Women & Weight Training

17 Aug

      I could get away with it back in my early twenties. I don’t lift so heavy anymore…

Ten years makes a difference to the body. Being in my early thirties now, I realize that I don’t need to constantly lift heavy weight in order to be strong. Strength is an accumulation of time and effort spent lifting a variety of weight. I’ve learned the hard way when you lift so much all the time, it takes a toll on your body.

Weight Training in the Gym

I’m a strong advocate for women in the weight room. I have seen a shift from when I first started weight training at thirteen. I remember being surrounded by young boys trying to look buff. Weight training was not a woman’s sport. I’m happy to say many more women have adopted strength training in to their life. I have seen the benefit of consistent training. The key to continued success is to change the training.

I’ve been in the gym for most of my life. Twenty one years to be precise. I started lifting weight at my mom’s gym. I loved it! The feeling I got from being strong and capable has been a source of joy for me. The key to my continued success is to constantly change what I’m doing in the gym.

Changing the Exercise to Develop Strength

A client of mine and I were talking. She is in her early sixties and has been an avid gym goer her who life. “I can’t lift as much as I could when I was in my thirties.” That’s a good point. As you progress through life, so to should your exercise program change. I have no issue picking up a forty pound weight and putting it over my head. It doesn’t mean I need to do that all the time. It’s hard on my body. I like to reserve my strength for when I need it most!

There is such thing as lifting too much weight all the time. It’s counter-productive to developing strength. Lifting heavy weight all the time is terribly hard on your joints. I’ve seen it more times than I can count. When you get injured, your muscles atrophy and then you have to start again. It’s a vicious cycle. If you’re in to lifting weights all the time, then you know what I’m saying.

It’s not worth the risk of injury to lift excessive weight all the time. Your body needs rest and recovery. That recovery period is when your muscles grow. The mentality is to lift heavy all the time to gain muscle mass. If that’s the case, then you will pay the price.

I’ve limited my heavy lifting to once or twice a week. It’s enough to maintain the strength I have. That rest period between work outs actually allows me to lift more weight next time. In the mean time I’m working on stability training in order to accommodate my heavy strength training days. Lot’s of ab and back stability work on Swiss Balls and Bosu Balls. It compliments strength training nicely and allows me to be stable enough to lift heavy.

Canoe Paddle on Bosu Balls

This is my definition of ab work! I created this exercise to challenge both stability and core strength. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to keep upright while those bosu balls are beneath my feet. (Do not try this on your own without direction from a professional)

Posted by All Fit All Ages Gym on Friday, August 10, 2018

 

For the average woman just starting in the gym, strength training three days a week is sufficient. It’s important to change your program every twelve weeks in order to develop strength. Change the program in order to get results. That’s my lesson here. If your goal is to get stronger, then you need to change what you do. That advice applies to beginners and more advanced gym-goers.

Whatever your goal is, keep at it and success will follow!

 

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