Women: have you EVER been intimidated by the gym?
The fitness industry is slowly becoming a place where women are welcomed, included, and seen. However there are still myths that exist which make the gym feel like an intimidating space. For our fellow females out there who are currently wary of getting into strength training, we hope debunking these 4 female training myths can get you confidently to that weight room!
No.1 Strength training makes you “bulky”.
We hear where you’re coming from. Hear us out..
This myth is problematic for a few reasons. For starters, it puts emphasis on your physical appearance. At All Day Fit, we stray away from any talk about your physical appearance and instead focus on the hundreds of benefits strength training has on your life:
- Improves your mental health
- Builds confidence
- Slows age related declines
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Improves your sex life
- Reduces risk of injury and pain
But to get down to the real nitty gritty of this myth, strength building looks different on everybody. It is very difficult for most women to put on any significant amount of muscle mass without some serious effort and dedication towards that specific goal. It depends on your body type, training history, individual biochemistry, how often your training, how much you’re eating, etc. Everyone is different.
In short, what does bulky even mean? This is why strength training is such a personal journey. The best thing you can do? Speak with a professional about goals you feel good about!
FACT: strength training makes you strong AF.
No.2 Women don’t belong in the weight room.
Okay this one gets us going. Hands up if you’ve gone to the gym and seen a weight room full of men, while the women are shafted to the ellipticals and treadmills (no shade towards our fellow runners!). Not too approachable for women to hit the weights huh? This prevalent gym reality is a direct result of the myth: women and men should train differently. It’s (almost) bogus.
Here’s a hot take: WOMEN BELONG IN THE WEIGHT ROOM. ALL humans should be focusing on the foundational movements (i.e. squats, hinges, pulls, etc.) that you see in strength training – after all, we all sit down, stand up, open and close things, bend over, don’t we? Lifting weights and doing the foundational movements are important for everyone, no matter what your sex is.
FACT: Humans train differently based on their individual needs, goals, body, etc., NOT because of their gender.
No.3 You shouldn’t train while on your period.
Does anyone else PR (hit a personal record) the week of your period? Your sex hormones are at their lowest point the week that you’re on your period. This is when your body is more resilient to stress and can be a great time to nail your big-lifting sessions because you recover better.
That being said, hormones aren’t the same for everybody. I know I feel like a super woman the day after my period starts! Others I know need a day or two before their low-hormone status kicks in and amps up their performance and recovery. The best thing you can do? Track your cycle along with your performance and get to know your own body.
Want to learn more? Read Roar by Dr. Stacy Sims! It changed my life.
FACT: Track your cycle, along with your performance to find what is best for your body! You may be surprised!
No.4 You shouldn’t train while pregnant.
There’s a ton of misinformation about strength training, especially for pregnant individuals. Let us help!
First things first, get clearance from your doctor! Once you get clearance I recommend working with a trainer who is a pre and post natal specialist. Checkout our All Day Fit Pre and Post Natal Specialist, Coach Cherise, here!
Here’s why you SHOULD strength train while pregnant:
- Reduced risk of gestational diabetes
- Decreased risk of high blood pressure associated with pregnancy (preeclampsia)
- Decreased postpartum recovery time
- Decreased risk of low back pain
- Decreased severity of low back pain
- Decreased risk of urinary incontinence
- Prevention/improvement of depression symptoms
- Potentially reduced risk of cesarean delivery
- Maintenance of physical fitness – build core strength and upper back strength that will be super helpful while carrying a car seat in one arm and a 20lb baby in the other.
FACT: Once cleared by your doctor, with the appropriate pre-natal exercises, strength training will actually be very helpful for both your pregnancy and post-natal self.
For our fellow females out there who are currently wary of getting into strength training, we hope this has debunked some notions you’ve had that have prevented you from confidently getting to that weight room!
Now let's put it in practice!
Hand up if you want to strength train in an inclusive and welcoming environment! At All Day Fit, we aim to break the bias women face in the fitness industry by providing inclusive and intelligent strength training programs for everybody. Click below to join the community or learn more!