it!
Even in this age of convenience where high saturated fat and carbohydrate foods are so easy to get your hands on I think there is huge level of health conscious people out there. Gyms are hugely popular and everyone wants to look their best. It is a fantastic thing to see people actively trying to make their life better through exercise and good nutrition.
Weight training is not just for men! It’s not only for the bodybuilders of Muscle Beach, California! It’s for everyone, it’s for the patient recovering from a hip replacement. The world class athlete recovering from a bust knee and the middle aged woman looking to get out of the house one or two nights a week. So before you say “nope, not for me.” Give it a go for a month, wait until you’re itching to get back and break your own personal record and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
Keep checking out this space for more posts from both Noel and I on current topics and other issues we feel you guys should know! If you have questions or a topic you want addressed just contact the Facebook page here.