David Ball PT

Storm Fitness PT

How is training changing for women.


Exercising is like any other part of life, fashion rules. As time goes by certain bits of equipment, types of classes, types of training protocols, become popular and then fade into the past as the latest brand new greatest piece of training advice/kit comes by to supplant it.

For ladies the type of training stays pretty similar, it’s usually cardio based and it’s usually a class, from Jane Fondas workout VHS through to step classes and more recently Zumba. But the general goal is moving your bodyweight around for 45mins to an hour.

For the first time though using weights in workouts has become more popular amongst ladies, what was previously thought to be only suitable for guys is now becoming more and more “acceptable” for ladies. In the past lifting weights was associated with getting bigger, therefore it was avoided, because of course, women don’t want to be stronger, they want to be small and dainty.

Cardio = weight loss. Weights = Arnold.

Of course this is all rubbish, it’s now widely accepted that lifting weights, or to be more accurate strength training, not 1kg tricep kickbacks, is awesome for women as well as men. It makes you leaner, stronger muscles, stronger bones, it makes day to day activities easier AND it won’t make you huge, I also think it creates a mental strength that can’t be gained from a traditional cardio class.

This trend has been helped along by the rise of crossfit which actively promotes lifting weights for everyone and puts it into a class environment.

Something that has seemed to coincide with this rise in ladies strength training is the move away from aesthetic only goals. Don’t get me wrong, losing body fat is still the number 1 reason for most ladies exercising, but I’ve noticed an increase in ladies who now want to be strong, want to be able to do pull ups and press ups, want to be able to squat their body weight and more. Nothing to do with fitting into a certain dress or getting a flat stomach, the getting stronger, lifting more, is motivation enough. Yet the strange thing is striving to achieve goals like the ones mentioned can lead to body composition changes.

Some great advocates of this kind of attitude are (instagram names are in brackets), Colleen Fotsch, unbelievable quads coincidently, i’m hugely jealous! (colleenfotsch), Cynthia Leu (cynthialeu) and Bec Chambers (becchambersfit). Ladies who are lifting for more than just an aesthetic.

I hope this is more than just a trend and strength training continues to seep through into the general population, ladies could gain so much from picking up a heavy dumbbell now and again.

I think Ronda Rousey summed it up best though, so I’ll leave the ending to her.

“That’s why I think it’s hilarious if someone says my body looks masculine or something, I’m like; listen, just because my body was developed for something other than fucking millionaires, doesn’t mean it’s masculine. I think it’s femininely badass as fuck because there’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose because I’m not a do nuthin’ bitch”.


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