Are you strong enough for life’s challenges?
For so many years there was stigma and misinformation in regards to women doing weight training. The thought was that if women used weights, they would start to ‘bulk up’ and look like men. Combined with the fact many gyms were very male dominated, and it’s easy to understand why most women didn’t want to train using weights.
How things have changed. CrossFit has shown people that women can not only be athletic and strong, but look fantastic as well.
It’s an interesting change from when I started training, but now as a coach of a few women, it’s great to see how willing they are to learn how to use weights properly, and to ask for help. Women are more willing to leave the ego at the door. As a coach, that’s exactly what I’m looking for.
The problem still remains though that not enough women do weight or resistance training as it is more commonly called. I believe the intimidation factor of a gym and the sheer percentage of men still make many women hesitant. This is part of the reason I run a Women’s Only Corporate class on Saturday mornings. Not only is it a great community of like minded people, but everyone trains together doing similar things without judgement. Women’s only gyms are great for this as well and their popularity has skyrocketed.
As we get older we run into more health issues, many of them due to poor nutrition or a lack of exercise; even worse is when we invest time in the wrong exercise. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with running, swimming or walking. The problem with these though is that to make them more difficult, generally requires more time. Sure you can add some weight or resistance, but you’re fairly limited.
Resistance training however offers variety over a short period of training time and a lot is beneficial over long term. As we get older (basically starting around age 35-40) muscles begin to waste away. Bone density begins to drop. Injury tolerance decreases. All of these are issues for women who generally speaking, aren’t doing physically labour intensive work day to day. The solution is resistance training with progressive overload, which is the process of slowly adding more weight and getting stronger. Simply, women need to push to get stronger, otherwise they’ll be getting weaker.
This is a philosophy for life, not just training: if you’re not getting stronger, you’re getting weaker.
Health problems like obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and osteoporosis are all preventable in women if they spend more time doing resistance training. Add to this improvements in posture, mobility and confidence and you can start to see why I have so much belief that all people, but especially women, should be doing 3 hard resistance training sessions per week at least.
My goal is to get deskbound workers into consistent resistance training, teaching them the principles and techniques that are beneficial to their day to day life but also used by the strongest and most dedicated athletes. This doesn’t mean I train clients doing technically complex exercises, but instead teach and relentlessly focus on the basics that provide everyone with the greatest reward for the least effort. Women with their honesty and willingness to learn are proving to be top clients for not only myself but many other coaches.
I imagine that over the next 10 years, women will start to apply the beliefs I have surrounding resistance training and reverse the upward trend of common long term health problems.
Marco is the Coach and Owner of PEAK Strength & Nutrition. His aim is to help those in the Corporate Workforce optimise their health, work efficiency and mindset so that they can achieve their full potential.