BLOG  Strength Training – Why women should do more 

Male dominated weight rooms, pink vinyl dumbbells and high reps. 

The above is pretty much the overall view I have of commercial gyms, I can pretty much walk into most and divide it into sections, ladies doing endless amounts of cardio listening to Roar by Katy Perry in hope of a flat stomach, groups of lads gathered around the bench press, grunting away lifting as much weight as possible, usually with terrible form in the endless pursuit of a big chest and arms. 
Horribly stereotypical I know, but anyone who has been to a gym for any length of time will have undoubtedly seen the same sights. 
Before I go on, let me state that there has been a change in recent years, the advent of CrossFit, whatever your view has massively helped with the promotion of making weightlifting much more accessible to women and men alike. Personally, I have mixed feelings about CrossFit, some of it is awesome, however there are factors that make it a horrible choice, but that’s a blog for another day. 
Social media has also had an influence, not always positive I might add, but there are highly followed women that promote proper weight training and its benefits to sculpting a better, more defined physique vs cardio alone. 
That is something I’m onboard with, lifting weights has so many benefits. Anyone who has crossed my path with regards to training or just asking a fitness related question will always get a ‘if you can do one thing in the gym, then weight train’ answer.  
I need to drop body fat – weight training. I want to shape and tone my legs – weight training. I want to get fitter – weight train but faster. 
See a pattern developing? 
It’s a simplified version of a conversation with me, and I cover lots of different aspects of training that have benefits in certain situations, you can’t be a marathon runner without putting the miles in for example. 
But for most first time trainees and general gym-goers, a properly designed, progressive weight training programme is the key to achieving results. 

Here are a few reasons weight training is beneficial: 

1 – It burns more fat 
If you put weight training and cardio side by side, cardio wins on calories burnt…in that session.  
But if you are looking to do less work, then lifting weights wins outright as it produces an after-burn effect (increased metabolic rate) long after your session has finished. 
So overall weight training wins when it comes to burning fat. 
2 – You can eat more food 
Weight training increases muscle density and size (with lower natural levels of testosterone, ladies you will not get bulky). Maintaining this level of muscle, means that you will need to eat and let’s be honest who doesn’t like food? 
3 – Bone strength 
This is super important, especially to women over the age of 30 as once beyond this your bone density begins to drop and it will speed up again after the menopause. Weight training puts pressure on your bones, encouraging your body to increase their density and strength. Leading to less injuries like fractures and breaks. 
4 – Stronger body systems 
Weight training helps you maintain better eating habits, which leads to increased sleep quality, improved circulation and lower levels of stress. 
This means you are less prone to illnesses and tiredness. You’ll be walking around with a spring in your step. Less stress also means that you will be able to cope with life better, helping you to push through negative situations and move on successfully. 
5 – You’ll look and age better 
Partly linked to the point above, improved nutrition and circulation means that higher quality nutrients get transported around your body more efficiently, leading to your skin, nails and hair being in better condition. 
Plus all the training means you’ll have a better body, that fits into nicer clothes, making you feel more attractive and body confident. Basically you look great naked and we all know why that’s a good thing! 
The reasons above should really be enough to show why lifting weights that challenge you are important to any training programme. Yet I still see women in the gym lifting light weight for high repetitions, not really feeling any muscular fatigue, spending hours doing low-level cardio and generally not getting the best out of their sessions. 
This may be due to lack of education or knowledge of training, it may be fear of performing exercises incorrectly, it could be still the ‘weights make you bulky’ myth. 
What worries me is that lots of fitness influencers (not all) promote fluffy fitness. It sells well, get a slender body with these 5 simple moves that only require 2kg weights, build your best ever body doing endless glute kickbacks etc. 
I’m all up for everyone being active, but the above approach will leave you falling out of love with the gym and endlessly thinking that you’ll never reach your desired body. 
This doesn’t have to be the case! 
Every client that I train, lifts weights, every session they get stronger, yet their body fat percentage drops and they end up buying new clothes as the others are too big. Now this is, in part down to good eating habits, but lifting is why their body changes shape, legs and bum start to become more shapely, shoulders become more defined, abs start appearing. At first they are all apprehensive, aren’t we all when starting something new? But after a few weeks of training, the results speak for themselves. 
Don’t be afraid to get in the gym and start lifting, add weight to exercises, you’ll get a better response from your body and faster results. Yes it requires hard work for the 45 minutes you’re in the gym, but isn’t that better than spending 2 hours getting nowhere? 
When you look back at yourself a few months down the line, you’ll be thankful that you made the decision to do so, but kick yourself for not doing it sooner! If you want help getting in shape then fill out this form and start achieving your goals. 
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