Women who weight train
The most common fear expressed by women who weight train – and those afraid to start – is that they are increasing, or will increase in size. This is often a frustration for physique and fitness coaches, as it is predicated upon society’s widely-held views; and is in no way a fault of the women themselves.
Sadly, our society (perhaps through the prominence on supermarket shelves of ‘Bodybuilding’ magazines) seems to have pervaded the belief that weight training can do more ‘harm’ than good, and that lifting weights will somehow automatically result in ‘arms like Arnie’.
Let me be clear, ladies – without adequate androgenic support and a massive surplus in calories you are not going to build massive amounts of muscle!
Compared to the male populace, females ‘suffer’ from a poor production of anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone (with males tending to produce 6-7 times the amount that women do), so whether their aim is to maintain or build lean muscles, or to get leaner, women should ‘take advantage’ of the small amount their bodies produce naturally. One way of doing this is through embarking on a regular and consistent weight training programme.
Hypertrophy (increasing muscle mass) takes significant time – even for the evolutionary ‘blessed’ male population! As such, my message to any woman who may be dismissing carrying on with/embarking upon a weight training regime is simple – unless you drastically change your hormonal structure (through ‘external sources’ shall we say) weight training will not ‘turn you in to a man’.
If you want a physique that resembles either women in the photographs, or wish to develop the great shape you’re in, then you will need to start with weight lifting or maintain your current programme. Don’t be afraid to put some weight on that bar, load up that machine, or pick up those dumbbells – get lifting, and you can only improve your health and physique for the long term.
NOTE: This article was wordsmith’d for one of our clients; Paul Cook PT (not the ‘sciency’ bit, obviously). The original article is found here.