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 Myths and Missunderstandings on Womens Training

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Sean Ryan
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PostSubject: Myths and Missunderstandings on Womens Training   Tue Feb 26, 2008 10:22 am

I have been doing a lot of research on womens training since a close friend of mine asked me to create her a program to help tone up and reduce bodyfat for her modeling . The results that i found are very interesting, especially compared to what we are told by magizine 'fitness experts' and under qualified gym instructors. Below i have highlighted some of the common myths - some of which i used to believe until recently - and what is the reality.

Myth 1: Weight Training will make you Bulky
Due to the fact that women do not and cannot naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is unlikely for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass unless there is a extremely aggressive weight training program and bulking diet.

Women who conduct weight training, without the use of steroids, get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that they're looking for provided that they follow a good nutrition program and cardiovascular workout as well.

Myth 2: Weight Training Makes You Stiff and Muscle Bound
If you perform all exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility will increase. Exercises like flyes, stiff-legged deadlifts, dumbbell presses, and chin-ups stretch the muscle in the bottom range of the movement. Therefore, by performing these exercises correctly, your stretching capabilities will increase.

Myth 3: If You Stop Weight Training Your Muscles Turn Into Fat
This is like saying that gold can turn into brass. Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What happens many times is that when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it) and they also usually drop the diet as well.

Myth 4: Weight Training Turns Fat into Muscle
The way a body transformation occurs is by gaining muscle through weight training and losing fat through aerobics and diet simultaneously. Again, muscle and fat are very different types of tissue. We cannot turn one into the other.

Myth 5: Women Only Need To Do Cardio & If They Decide To Lift Weights, They Should Be Very Light.
This is the one that people really believe: First of all, if you only did cardio then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. A woman needs to do weights in order to get the muscle building machine going and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue.

Keep in mind also that the muscle gained through weight training will ultimately be responsible for toning your physique.

Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change.

OK so those are the main myths and missunderstandings. After doing all the research on this topic i had a choice to make on what i believe before i designed the program for her, do i stay with the proclaimed light weight high rep method, or shall i go with the lower rep medium/high weight method.

I have based her program firstly on bodyweight exercises (using Arnels program as a base) and over the weeks i have introduced weight lifting and advanced bodyweight movements - oh and obviously the use of HIIT. I feel with this combination she will make the gains she is after rather than using the low weight high rep rubbish.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

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PostSubject: Re: Myths and Missunderstandings on Womens Training   Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:00 am

coming from the above, this is a article from Defrancos:

When people ask me what are the biggest differences between designing strength-training programs for females compared to males, my answer usually surprises them. That is because the basic principles should be the same for both genders: train bodyweight exercises before using external resistance, train the core (abs & low back), favor multiple-joint exercises instead of isolation movements, and focus a good deal of their training on the “posterior chain” (hamstrings, gluteals and low back).

Despite the many similarities of male and female strength training, there are subtle differences to consider. First of all, females mature earlier than males. Therefore, in general, females can begin strength training earlier than males. Also, since females have less muscle mass, on average, than males, they are also more susceptible to deconditioning. That is why a female strength-training program should have the athlete continue to train during the competitive season. This is because the drop-off in strength is more dramatic for females when strength training is stopped.

Overall, strength training offers female athletes the same benefits that it offers male athletes! Regardless of their sport or gender, any athlete can benefit from increased sprinting speed, strength, balance, decreased body fat levels and a reduced incidence of injuries – all of which a properly designed strength-training program can provide. Also, studies have proven that strength training can have a positive effect on bone density, which will decrease your risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Even with all of the positive research out there with regards to strength training and female athletes, I still get asked the same question all of the time, “Will I end up looking like a man if I lift weights?” The answer is, “Absolutely not!” Much of the difference in muscle mass between males and females is attributed to hormones, specifically, testosterone. On average, men produce ten times more testosterone than females. Unless you’re a female who is taking anabolic steroids or other male hormones, lifting weights will NOT make you look like a man! Also, there is a difference in muscle mass distribution between men and women, especially in the upper body. So it is important to remember that male hormones and muscle mass distribution are the two main reasons that men usually carry more muscle than woman. These are 2 of the main factors why men who strength-train look more “bulky” than females who strength-train.

Knowledge is power - and i feel that understanding significant differences in training males and females is knowledge we all could do with knowing!

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PostSubject: Re: Myths and Missunderstandings on Womens Training   Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:36 am

Excellent info bro! Everyone needs to read this to clear up the confusion that arises from this topic!

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PostSubject: Re: Myths and Missunderstandings on Womens Training   Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:19 am

Yes...excelent info... Very Happy
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