“My philosophy around training and why I believe women shouldn’t be afraid to pick up the barbell”
Welcome back to another Blog! This one is all about my philosophies around training and why I believe every woman should be lifting heavy ass weights every week! This blog is going to take a pretty in-depth look into all things female fitness and training and my beliefs on how women should be strength training for both physique, performance & health.
The topics I’m going to cover includes the importance of consistency, why we need to fall in love with repetition, how it’s as simple as picking up some heavy things and putting them back down again, why we need to enjoy our training in order to form a habit of doing it and why patience is key.
So, to begin with, I have repeated this over and over again to clients and on my socials, theee most important thing you will need to focus on when trying to achieve a fitness, physique or lifestyle goal is to be consistent. Show up everyday for yourself, commit to the process and even on days when you’re feeling shitty and “not in the mood” to get to the gym, go anyways and show up! The only person that can make your goal a reality is you, by staying consistent and committed to the process even on the bad days you’re telling yourself that no, you’re not going to quit on YOU! Consistency and small changes over time add up to amazing results, so don’t forget that!
I think this is one that a lot of people struggle with, especially if your used to trying new workouts every week or following along to your favorite fitness influencers routine. In order to make progress with your training and really train like you mean it, you will have to fall in love with repetition. With repetition I mean progressing and focusing on those main compound lifts such as Hip Thrusts, Deadlifts, Squats, Bench Press, Chin Ups & Military Press. By doing random workouts week in week out and never really sticking to a proper plan or logging your training, your results and progress with your training will be very random.
However, just because the lifts are repeated does not mean they have to be boring! There are always ways of progressing with each lift, simply by adding more load, increasing sets & rep ranges, deeper ROM, pause reps, eccentrics, partial reps the list really goes on! The more you focus on these lifts, recording your training and aiming to hit PB’s (Personal Bests) on a continuous basis, the more you will fall in love with the process of pushing yourself. I’m telling you girl, the more you challenge yourself with those compounds, the more you will see a change in your physique
(hello glute gains !!)
So if your reading this and your goal is either fat loss, muscle gain or to simply build a strong and sexy af body then you must must must must pick up those weights!!! If your only doing cardio day in day out and your hope is to “tone up” or build a big old booty and minimize the waist then I’m telling you right here right now, it ain’t ever gonna happen if you stick with cardio! By all means, if the goal is simply to improve fitness and cardiovascular output, or to drop a couple of pounds of weight then by all means, go ahead with cardio training. The thing is with cardio, once the body has lost any excess fat, and there is no muscle built in its place then the body takes on a more “skinny fat” appearance. However, when we look at strength and hypotrophy training (drop fat & build muscle) then this changes entirely. The more fat on the body that we can replace with lean muscle then the smaller and more defined the physique will appear! Through resistance style training and lifting some heavy ass weights then the more muscle we can build and the less stubborn fat we will have in those unwanted areas (stomach, thighs, hips, bum, arms).
However, lifting weights is not all about the impact it can have on your physique ladies, it is pretty essential for our overall health also. Around as early as hitting our thirties we women begin to lose muscle density. Between the ages of 30-80 we can lose up to 3 % muscle mass every decade.
Even worse, our strength declines approx. 30% between the ages of 50-70 and continues to decline much faster after that. A very worrying study found that
40 % of women aged between 55-64
45% of women aged between 65-74
65% of women aged between 75-84
COULD NOT LIFT 10 POUNDS! That’s the equivalent to a small bag of dog food.
Women tend to lose more muscle than men as we age due to our hormones. Estrogen slows down our ability to grow and build muscle while progesterone breaks down the muscle we already have. Heavy lifting for strength is one of the only ways to combat this decline of muscle mass with age. Resistance style training also strengthens the bodies connective tissue which can help with avoiding injury as we age.
I love heavy training in the gym because I think of it like this:
I go in, pick up some heavy stuff, put it back down again, take a break, repeat the lifting again (sometimes without even breaking a sweat) do maybe 3 or 4 more exercises, go home eat a large high protein meal and wait for my body to start building some lean muscle. Of course, as I’ve mentioned above, consistency with this is key, your physique won’t transform into that of a goddess if you’re only hitting the gym once per week or you’re never really pushing yourself to your full potential. You have to be progressively overloading your lifts & striving to hit PB’s either at home or in the gym!
That’s really just my 2 cents on it, is every session a breeze, absolutely not but you know what, I stay committed and I show up because I enjoy it, and that my friend links me nicely into my next topic.
We must enjoy our exercise regime in order to sustain it! If someone was to tell me my training had to consist of only cardio & HIIT sessions I would simply run a mile, it would just not be for me and I would struggle to commit to it. However, if your goal is to say, drop some body fat, improve health & fitness levels and you enjoy HIIT sessions and working up a sweat then you stick with what you like, be it dancing, cycling, tennis or simply walking! If you dread every workout and you really hate going to the gym then it’s crucial to find something you do like in order to stay committed to it!
If your goal is to change your physique by dropping body fat and building muscle, then, you really have to play the long game and have patience. I do not believe in quick fixes and trying to obtain drastic results through a combination of cutting calories and trying to follow an insane exercise regime. I’m telling you that changing your physique is a journey and one with many ups & downs. Not every training session is going to be perfect and not every meal will be home cooked, but hey, that’s ok. Through playing the long game you are allowing yourself to have balance in your life and actually enjoy the process along the way. No quick fixes, no juice cleanses just good old training combined with smart food choices that coincide with your overall physique goal.
I hope you have enjoyed this weeks deep dive into my thoughts around female training and if you think you and I might be a good fit in working together on your health and fitness goals then just hit me up with an email or through my Instagram @l.i.training!