Women and Weight Training


This social media gem has been circulating for some time now, any yet still at least once a day
I have women, and men for that matter, utter the phrase, “I don’t want to do weights as I don’t want to get massive like a body builder”. Well let’s look a little further into this;

Muscle tissue is what we term metabolically active tissue. This basically means it costs the body calories to maintain it. Fat tissue is metabolically inactive tissue; it doesn’t cost the body anything in terms of energy. So right away we can see that an individual with more muscle mass will expend more energy (calories). Why would you not want to use more calories when sitting around?

In all reality muscle tissue is HARD to build. The body will only build muscle as an adaptation of it being broken down via resistant stressors and will get rid of it when it is not being used. This goes back to it costing us energy. It will only carry out this adaptive process with adequate recovery via food and sleep. When you look at people in shape i.e. bodybuilders, physique athletes and the people that litter your Instagram and Facebook feeds it is easy to think this can be achieved in as little time as a year. Honestly, it is NOT going to happen. Can you build a good amount of muscle in year? Yes of course. Can you lose a large amount of body fat in a year? Undoubtedly. And you’d probably look and feel a hell of a lot better for doing so. But the people at the top did not get there overnight and they did not get there in a year, or 12 weeks like some “rags to ripped” programme may have you believe. They have most likely been training for 10 years plus to get into that condition.

Women have roughly 10% of the natural circulating testosterone that men have. Testosterone is an essential hormone in building muscle tissue and burning fat, it is extremely useful and we want to maximise our natural production though things like saturated fat, good sleep and reduced lifestyle stress. Utilising weight training will also boost your testosterone levels with compound movements such as squats, pushes, pulls, lunges etc. Don’t be afraid of attacking the weights, get in, work hard and get out. Build some muscle and when it comes to revealing that summer body you’ll have something to show!

If you are looking for that “toned” look then you need to be embracing some of these aspects of training. No one ever got a defined toned figure doing 60mins of treadmill, cross-trainer and bike work. It’s a great way to keep the heart healthy and use some fuel but with no muscle to reveal it is unlikely to get you the body you’re after.