In the beginning, some female athletes/clients (especially if they have little experience with training) I worked with get a little bit hesitant when we walk over to the squat rack. The first question that comes to their mind is “Would I get really big and muscular if I lift weights?” My response sometimes (depending on the person) is, “Yes…after you put in 6+ years of training while eating 8+ meals per day with maybe X amount of supplements. To speed up the process you can also take some performance enhancement drugs or something equivalent.”
All jokes aside, this could not be further from the truth! Let me debunk some of the common myths when it comes to strength training for women.
MYTH 1: Strength Training will cause women to become heavier and larger.
Definitely not true! In fact, strength training helps reduce body fat and increase lean weight. These changes may slightly increase overall weight but that’s because lean body mass weighs more than fat.
MYTH 2: Women and Men should train differently.
Most of the time, women tend to lean towards the isolated weight machines. A fear that free-weights (Barbells, Dumbbells, Kettlebells, etc.) will cause injury. Again, not true! Properly performing exercises will reduce the likeliness of injury. Also, I encourage women to do multi-joint exercises (barbell squat) as it’s more beneficial because it targets numerous muscle group.
MYTH 3: Women should avoid high-intensity/load training.
During strength training, I often see women go for lighter loads (a substantially low load which will not cause any physiological adaptations). There should be a balance approach to training by mixing in higher volume and intensity to cause adaptations to muscle, bones, ligaments, tendons, etc.
Hopefully the clears out some of the myths about strength training for female. If you want more training and nutrition tips, please sign up for the Coach KP newsletter by clicking HERE! You can also follow me on social media by clicking one of the platforms on the top right corner of the page.