Sam Wood On Why It’s Important For Women To Incorporate Weights

"There has been an incredible change in the landscape of women's fitness."

Snez, like so many women, was very reluctant to do weights for fear that she would get big and bulky. When I first started training her, I thought it was important to educate her on why resistance training isn’t detrimental to getting your best body as a woman, in fact, it is imperative.

I completely understand why many women are scared by big, heavy weights. So what I always explain is, resistance training doesn’t have to involve big, heavy weights, it can be done in a number of weights. Weights, kettlebells, bodyweight, suspension straps, bands, balls and so on. Even Pilates and yoga are forms of resistance training with a specific focus. The point here is that to really shape and strengthen your body and have well-rounded fitness you need to be doing some form of resistance work. Cardio works your heart and is damn important but we cannot neglect the muscles, joints and bones which are just as critical.

I’ve always found that when women understand this, their fears disappear and they are much more open-minded to this type of training. So here’s how I convinced Snez to trade the treadmill for the TRX:

1. Science

The first thing to understand is that weights do not have the same effect on women as they do on men. Women have a different hormone makeup, men have higher testosterone levels and women have higher estrogen levels, which means that resistance training will make them strong, leaned and toned as opposed to big. I said to her “Snez, if you really want to achieve a strong and lean body then you need to embrace resistance training. You can’t just rely on cardio”

2. Metabolic Benefits
The more lean, toned muscle that women have then the higher your basal metabolic rate will be. When we have lean, toned muscle we speed up our metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories alllllll day long, even when we are simply getting around day to day and even better- when we are sleeping.

3. Variety
You don’t have to be doing 100-kilo deadlifts to be training with resistance. You can use free weights, machines, medicine balls, dumbbells, resistance bands and even your own body-weight. The important thing is that you are strengthening and toning these muscles. Snez prefers, and her body responds better to, lighter weight and higher reps so that is what we focus on when training together.

4. Empowerment
There has been an incredible change in the landscape of women’s fitness. We’ve truly swung from one side of the pendulum (where thin was societies ideal) to the other- complete body acceptance for all shapes and sizes. This includes strong, fit bodies. It is fantastic to see so many of my clients, 28ers and even my friends embrace this shift and feel proud as they go from strength to strength. The stronger you are, the more you are capable of and the more you can truly make the most of everything life has to offer.

For Snez it hasn’t just been about muscle tone and body composition, it has been about posture, strength with carrying Willow and most importantly, regaining strength and confidence within herself. I encourage all women to give resistance training a try and I promise you- you’ll never look back. 

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