Weight Training in Females
by Strength and Conditioning Coach Eirini Panagopoulou
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 50 seconds.
Hello all, my name is Eirini, I am a Strength & Conditioning coach and I classify myself as a fitness addict because I love working out in the gym. So, what I am going to talk about has to do with the benefits of weight training in females.
Many times, when you enter a gym, you see females with well-shaped bodies. At first glance, the things that you notice are big glutes & strong legs, a thin waist, thick back, and well-rounded shoulders. Have you ever wondered how they have managed to do such a thing? I will tell you—cardio alone in NOT enough. I am not against cardio (I do cardio as well!), but it must be combined with weight for the best results. So, the key things for such a result are 1) Healthy nutrition, 2) Weight training, 3) Recovery. What we will focus on more in this topic is weight training. The benefits of weight training for women are many. It helps women improve their body composition in building muscle mass and reducing body fat, which is one of the main factors responsible for heart issues. And, in terms of postmenopausal women, who are the most vulnerable, it reduces the risk of osteoporosis, so women tend to have better quality on their daily activities. But, when we say weight training, I would add the word “challenging”. What do I mean by “challenging”?? Because if you want to get the benefits from a workout, you need to get “uncomfortable”, you need to add weight, you need to make your training “challenging”. Adding weight doesn’t mean you are going to get huge, don’t get confused. You can’t get huge.
You are a woman, and your primary hormone is estrogen, which does not allow you to acquire the appearance of a male body, which consists of testosterone (the anabolic hormone that differentiates men from women and is responsible for growth). Female bodies have only a tiny amount of testosterone responsible for muscular development, sex drive etc. But the presence of testosterone in women is significant, and if it exists in a reasonable amount, it is easier to lose fat and gain muscle, but it needs HEAVYWEIGHTS to happen. Don’t be afraid of getting bulky, huge, with massive legs. IT CAN’T HAPPEN! If it were easy, you wouldn’t see all these bodybuilders trying so hard in every workout to improve their physique. “Challenging” Weight training will help you get an athletic body, your energy levels will increase, and you are going to feel more confident. If you are new to it, and you don’t know how to do it, and you don’t feel confident to start lifting weights alone, find a coach/personal trainer who has the knowledge to help you, show trust, talk about your goals and your “fears” and let them help you out reaching your goals.
Furthermore, something you need to know is fundamental if you want to see results on your legs and glutes; don’t train them every day. This is happening on a 95% in every gym is, women that train their legs and glutes every single day. Thousands of different variations for the same muscle, (walking lunges, static lunges, abductors, abductors, squats, squats with bands, smith machine squats etc.). I know that every woman dreams of an awesome butt and amazing legs but…Do you really think that your glutes will grow by training them every day? Guess what, NO. Don’t forget the recovery (it is one of your main keys). If you want to add frequency in your lower body, I would suggest 2 times per week lower body focus training. If you are able to do more, it means that your training is not challenging and if you do only 1 per week then it is insufficient.
Believe me the woman you see over there with the amazing lower body, trains it twice a week. She starts her training with basic movements, heavy weight and low repetitions and as the training time passes she uses more isolation exercises, moderate weight and moderate to high repetitions (it depends on the person and the individual characteristics).
To sum up, every woman has lots of strength and power inside her, and even if our gender is considered as the weakest of the two which is true, this should not keep us away from the heavy resistance training, which is going to reveal the true potential of ourselves and is going to make us stronger and more confident for ourselves!
Strength & Conditioning Coach