Asked by fitbits Oct 2011
Strength training for woman is an established method of exericse which if applied appropriately should reduce body fat without the much hyped expectation of building muscle. With this in mind wha tis holding woman back?
Thanks for answering - your answer appears below
Danpersonaltrainer Oct 2011
Strength training for women??? Surely thats just strength training that a woman is doing isnt it? Strength training for fat loss? I thought the whole idea of strength training was to make you stronger.
fitbits Oct 2011
Strength for speed, strength for exceleration, explosive strength, strength for hyperthropy, strength for fat loss; Lets be honest, it's one long sliding scale from a 1RM to strength /endurance challenges such as drop sets or half weight/ double reps (10 rep max followed by 20 reps at 50% of weight lifted).
What is interesting - strength gains can be achieved by as little as 30% of maximum effort - so even a bodyweight squat and press ups will increase in strength, muscle activation and leads to a little hypothrophy, if your muscles are undereveloped - all of which helps increase metabolism. Hence strength training for fat loss.
JustAskMicheleInc Oct 2011
With the majority of new female clients, I have transform their mindset and get rid of the erroneous, outdated beliefs that strength training will have them look like a 'she-hulk'. I started strength training 25 years ago, and the popular beliefs back then that although diminished are still in the background of our culture is that if you train like a man, you will look like a man, with bulky shoulders and big arms. As a result, most trainers had their female perform high repetitions spot reduction exercises and lots of cardio.... and this did nothing to transform their physique, or give them the sexy curves and sculpted look they were after. They may have lost a few pounds, but it was basically was just a waste of time. The emphasis was on 'toning', when in reality there is no such thing. Most men struggle to put on large amounts of muscle, and since women have 10% the amount of testosterone, a woman's hormonal profile won't allow her to come even close to putting on bulky muscles. It's just not physiologically possible.
Today, I find that while at first, some of my female clients might be slightly uncomfortable learning strength training in the weight room, since it's a new activity, they begin to love it, as they love that endorphin rush after they lift hard, and love watching their body transform right before their eyes. I've had many female clients tell me that they it's one of the best things in their lives that make them feel great about themselves that they are glad that they learned.
The only way a woman can transform her metabolic rate, lose body fat and achieve that sexy, feminine sculpted look she is after is to strength train 3 to 5 times a week each major muscle group and have an optimal nutrition to provide the macronutrients to support her body's repair and growth. If she is missing one, then she will never be able to achieve that body transformation she is after.
Joanna-T Oct 2011
Sorry new to web site ! Totally agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
rainbowwarrior7 Oct 2011
agree with below on the reasons for women not wanting to weight train, I come across it all the time but after explaining it would take me a whole year to put 2 inches on my biceps, with tens time the ability to do that as a woman, they usually get the picture! but would say five times a week is to much unless you doing a split routine! 2 - 3 times is plenty with the right programme !
ThompsonPT Oct 2011
It's not only women i have found to be tentatvie about strength training for fat loss. Personally i feel that its because people aren't educated enough on effective ways of fat loss, and so so many people who i have had as clients when i asked them about what they have tried before say the same thing over and over again both male and female, which is "I just cut down on takeways and silly food and did a few hours a week on the treadmill" and its so annoying for a PT hear, however you can't blame them because that is all they know. Most people associate Treadmills, X trainers, Spin bikes etc with weight loss and Weight Training as purely strength and getting like Arnie. so my answer ot your question would be that i don't find women tentative i find that they are just in a big ocean of commercialism which is hard to see past, but any client i've had who was unsure of weight training once i've explained to them, they've been raring to get into it.
ATTITUDEFITNESS Oct 2011
As with most professions Fitness Professionals assume people are more clued up than they actually are ( I still have ladies asking me for a flat stomach the first time they come to a class). Education is the key, keep spreading the gospel as only Fitness Professionals know how. Use yourself as an example, I do, I'm 5'4", size 6 and lift very heavy weights, eyes can't lie.
Anuyoo Nov 2011
It's a combination of 2 things - perception that strength training is only for men (not generally thought of as a fun workout for women) and education (not understanding how strength/resistance training helps to increase the body's metabolic rate - thus burning more calories/fat at rest)
I think the key is making said workouts fun, and easing your client into a strength or resistance programme gradually.
The biggest challenge is arguing the case for resistance training vs. the current craze of classes like zumba. They are great for helping women to do something fun and active but they won't necessarily impact your metabolic rate long-term which is the ultimate goal.
Offer your clients a few sessions, make them fun and once they start to see or feel the benefits they'll be chomping at the bit to do strength and resistance work, mixed in with high intensity training like tabata for example (for a complete workout)
NaomiP Nov 2011
It really is about education and explanation, as has been so eloquently detailed below. Though it's an established method for reducing body fat, there is still that misconception with many women that if they lift weights they'll suddenly be going head-to-head with the Dave Draper's and Arnold Schwarzeneggar's of the world.
For women who didn't grow up playing sports or around anyone who has a solid knowledge of how the whole build-muscle-lose-fat thing works, it's a surprisingly very prevalent misconception.
In my experience, certain cultures seem to be more entrenched in this line of thinking. Often when I'd hear "oh, I cannot lift weights, I am a girl," relating it to their personal life---being able to cart groceries from the car to the house, or carrying the children on their hip---was a helpful way to get them to relate to it differently.
As has been noted, too, there's a buy-in to the commercialized "calories in, calories out" theory without looking at the whole picture. People can get on a machine and go to town and know how many calories they're burning. They feel the fatigue, the pounding heart, the dripping sweat, so they must be working hard. Working hard=burning fat, right?
Again, it takes education to help them understand that building muscle actually helps the body burn fat naturally. And that just because you sweat doesn't mean you're losing fat. (If that worked, I could just sit on my balcony from July-September and be a size 0 with no other effort!)