I'm blessed. I train a lot of women. In fact, 70% of my client base is women. Now, I don't enjoy training women for the lame, immature reasons that many male trainers do. (Yoga Pants). To the contrary, I enjoy training women because I have come to find that so many of them have not yet enjoyed the empowerment that a weight-training program provides.
Due to the trap arranged by society, media, and even their friends, women find themselves confused and mislead when it comes to their bodies, fitness, and feeling sexy. To be honest, it pisses me off.
The fitness industry has failed women. Instead of providing quality, scientific information that illuminates the correct pathway, women are fed the same recycled and outdated information in a new package. High repetitions, low weights, endless cardio, and juice cleanses are just many of the myths that have not only held women back, but ruined their metabolisms.
It is my greatest hope that in my training, writing, and socialization I can help change the stigmas and aid women in discovering the power within themselves. I want women to realize that muscle provides shape, and shape is sexy. I want women to know that they can eat carbohydrates like a normal person, and steak too!
Here are the top 3 ways, that YOU, as a woman, can achieve the body you've been chasing.
1. Stop listening to your friends, and family
They mean well. They love you. However, unless they are an exercise scientist, seasoned personal trainer, or have poured countless hours into their own fitness, then there is a high probability that whatever they to you will hurt more than it helps.
Stacy: "Just stop eating carbs. I was reading that they like, make you fatter than anything ever, and that if we just avoid gluten we can totally be skinner".
Mom: "Oh honey, be careful lifting those weights, women aren't supposed to doing those things like the boys do"
Any other friend ever: "I don't want to work out, but let's just take Zumba, it is so much more fun anyway".
I may be a male, but I am willing to bet that many of my readers, or someone they know, has heard one, if not all, of these above statements. Whether it is horrible dieting advice, or negative attitudes towards exercise programs, your body is not benefiting.
Think of it this way.
Would you trust someone with absolutely no money and a ton of debt to give you financial advice?
Would you trust someone to fix your car, or your house, if they've never done that job before?
In both examples someone is trying to help you, but are they qualified? Put your friends and family through the same litmus testing process that you'd put a potential trainer through, or plumber for that matter.
They love you, but they have no idea what they are talking about. Look for information from credible sources to fuel your workouts and your diets!
2. Stop trying to be someone else
This is possibly the issue that bothers me that most. Mostly, this issue bothers me because commercial media, and now social media, is constantly marching out images of women as physical idols. Thus, it is pounded into a young woman's head at a young age that they must look like person A, or have an ass like person B, to be sexy, or in shape, or even a "real woman".
I'm not amused by this industry
Whether it is foodbabe, Jen Selter, or even Jennifer Aniston...it doesn't matter. You won't be them, nor should you want to be.
You have beauty and sexiness inside of you. So, be the best you that you can be. It may take a ton of hard work, and it may involve a lot of sweat, but in the end, you will love yourself in a way you never thought possible.
I once had a client that would show me instagram photos of various "models" that had bodies she wanted. They were all tall, slender women who looked as though they had been gymnasts or dancers most of their life. My client, to the contrary, was barely five feet tall, and some pounds overweight. No matter how hard she tried, or how hard I trained her, she wasn't going to look like the 5'11 girl on IG.
That doesn't mean that she can't have a rocking body. It doesn't mean that her legs can't be killer strong and very defined. In fact, we worked very hard together and got her quite low in body fat all throughout her body.
Your body has its own unique shape due to bones, joints, your height, and your hips. As a woman these are the parts of yourself that you should embrace.
If you are short, with a short midsection, and wide hips, then you can spend extra time developing the muscles in your thighs and back to create the illusion of smaller waist. Add in a intelligent diet that focuses on quality proteins, whole vegetables, and even CARBS! (Oh my, I broke the internet)..
Going forward, ask yourself what you want to see out of yourself. Don't chase anyone else. It doesn't pay off in the long run. Love yourself.
3. Women don't do the right lifts
You knew this was coming. I'm a trainer, strength coach, and weight-lifting lover. Of course I think women should lift weights! Seriously though, women should lift weights.
Here is why!
So many women fear "looking like a man" if they start lifting heavy. Here a few reasons that a few sets of heavy deadlifts won't do just that...
1. On average women have about one-tenth the amount of testosterone that a male has in their body at any given time. Men, often struggle to put on any muscle mass, and so, you as a female, have a ten times HARDER time putting on any significant muscle mass.
2. Heavy lifting doesn't stimulate an acute (temporary) testosterone response in women as it does men. There is; however, a growth hormone response. Don't let the word growth fool you though. GH is a hormone largely responsible for fat loss, protein synthesis, and collagen regeneration (SKIN!).
If you need to know anything about the biology and chemistry of the body during exercise, know this...the endocrine (hormone) system is a major, if not the biggest player, in building muscle mass. Thus, knowing that you can't overstimulate testosterone, and that GH does everything for you that you want to happen in the first place....why wouldn't you lift?
Many women are probably reading this and are saying...I lift....I do curls and some presses. I do some squats and lunges. To them I say: AWESOME! Keep it up.
However, doing 3 sets of 15-20 reps of lighter dumbbells can only get you so far.
The mistake so many women make is that they don't ever try to get stronger. You get stronger by lifting things that are VERY HEAVY to your person.
Every female client I work with will build up to a strength phase with me. During this phase we will work things like 3 rep deadlifts (trap bar or sumo), 2-5 rep squats to parallel (with the barbell), and dumbbell bench presses that are in the 3 to 6 repetition range as well.
All of these lifts get 3 to 5 sets of attention and are often stacked with other moves that emphasize whatever we are working on that day. None of my female clients have grown beards, started scratching in public, or started fist bumping their friends. None of them.
In fact, most of them fall in love with how they feel during this phase. "strong", "powerful", "tight". Those are words I hear after our sessions. If you are chasing shape, then you need the muscle mass to create it.
Lift heavy, lift hard, and marvel at how amazing you start to look.
I had a whole different blog idea in my head when I started this. Yet, I don't want to just write about science, and movement, and the science of being a great trainer. I want to help change lives. I hope that some of my words have resonated with you ladies, or even you guys who train girls, date girls, or are bestie besties with some girls.
Women have been hurt for a long time by horrible, and narrow minded stereotypes. It is time they stop listening to others, stop trying to be someone else, and start building the body that they want by chasing the image in their own minds!
Lift heavy, lift hard, live happy!