Women And Weight Lifting
Due to the profession I've chosen and my methodologies I am aware that I'll have to re-iterate this point time and time again.
Lifting weights if you are a women will NOT make you bulky!!! It will make you sexy!!!
Women's training and diet SHOULD be approached different to men's. The two genders differ greatly in terms of physiological structure and hormonal output. Men are more suited to weight training, but women can reap MASSIVE benefits from resistance training as well.
There are an abundance of factors that will affect whether a women is lean or prone to gaining weight. However the key difference between the two sexes mainly boils down to the hormone Estrogen.
To put it bluntly, Estrogen is what makes women women. This being said there are several types of estrogen that will play an integral part in factors such as mood, monthly cycle and body composition.
If you are producing optimum amounts of Estradiol (E2) then you will be happier, leaner and have a higher sex drive.
To promote Estradiol production you need to control blood sugar levels, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and part take in resistance exercise to improve insulin sensitivity (weight training). One of the easiest ways to do this on a dietary scale is to increase fibre intake via cruciferous green vegetables.
When you spike blood sugar, consume toxins and eat crappy food you are encouraging the production of toxic or "foreign" Estrogen called "Xenoestrogens" (E16). These do the opposite and will make you more irritable, more fatigued and more likely to store carbohydrates as FAT and not use them as fuel.
It is vital to realise how your diet has an affect on EVERYTHING. Eating vegetables will not just reduce cortisol (hormonal stress) and stabilise energy levels but it will massively aid detoxification and promote sexual health!!!
Weight training with correct form, appropriate weight and targeting the right muscles will hugely help in optimising the production of estradiol. It is a great stress reliever and I think (baring in mind I'm male) empowers women to strive to be strong.
But will lifting weights make me bulky? We the answer is NO!!! Muscle growth depends on the correct stimulus. Medium to high reps with moderate weight where the main focus is “the pump” causes sarcoplasmic swelling. This coupled with a high testosterone response plus a surplus of calories will make a muscle grow. Therefore, if you are pumping up your muscles and then eating a kilo of rice and a full chicken THEN you will start to bulk up. This would only happen though with adequate levels of testosterone… which women simply don’t have.
If I put on 7lb’s of lean muscle in the next 6 months I would be very happy. This would mean I would have to weight train 4-5 times a week and eat at least 4000 calories a day!! I sincerely hope to God that my testosterone levels are higher than that of the average women. Therefore, hormonally women are extremely disadvantaged to building muscle in comparison to men.
I always say train for what you want to become. If you want to be strong, lift heavy weights, if you want to be fast, move with speed. If you look at a female figure model they will ALL be lifting heavy weight and using compound movements such as squatting and deadlifting. They will not be walking on a treadmill for 10 minutes, going on a bike for 15 minutes and then doing some crunches and tricep kick backs with 2kg dumbbells to get rid of bingo wings.
N.B. Reducing Xenoestrogens will target the fat on your triceps. I.e. Squatting is actually more useful to reduce the fat round this site than actual direct arm work.
Weight training accentuates your hormonal output. It makes men more masculine and women more feminine. In females it will help boost mood, target body fat and develop lean and toned curves. This is science. Just because there is a stigma around women lifting heavy weights does not mean you shouldn’t do it.
I hope this has helped and shone some light on how to get real results.
Now get lifting
Written by Personal Trainer Chis Knott. Click here to view Chris' profile!