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In my many years in fitness and sport I’ve heard many negative comments, opinions and falsities on the subject of women and resistance training.
In the world of gyms, there can appear be an order to things when it comes to working out and selecting training options. It’s a sort of gender-divide - men are naturally drawn to lifting weights, and often initially unrealistic ones at that! – while women tend to go for more ‘creative’ fitness options such as dance-based classes, like Zumba®. Women can also favour steady-state aerobic exercise, such as cycling, running and stepping, in an attempt to burn calories in the so-called ‘fat-burning zone’ (a concept that is in many ways erroneous). It often seems that the weights room, and in particular the free weights area with its dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells, has a ‘men only’ sign on the door. Well women need to be knocking down the door and getting to grips with some iron!
I edited ultra-FIT magazine for over ten years and we had many features sent in and commissioned on and by women who were initially, let’s say, mistrusting of weights and what they perceived resistance training could do for them. They expressed thoughts such as, ‘It’ll bulk me up’, ‘I don’t want to lose my curves’, ‘I don’t want to become manly’…, yet by the end of their resistance journey they often wondered why they had put off weights and other resistance training methods for so long. They found that by using weights, they lost weight, shaped up, developed curves in the right places, improved their quality of life and zest and felt so much better.
More and more women are training the resistance way and in much more beneficial to living ways i.e. they are functionally training (both in and outside of the gym – the latter being a subject for another day!).
Image Sonjia Ashby from Strength Training for Women
by Andreas Michael