The fitness industry screws with women, you read those fitness articles in women’s magazines and they tell you how to get the body that you’ve always wanted in 6 weeks, that you can look like that girl in the picture and you’ll be ready for that holiday.
Bullshit… (sorry for the swearing Mum but it needs to be said).
Yes you can get some results in 6 weeks but unless you are pretty lean already and have good muscle definition then I’m sorry to tell you ladies (and men), it’s ain’t happening in 6 weeks, there’s a good chance it ain’t happening in 8 or 10 weeks, especially if doing their program once a week and ignoring your nutrition and the advice from your trainer (if you have one).
That model has most likely been training for months, years, constantly trying to stay in the best shape, as it’s her job to look like that, also, Photoshop. You all know it happens but then you ignore that fact when comparing yourself to pictures. Stop it (easier said than done right?).
Women are hit with constant messages, do this, do that, get strong, get toned, if you lift that heavy weight you’ll bulk up, you don’t want bulky muscles, but you want to get toned, lose belly fat in 6 weeks, you can’t lose belly fat in 6 weeks, look good naked, look good in clothes, dress like this, dress like that, don’t dress like that, you can’t wear that.
Other women can be the best or the worst thing for you, some will publicly build you up, support you and some will knock you down. Its a very tough world out there for women, and unfortunately there are a lot of bitches out there that don’t want you to succeed, way more than supportive. You may think, oh no, none of my friends are like that, none of my family are like that. Take a few seconds to think back, you want to go to the gym to achieve to your own personal goals, maybe even hit the gym before a night out, have you heard these before, ‘you go to the gym too much, you need to relax, come for a drink’, ‘all you talk about is the gym, you are so boring, have a night off’, ‘you are not the person you used to be’, ‘you are beautiful already, you don’t need to go to the gym’, ‘you don’t need to lose weight, you are perfect already’ and ‘you don’t want to look like a man do you, doing all those weights’. These are just some of the subtle or not so subtle ways that women can be unsupportive and they may even be a little jealous of you making the changes that they wish they could make, or have made years ago.
God damn it, do what makes you feel good!! Go after what you want, do not let anyone stop you from achieving that. Be it a friend who knows you are trying to lose weight but brings a pizza round for you to share, or someone trying to put you down because you have muscles. Your goals are YOUR GOALS, no one else’s go after them.
Stop listening to all those different voices, the fitness industry geared towards making a quick buck and selling you the new idea, a gimmick or a quick fix. The fashion industry that doesn’t give a shit about you, that sells the idea of a body shape to sell their clothes, it’s not about you so stop listening to those voices saying you need to look this way to look good in this.
Start listening to your own voice in your head and ask yourself this, are you happy? Seriously, close your eyes and say am I happy inside and out? Am I comfortable in my body? Does it do what I want it to do? If you are truly happy with you inside and out then that is truly great, more power to you, but in my opinion I would say that most people will want to change something.
For some, it will be that they want to lose weight, or to tone up the back of their arms, lose that belly fat, get a bigger bum, get a smaller bum, get abs, look better naked, maybe you are happy with everything and how you look but you want to get stronger, to be able to do a pull up, to squat 100kg. The list of things could go on and I’m sure that they are an endless list and every single one of them is valid.
Maybe there is a lot going on inside your head that is setting you back, well go see someone, talk it out, work through those issues. Talk to a professional, start to find peace within yourself and start to love yourself again. I’m saying this because no matter how much we train or sort out our nutrition, sometimes there is something holding us back and it’s good to sort through those things. (I can chat to people and help them work through things while training during PT sessions but if you want to sort things out properly then seek professional advice).
So after getting a bit deep and may be a bit ranty, let’s get back to what most people want from a Personal Trainer.
Are we all in agreement that we want to change how we look, in some way, to achieve our own goals?
Below I have laid out some of the training myths that surround women and stop women from reaching their own goals. (Yes guys, this article is mostly aimed at women but you may learn something so read on).
You Want to Lose Weight.
Okay so lets start with this one, you want to lose weight but you no matter what you do, you just can’t shift that bulk.
STOP EATING TOO MUCH FOOD!! STOP DRINKING EMPTY CALORIES!!
If you are putting on weight then you are eating too much food, it’s as simple as that. Don’t tell me that you hardly eat and drink, that you don’t snack between meals, if you are putting on weight then you are consuming too much. This lying to yourself is doing you no favours and is only upsetting yourself, which is making you binge more. Instead of just accepting that you are fat and nothing will change, how about you make a decision, actually change and stick at it!
Your body needs a certain amount of calories per day to maintain your current weight. Eat more than that and you WILL put on weight.
It won’t happen over night, it may take months, it may take years but keep working at it and you’ll get there. Remember you didn’t put the weight on overnight, it took months and years to get where you are, don’t expect overnight results and more importantly, don’t give up.
Sort out your nutrition then you’ll be 80 to 90% there with your losing weight goal, all without setting a foot into a gym. Consistency is key and looking at the bigger picture.
Need to work out how many calories you need per day, then click here, once you’ve worked out how many you need then reduce your calories by 200, 300 or 400 calories each day and you’ll lose weight over time. Calories in versus calories out.
YOU WILL NOT GET BULKY FROM PICKING UP HEAVY WEIGHTS.
You know those women bodybuilders who look really bulky? They eat, train, and take supplements specifically so they can look like that! They’ve probably been working towards that goal for years and years.
The truth is when you pick up heavy things, your muscles get STRONGER (but not necessarily bigger). If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger. (so when you are saying that your arms are getting bulky from weight training… yep you guessed it, you are most likely consuming too many calories, it’s not the weights but the fat making you bulky).
Pick up heavy things, and eat a caloric deficit (and eat the right kinds of food – actual healthy foods), your muscles will get stronger and denser; you will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that ‘TONED’ look that you’re after.
If you are a woman on a regular workout program, your focus should not only involve your thighs or your butts but also work to improve the appearance of your body, that’s your whole body, that’s everything above the waist line. This means that you need to exercise your upper body in order to achieve that symmetrical physique without been as seen like you have undergone surgical procedures with implants in specific body parts. To get such a gorgeous and strong look, that you see on Instagram or in magazines and on the internet, the ones you all comment on and say ‘Can I look like that?’ Well then you need to lift your upper body as well.
There is a circulating misconception (no matter how many times PT’s will tell clients the truth) that women who engage their upper bodies in strength resistance exercises become bulky. However, this should not be the case. Several factors including genes, hormones, size and shape are responsible for dictating your muscular development, as well as your strength, also chuck in the use of added supplements, testosterone boosters and steroids. Not every woman should be overly concerned because the majority of women are not professional bodybuilders.
So, if you are a woman (I’m not talking men, men need to do more legs… but that’s another article) who wants to build that awesome physique, you should concentrate on building muscles in your back, chest, biceps, triceps and delts by engaging in upper-body resistance exercises.
Here are some of the benefits of upper-body resistance workouts:
1. Strengthens Connective Tissues
The human skeleton is held together in joints by connective tissues including tendons, ligaments, and cartilages. If these connective tissues become unstable, your bones are at risk of injury and fractures. The good news is that with upper-body strength resistance training, you can strengthen these connective tissues in all joints including shoulders, elbows, neck, spine, hands and wrists. This not only improves your joints stability and integrity, but also helps prevent joint injuries or bone damages.
2. Bone Strengthening
As you engage in any physical activity including workouts, changes like bone modeling and remodeling occur which helps them to adapt to weights by changing in shapes and sizes while at the same time helping in the removal of dead, weak, or damaged bone tissues. Bones become stronger as muscles contract against them causing stress. This means that as your muscles become stronger, the exercise strengthen your bones and also improves in order to handle the contractions. Bone strengthening is a shield against fractures and osteoporosis.
3. Promote Fat Loss and Muscle Development
Every time you are exercising, your burn calories that in turn increase lean body mass and prevent storage of fat. The greater proportion of lean mass your body has, the higher the metabolism. Once your body becomes metabolically active, there is an increase in fat oxidation and increased energy consumption. Simply put, if your body carries more muscles, it will burn more calories, which can be helpful in weight loss.
4. Increased Energy Levels
If you have a strong upper body, you will find that exercises become lighter every day. You will wake up in the morning energized to go about with every task without feeling exhausted. Going to the gym or engaging in a heavy task won’t be such a bother. You have the energy anyway. Plus it will save you time because you won’t have to make several trips to get groceries from your car to your kitchen. If you want to rearrange the furniture in your house, you won’t have to bother outsiders.
5. Improves Overall Body image
In reference to a study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, researchers found out that women who engaged in upper body strength training for three days per week improved their overall body image compared to those who walked three days per week. With such as strong and well-shaped upper body as a woman, you tend to be more confident and feel strong such that you can go about some chores at home without seeking assistance.
The Gym Feels like a Chore
I’m a big fan of “do what makes you happy.” If you happen to enjoy running, zumba, LBT and maybe those Spin classes then that is awesome. You need to enjoy your time in the gym, it shouldn’t be a slog every time (sometimes you need to dig deep), so doing the things you enjoy will see some benefits. However, if you are ONLY doing those things to lose weight and you’re not seeing results, stop. Make a change.
For exercise, it’s important to find things that make you happy.
Now, if your goals go beyond just losing weight and include things like “looking good,” “being healthy,” and “getting toned,” then I’m going to ask you to consider strength training, but there are many ways to do that (some you do not even have to go into that scary area in the gym):
Picking up heavy weights
Doing bodyweight exercises
Whatever makes you use your muscles in a strenuous way