Women can and should lift heavy

Women continue to lift the same weight year after year with no improvements in strength. More women are thankfully incorporating compound movements like the squat and deadlift. However, the truth is that lifting for 3 sets of 12 repetitions (reps) won’t maximize strength gains.

It is more beneficial to increase strength by lifting multiple sets of 1-6 reps with heavy weights over 75% of your maximum.

Meg Squats - Be More, Not Less
My training goals changed after coming across female powerlifter @MegSquats on YouTube. By: Megan Gallagher (strongstrongfriends.com)

I recently joined a strength training gym specifically for those focused on getting stronger. In four weeks, I have identified less than ten female members.

Why is there a gender disparity in strength training? 

Women are, unfortunately, not educated enough on the topic. They are not able to see the merit of heavy lifting because of the following myths:

1. Heavy lifters are overweight and bulky

Truth:

  • Gaining weight is not the same as being fat
  • Total calories consumed controls weight maintenance, loss and gain.
  • Strength training is typically lower in total volume meaning you’re less likely to gain a ton of muscle
IMG_0416
I used this weight for sets of three and now use for sets of eight. Body weight is exactly the same.

2.  Heavy lifting will cause injury

Deadlift Form
Taken from: http://www.stack.com/a/deadlift-mistakes

Truth:

  •  Lifting heavy loads helps to develop a strong core if performed correctly. A strong core means a stable spine.
  • Squatting to full depth (hip below the knee) is not bad for your knees.

Where to Start?

  • Learn how to do the main lifts properly with a weight that is not difficult.
    • YouTube has great resources for FREE.
  • Record your lifts! Form can’t improve if you don’t know what it looks like now.
  • Join a  gym that prioritizes strength and allows the use of chalk, loud weights and louder grunting.
  • Purchase a 12-week beginner lifting program
IMG_0579
Recording lifts is a great way to assess  your form

What’s The Point?

Expect to transform both body and mind by pairing strength training principles to your current bodybuilding accessory movements.

Heavy lifting will:

  1. Make you stronger than you ever imagined
  2. Improve self-esteem
  3. Increase bone density
  4. Build mental grit
  5. Reduce anxiety

Iron teaches us how strong we can be, both physically and mentally. Women are a minority in the strength training community because of the lies society has fed us about our potential.

I am challenging you to try lifting heavy, even if that means grunting loud and proud.

The boys need to step aside because it’s about time we take our space.

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