Written by Jamie Bantleman
Girls – Ditch Zumba And Lift Heavy!
Ladies, its time to ditch the Zumba, Spin classes and Pilates if you are wanting to get into great shape. Every day we see females relentlessly training hard in classes, however how often are we seeing huge change in physique? While it is important to enjoy training and if doing these classes mean you are enjoying yourself by all means do it, however, just don’t consistently do them every day as your only source of exercise.
Classes like those mentioned are often at a very high intensity, they are usually jam packed with those with similar goals and all working as hard as is physically possible. While this form of training is effective when done correctly.. STOP.. backtrack, “when done correctly”.
How can we expect just one instructor to manage the technique, posture and breathing patterns of 30-50 people at one time to ensure each and every one of them are getting an effective workout? It is impossible, coaching one person to do all of these things at once is hard enough.
Any girl looking to start reaping the rewards of training hard should be focused primarily on training with weights using large compound movements such as the squat, deadlift, pull ups, hip bridges and pressing both on a flat bench and overhead. However a typical fear and one myth that is plaguing the fitness industry is that girls that use weights will get big and bulky.
Hormonally this simply cannot happen with just training with weights, due to the hormone, testosterone, being so low in a female it is very difficult for large amounts of muscle mass to be accumulated. Alongside this, your calorie intake from your nutrient profiling will ensure that you are not to increase weight too dramatically or at all if the goal is based around fat loss.
“Testosterone is produced by the gonads (by the Leydig cells in testes in men and by the ovaries in women), although small quantities are also produced by the adrenal glands in both sexes. It is an androgen, meaning that it stimulates the development of male characteristics. Present in much greater levels in men than women, testosterone initiates the development of the male internal and external reproductive organs during foetal development and is essential for the production of sperm in adult life.
This hormone also signals the body to make new blood cells, ensures that muscles and bones stay strong during and after puberty and enhances libido both in men and women. Testosterone is linked to many of the changes seen in boys during puberty (including an increase in height, body and pubic hair growth, enlargement of the penis, testes and prostate gland and changes in sexual and aggressive behaviour). It also regulates the secretion of luteinising hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. To effect these changes, testosterone is often converted into another androgen called dihydrotestosterone. In women, testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. The majority of testosterone produced in the ovary is converted to the principle female sex hormone, oestradiol.”
Therefore, females who train with weights will find that although they may find a slight increment in lean muscle tissue, they will not find themselves in a position where their arms or legs are bulging from their clothes. Muscle mass is an incredibly difficult thing to grow, many males spend years trying to increase it while their testosterone levels are huge in comparison to a female. Do not make the mistake of missing out on the perfect way in which to train to achieve your goals due to the fear of something that simply will not happen.