I am sure all of us have our own reasons why we train, why we started training and why we have the goals we currently do, like all of you – I certainly do. I have been and still am on my personal fitness journey; and as the years pass by, my goals and training structure change to match the part of my journey I am on.
Weight and resistance-based training has always been my ‘go-to’ and this style of training has helped me achieve a variety of different goals, from bodybuilding and fat loss to confidence-building and injury rehabilitation.
So, what was it that originally got me into weight training all those years ago in 2013…
I had suffered a quadricep tear from football, and part of my recovery and rehabilitation programme was strength training. It didn’t involve anything too heavy or strenuous; however, it did involve weight machines and some light free weight exercises. There was an endless list of exercises and equipment, including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, sandbags and slam balls – just some of the equipment I now use on a daily basis!
After months of learning exercises, and how to utilise all types of weights, I realised how beneficial weight training was, not just for injury rehab, but also so much more.
Over the last 10 years my reasons for weight training have changed. I have been through phases where I was very focused on bodybuilding and physical appearance, I strived for these goals for many years. However, now my main focus with weight training is purely for the health benefits rather than the physical benefits. I weight train for my mental health and confidence, it helps me to reduce stress and stay focused. There really are so many reasons to weight train, which leads me nicely onto my next point!
What are the benefits of strength/weight training?
1. Improve fat loss: the more muscle you have, the quicker your metabolism will work. Lifting weights will allow you to build more lean muscle, and in turn, burn more calories, meaning a reduction in body fat and improvement in weight loss.
2. Gain strength without size: women don’t gain size from strength training unlike men; this is due to the levels of testosterone women have compared to men. Typically, young women have about 90% less testosterone than men and because of this, women will develop muscle tone and definition without the size.
3. Reduce injury and back pain: weight training helps to build stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability which, as a result, helps prevent injury. It can also help with correcting bad posture, and can help to build a strong back and core which will also help prevent any lower back pain.
4. Build confidence and reduce stress: exercise releases endorphins which improves your mood, prevents pain, and fights depression. Women who strength train, commonly report feeling more confident and having a greater self-esteem due to physical and mental changes occurring.
At STRNGRL, I’ve moulded this training philosophy that I preach through personal experience and the benefits I’ve gained myself over the years. I have brought strength and weight training forward into each and every STRNGRL client training; whether their goal is to just build on their confidence and come out their comfort zone, challenge themselves in something new, or more of a physical aspect to build strength and reduce body fat. Weight training really can achieve all.