Why women should weight train

How many of you lovely ladies reading this have walked into the gym and made it straight for the treadmill or cross-trainer? There are heeps of benefits when it comes to weight training male AND female! Lets delve deeper!

Based on my own observations over the years, I would say there are just as many women in the gym as there are men these days. When I say gym though, I mean the whole gym – weights area, cardio area & classes. Looking only at the weight training area in an average gym however, one can immediately see the ‘great divide of the sexes’.

There are simply a disproportionate number of females NOT weight training – why is this? The answer may be that they are misinformed, feel uncomfortable, or not sure what is the best exercise?

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The Myths:

“Weight training makes women bulky”

I have some good news for you ladies, and you can thank your parents for bringing you into this world a female.  Testosterone is a hormone that is a promoter of protein synthesis (muscle growth). As a female, your body only produces 5-10% of the testosterone that males do. In other words, unless you are getting your supplements from Lance Armstrong, you physically don’t have the capability to add slabs of muscle to the extent that men do.


“Weight training makes you tight and stiff”

It’s true, after a hard weight training session, your body may feel tight and stiff. However, this is a short-term effect, and simply part of your body’s natural adaptation process. When performed properly with a full range of motion, weight training increases your flexibility. Stretching should not be ignored, and is very important.


“Women should only use light weights and high reps” 

To get stronger and build muscle tissue, we ALL need to use loads heavy enough so that our bodies can undertake an adaptation process. Research states that we should aim between 70-85% of your one repetition maximum for a set number of repetitions and a strict rest time period prescribed. Your weight-training program should be progressive, so that your body constantly has to adapt. No adaptation process = no progress. I didn’t make that rule, biology did.


The Truths:

Health Benefits

The evidence is now beyond dispute when it comes to the benefits of exercise and strength training. It lowers blood pressure, glucose, insulin, triglycerides, inflammation, improves your mood, lowers depression and anxiety, makes you feel good, increases your bone density, reduces risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, most cancers, and reduces oxidative stress. So pretty good overall! We must stress that technique and proper periodization is fundamental to prevent over training and injuries.


Ageing Process

As women age and go through menopause this lowers their sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone levels. Without getting into detail this also negatively affects muscle mass and bone density within females. Ample research demonstrates that a basic strength and conditioning programme can actually prevent such conditions such as Osteoporosis and Sarcopenia. This is further enhanced when backed up with optimum nutritional strategies.


Energy expenditure

Lifting weights costs the human body a lot of energy, whether this is body weight exercises, fixed weight machines, or closely being monitored around the squat rack! If you are tight on time (and we all are these days) this can be a great way to boost one’s metabolism and kick start that fat burning potential. Again we stress proper technique and effective nutritional strategies must be closely monitored for optimum results.


Female Personal Trainers are rare these days and it is a real shame there are not more around! If you are interested in our personal training courses contact us here.