Women and weights
Being a woman with many female friends I know how common it is for us ladies to think that weight training will only make us look more muscular. This I must clarify and tell you is simply an illusion. Read on and I will explain why that is.
What many women want is to not just be fit but also look fit. To do this we need to shape our body and mixing cardio vascular exercises with weight or resistance training is the formula to help us do so. By dismissing weight training many women are therefore eliminating the component that can help them achieve their goal.
I am a woman and I do resistance training. Resistance training means using machines or my own body weight instead of free weights for toning my muscles but it can ultimately have the same effect. I do this kind of training, not to become a bulky muscle woman with no boobs but to simply shape my body in the way I want it to look. We are all different and some women like a more muscular look than others, but if you ask me, I like to have body fat in specific areas. I like my hips, I cherish my bum and I really appreciate my boobs. And yet I still do resistance training. This is because, there are benefits to resistance training I simply can’t get, by doing cardiovascular exercises alone. Cardio exercises are great for improving your fitness level, but it’s not going to work your body in a way that tone, protect and strengthen your muscles, which is what’s going to shape it. That, you will only get through resistance or weight training.
The key lies in doing exercises that resonates with you and will help you achieve the goal you have for your body. It’s not going to be random exercises – it will be doing exercises that target those areas of your body you’d like to look more toned.
Take your arms for instance – you don’t have to do bench presses if it makes you feel manly – you can use little (pink) barbells or do exercises with your body weight and a chair to tone up those arms instead. It’s all about finding the exercises that work for you.
If you’re completely put off by the thought of weights then an alternative way of introducing resistance training could be attending a reformers Pilates class. It’s often a place with more women, so the atmosphere can be different from a regular gym vibe, and many of the exercises may feel less ‘hardcore’ although some can have the same effect as weights. There have been many discussions about whether or not reformers Pilates is resistance training bit it ultimately helps you shape your body using resistance equipment so I would argue that it is. And who cares what the definition of it is anyway, as long as it’s a great way to start experimenting with resistance training. If it helps you see results, that will hopefully show you that resistance training doesn’t have to make you look like a man and maybe you will then be ready to do other resistance exercises as well.
I hope this clarifies why weight training can be a great thing for women, but if you are unsure about anything – do let me know and I will answer all of your follow up questions for you.
Xx Mai, InstructorLive