The new era is upon us and as many of us have seen the paradigm shift towards women and strength training. Gone with the time when it was foolish to see a women in the free weight area let alone a group of them squatting, deadlifting and/or benching. So what has brought this on? why are some women now starting to out lift the alpha race?
Is it the industry which is putting pressure on women to move towards more traditional strength work? I say this because back in the eighties and nineties it was all about aerobics and spandex but as the industry has moved on through better education and knowledge are we know realising that there are better ways to stay fit and healthy, i.e lifting weights. Consequently, will this phase last for ever or will it move on and in ten to twenty years time will strength work be frowned upon!
Obviously this is not everyone’s cup of tea but is this because they don’t understand why to do it? or have they never had a good coach to help them work towards their own goals or becoming a strong women.
BBC Sports Jounalist Sarah Mulkerrins states that “there’s been a big push in the media to represent women in sport. Icons like Jessica Ennis at the Olympic’s have given women role models and a can do attitude towards sport. Women can see these sport stars weight train and how it helps their performance and physique. The weights room is no longer off limits or the preserve of bodybuilding males”
So what do you need to do moving into 2015 and being that strong, powerful and confident female, here are a few tips;
1) Forget about the myth that you will get bulky from lifting weights. Unless you are taking some extra pharmaceutical help, you will be fine.
2) Stop using the word ‘toning’. Get this phrase out of your dictionary. Basically what you are asking is that you want to build some muscle and lose fat.
3) Get a good coach who is not afraid to get you off the treadmill and into the free weight area.
4) Don’t be afraid of the free weights and the people around you. If you do everything right then they will be intimidated of you, trust me!
5) Learn the basic movement patterns and base your training around these. Squat, deadlift, lunge variations, press up, recline rows and crawl variations.
6) Don’t be afraid to add some weight to the bar. You are starting a new phase of your own health and fitness so its time to get strong.
7) Eat more than a 1000 calories a day, and eat more like 1500 calories. This should involve a balanced diet of lean meats, fruit, vegetables, oils, eggs, nuts, seeds, rice, potatoes and pulses.
Check out this video of some of the girls down at S&P
Here is a sample day program that I would give to a new lifter once they had completed a GPP phase. They would only progress to this once I believed they were ready. Moving someone on to quick will increase their risk of injury and may also put them off from lifting in the future as the DOMS they may experience would not be pleasant. Remember just because you are sore does not mean that you had a good training session.
A1) Bulgarian Split Squat 3×8-10
A2) Assisted Chins 3×5
B1) Romanian Deadlift 3×12-15
B2) Flat DB ALT Press 3×10
B3) DB Rows 3×12
C1) KB Swings 3×20
C2) Band Pullaparts 3×20
C3) Plank 3x45seconds
Although if your program currently looks something like below, then maybe its time for a change as you have probably been doing this time and time again and getting no where, while getting frustrated with not achieving your goals.
A1) Treadmill 15 mins
B1) Curl to Press 2×25
B2) Leg Extension 2×25
B3) Tricep Kickbacks 2×25
B4) Leg Curls 2×25
C1) X-Trainer 20 mins
So for all the women out there its time to step it up and make a change. Go find a good coach, get some friends involved and have some fun working towards what you want to achieve. I can promise you this the investment you make will be nothing for the amount of confidence and self esteem you will gain, let alone numerous wolf whistles!
Thanks for reading