Let me explain.
I have witnessed many articles devoted to getting women to lift some heavier weights, So I thought I'd add my two cents.
It behooves us all to grab some iron and sling it about for the sake of our fitness, health and mental health for that matter.
I lose my mind when I haven't picked up a weight in some form or another for more than 2 days. Luckily, I get to teach people how to do a number of things:
Kick & punch like Tony Jaa
Fight grizzly bears
+ Many more things.
So, amongst those many things, this means I get to shift a shit-ton of iron about nearly every day. In the form of setting up bars, demonstrating lifts, then putting it all away again.
So I guess by some kind of default, I keep my shape and strength in check.
Ladies, without being a Johnny Raincloud, you need to be doing the same.
Whilst that seems like a blanket solution for #WomensProblems, it isn't at all. Let's give it a little bit of context.
To call out the most common goals spewed out to me by ladies of all shapes and sizes, iced Latte fans and non-iced latte fans alike.
- Lose weight
- Get toned
- Get more toned
- Lower Body Fat %
- Get stronger
- Do not bulk up*
- Build confidence
- Build confidence to go into the weights room
- Do a pull up
- Drink loose leaf tea every day
*Unless you have the genetics of Conan the Barbarian, this isn't going to happen.
These can all be broken down into more 'from the heart' goals, for example:
"I would like to tone up"
"That's awesome! Could you explain how you define toning up? And what it means for you?"
"Well, I'd just like to have more definition, and lose a little bit of weight too."
"That's a great goal, you can definitely do that. What would it mean for you to achieve this?"
"I guess I'd just feel more comfortable in my clothes and more confident when I go out with my girls."
The way I interpret this, the goal is not to tone up, the goal is to feel more confident and look better in her clothes.
Obviously, 'toning up' has been assigned as the solution to achieving this.
More toned = Look better/More confidence = Happy Client
Happy Client = Happy ME.
What do I assign as the solution to achieving 'toning up'?
Picking heavy things up and putting them down again.
I'm not talking about the sort of weight that would make George of the Jungle shit out a spleen.
I'm talking about a relative heavy, which is perfect for the individual, lifted in the right way at the right time. Which is designed to help that said individual.. what's the magic word?
I help people do that in the gym and through my Online Training platform, which might I add is a fantastic way to spend my time.
I take huge pleasure in witnessing and contributing towards my clients first pull up, fat loss milestone, or the first time Jenny could juggle flaming bazookas for more than 60 seconds.
Karina came to me in order to tone up, so, ordinarily I gave her lots of weights to move about for the hour. Let me assure you that Karina had her initial reservations to my suggestions.
However, after covering all the reasons why this is the smartest way to go, and discussing the best energy bite flavours - My favourites are Lime, Coconut & Matcha - We got to work.
Here's some of the main benefits for lifting, ladies:
All round strength gains
Improved cardio vascular health
Increased bone density
Improved connective tissue
Boosts moods by relieving stress
Improved mental focus
Body Fat reduction
Vastly improved bragging rights
You go up several levels on the awesome scale*
*The awesome scale is a legitimate measure.
Well, it should be.
101 in how to get weight training cataclysmically wrong.
Yeah, like most things in life, you can also make a bit of a hash of it.
Lifting too heavy <--- An unlikely scenario
Lifting too light <--- Most likely scenario
Not using progressive overload (Increase the challenge weekly)
Rest periods are too long
Performing purely isolation exercises*
Way too much steady state cardio
Not eating enough <--- This is a big deal for many and perhaps the most challenging.
Doing body part splits <--- No, no, no, no, no, no!**
Over training, spending 3 hours in the gym
*Isolation exercises were predominantly designed by bodybuilders, for bodybuilders.
**Research shows that this type of training benefits men on balance, mainly due to the genetic disposition of males generally being built of more fast twitch muscle fibres than women, who generally have more slow twitch fibres.
Whilst I don't want to get into this ball of wax for now, the short of it is it makes little sense for women to train in a way that anatomically suits men.
Does this mean I think women should NEVER train this way?
Personally I feel there are no absolutes in the lifting department, apart from maintaining a neutral spine and being up to date on the best gym memes - Point is, there is always a time and a place.
Does this mean it is best to take an 'All over body' approach?
I always maintain that it depends. Though on balance, yes.
The 'What to do about that' bit
There are a cluster-fuck of opportunities and options just waiting for you to capitalise on them. Sure, you can just join a gym like everyone else.
But you're not here to be like everyone else. You're here because you want to get this right and be you + awesome sauce.
It is imperative that you're your own best mascot too, you need to be rooting for yourself all the way to the finish line. Hell, whip the pony a little bit.
Having said that, you don't need to do anything fancy pants. But you do need to make sure you're doing it right.
And don't guess either. That's analogous to removing the 'idiot-proof' option from the package.
If you just need that wee nudge in the right direction to make sure what you're thinking is on point, drop me a line and I'll help make sure you apply your energy in the best possible direction.
Accompanied with the appropriate meme too. This one seems pretty good.