06 Dec The Importance of Strength Training for Women
It wasn’t very long ago that you could step into the weight room of any gym and see a bunch of thick, bulky dudes, tearing it up with mad looks on their faces. They weren’t REALLY mad, but this was the byproduct of the grunts and groans coming out of their mouths as they hoisted, lifted, pushed and pulled massive poundages to get swole.Fast forward to today, and the game has changed quite considerably.
You now see ladies in that very same weight room, but they’re often more reserved with straight faces, ear buds in their ears and colorful, matching outfits. You won’t hear as many grunts and groans coming from their direction, but you will recognize hard work.What has Happened?You may be wondering what has caused this shift to occur?
Well, it turns out that the ladies no longer want to be typecast as these frail specimens that need the help of men every waking hour.A girl power movement occurred, if you will, where women decided that getting strong is actually sexy. Just like any other trend, it gained momentum and before you knew it, every Jill, Jane and Sally was pressing weights to get stronger.Why?The why behind this is actually a multi-faceted answer.
First of all, let’s be realistic, it is a trend and a lot of women like to look cool on social media. Lifting heavy weights, or just weights in general, gives them a bit of bragging rights and it could boost their profile status.Some of the time, ego is involved, and sometimes not. But, this seriously only pertains to a select few.Then you have the women who actually like the idea of being strong for daily life.
They are mothers, they have physical jobs, they play sports, they partake in physical activities like obstacle course races and the list goes on. Gaining strength inside the gym walls has a massive carryover effect on all of these activities.Lastly, they want to be strong for protection. This is a lesser known reason, but it’s definitely one of them. Simply put, they’re better equipped to defend themselves in the event they are ever attacked or put in a compromising situation where raw strength is needed.
How?If you are woman looking to gain strength and want to know where to start, it’s not that hard. A good starting point is target all of your major muscle groups with specific exercises two to three times a week.You are best served using free weights like dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells because they recruit more muscle fiber than say, machines.Plus, it is in your best interest to incorporate as many compound exercises as possible into your program. These involve multiple muscle groups and joints working at the same time, and they maximize your strength gains.
Since you ARE working multiple muscles at one, you will also be able to lift heavier weights.When you first get going though, you might want to hire a personal trainer for 10 to 12 sessions. They will be able to get you more dialed in with a program that works for you and they can insure you are using proper form.
Really, there is no difference with building strength between men and women. You just likely won’t be able to lift as much weight in the beginning. But, that can definitely change over the course of time. Stay with it, think happy thoughts and never let your gender be a factor in your progress.