Why women should lift weights

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I’m asked a lot what type of training I do and how many times a week I train.

The answer is that I train pretty much most days with maybe one rest day a week, and my fitness workouts mainly involve doing weight training and minimal cardio vascular exercise. Some people are surprised when I tell them that. Here’s why this is the way I train:

Most women have a big misconception about whether they should lift weights at the gym or during a personal training session. If you’re female then the main goal you have is either to lose weight or tone up, and it’s usually going to be your legs, arms and stomach, right?

 

Most women are misinformed

hayley-squats-alphaThe amount of people I’ve spoken to who’ve said: “I do loads of training at the gym. Why am I not thin?!” When I ask them what type of training they’re doing the usual response is: “I do 10 minutes on the cross trainer, ten on the bike, and I run on the treadmill for 10 minutes.” and so on.

There’s no mention of any weight training, not even a single triceps extension to get rid of those bingo wings (no one likes wobbly arms).

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Uh oh, that’s me” then you might be someone who also thinks that lifting weights as a woman is going to make you big. Well, stop right there: THIS IS NOT THE CASE!

Every single female client I have met has said either “I’m not lifting that!” or “I don’t think so, I don’t want to get big!” It’s simply not in our genetic makeup to “get big”.

 

Muscly Women in the Media

Then, more often than not, I get the question: “Well, why does Jodie Marsh look like that then?!” Jodie Marsh was training for a competition, so she was training 2-3 times every day and will have been eating the right amount of fats, proteins & carbs to fuel her body to take on that amount of training. She will also have been taking a strict regime of supplementation to help her actually get the muscle bulk she wanted and needed for the competition.

Another thing is that in order to have the muscle bulk that most women are afraid about getting, you’d need a considerable amount of the male hormone testosterone. Most women are estrogen dominant: we carry most of our weight on our legs and have higher estrogen dominant. That’s why it make sense to have female personal trainers on the MPT team: we bring a different viewpoint.

 

How long I’ve been lifting weights

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Around four and a half years ago I switched from predominantly cardio based fitness to lifting weights. For my cardio vascular health I do boxing or interval training 2-3 times a week – I do weight training sessions every day.

When I train, I will focus on one major muscle group per training session, so this may be one session on chest, one session on back, legs twice a week, then one day for biceps and triceps and core to finish off.

In between those sessions I will do my cardiovascular training, which helps with overall fat loss as well as improving cardiovascular health (helps with lungs and heart) and is great for circulation (mine is poor).

When I do this I will either do an hour of boxing with two-minute rounds, or what I have recently started doing is sprint training, which I find challenging (anyone who knows me will know I’m not great at running, but I am getting there).

When I do my sprint training I will warm up for approximately five minutes with a slow, steady pace and then the remaining 5-10 minutes I will do 60 seconds sprinting then 2 minutes rest, which wipes me out!

So, don’t be scared of being a woman and lifting weights in the gym. You’re not going to get ‘big and bulky’ like guys unless you’re supplementing and wanting to look that way. If you would like some advice or a chat about your goals, fitness or energy levels then send me a message through our contact form.

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