When I was younger, I knew what “girly” things were. Barbie’s, dolls, prams, friendship bracelets and netball. As we get older some of these things seem to carry on, we begin knitting, crochet, coffee with the girls, a girls weekend or maybe go get our hair done. All of these stereotypes still knit a pattern through our society of what us, as women, are “supposed” to do, and weightlifting isn’t one of them.
One of the things I often hear from our new female customers when they come to us for a fitness plan is, “I want to lose weight”, “tone up”, “lose a dress size for a wedding” or simply “get fitter”.
These are terms we have learned from magazines, social media or perhaps just ideals in our own mind. What my 29 year old version of “get fitter” is could be completely different to that of my grandmother who simply wants to stay active because of her health concerns.
All of the goals mentioned above, and many more can all be achieved by adding weight lifting (or the ‘girly’ term “resistance training”) – yes even my 70 year old grandmother would benefit!
Girls it’s time to shatter some of the common myths and fears about lifting
“I don’t want to look ‘big’ or ‘bulky’” Sorry girls, because of our genetic make-up (not the girly type of “make-up” that is), fused with our own balance of hormones, contrary to popular belief, weightlifting will not make you big or bulky. It takes months; years even to get to anything close to big or bulky. Hours a day doing nothing but lifting and sticking to rigorous healthy eating routines will not even get us close –sorry!
“I’m afraid of going in the free-weight area; there are just too many men!” They look like they bite – don’t they?!? They’re just big softies really! Some might even help you out with your routines – or perhaps they’re flirting? Even so weightlifting doesn’t have to be in the free weights area. It can include any part of the gym. We are welcome to take weights into matted ‘free’ areas, as long as we take them back #alwaysrerack
“I don’t know what I’m doing/where to start” Ah, that’s where our fitness teams really come into their own (it’s what they’re here for). They love to help and have a wealth of knowledge and will jump at the chance to share their expertise with you. We’ve got male and female instructors at each centre; maybe go ask one of your own kind? If that makes you feel more comfortable.
“Does it actually do anything to help me lose weight? Surely it’s going to make me put weight ON!” Here’s where it gets interesting; 1lb of muscle weighs exactly the same as 1lb of fat, BUT muscle is far more compact than fat so you will look smaller, your clothes will start to get looser and you may even drop a dress size though your weight may remain the same or could even increase. Trust how you look rather than your scales.
“I’m still not convinced I’m too afraid to start” Remember when you did squats in BTT or did a plank in Pilates? Well simply by adding a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells into your routine IS WEIGHTLIFTING – you’re already doing it girl! Why not add the chest press or leg press into your regular gym programme? The shock of a new exercise into any routine can really shake it up and cause the body to make radical changes in a short time. Ask us on site today to update your personal fitness plan and we’ll incorporate some weightlifting moves.
So to the girls who “don’t want to look like a man” please don’t worry! You won’t, especially if you team weightlifting in with something girly…. Like make-up.
We run courses solely aimed for women who want to start weightlifting throughout the year, keep checking the lleisure website for updates. Our courses are free for members so call us at Kimberley Leisure Centre on 0115 9173366 to be added onto the waiting list for the next course.
The tide has turned girls and it’s time to get strong and start lifting! Just ask our fitness team if you need help or advice on how to get started.
Heather, Kimberley Leisure Centre