Ladies, we’ve heard it all about women and strength training. Some myths will make you laugh, and some might make you cringe, but all in all, they are exactly that – myths.
We have put together 5 of the most common myths that we hear when it comes to women and strength training. Let’s dive on in…
MYTH ONE: My vajayjay will fall out.
Yeah… No doubt you have read it or heard it on the grapevine; if you lift heavy, you may cause a prolapse. Insert eye roll… Honestly, if it were that easy to have a prolapse, they would be much more common.
Can lifting impact our pelvic floor? Absolutely. Like anything, if done incorrectly lifting can certainly have a negative impact over time. This is why it’s important to work with a coach who takes the time to lay solid movement foundations with you and give you to tools to understand your body.
MYTH TWO: It’s dangerous for women to lift.
Ugh. Get out! Don’t tell me what’s good or bad for MY body. There are plenty of ridiculous comments about women’s strength training and possible injuries.
Many of the discussions are based upon the fluctuations in women’s hormones but pay no attention to the other factors that would typically increase the risk of injuries such as; joint stability and mobility, fatigue, strength and even personality (yeah, we see you clumsy gals).
While our hormones can impact many things, it certainly does NOT make it dangerous to strength train. So what makes weight training dangerous… for anyone?
- Not managing your fatigue
- Not listening to your body
- Lack of nutrition/food intake
- Loading too quickly and inappropriately … None of these are specific to just women.
MYTH THREE: Women shouldn’t train like men
Scuse moi? What does training like a man look like? We’ve read and heard things like:
Women shouldn’t do deadlifts
Women shouldn’t do chin ups
Women shouldn’t do bicep curls
By why? If I want a thick back and stonkin legs, why can’t I train in a manner that supports my goals?
That’s your answer, Queens. We program and train to support our goals. There are absolutely no exercises that men can gatekeep and visa versa.
MYTH FOUR: You’ll get better results from cardio
One word. Eww.
All jokes aside, this circles back to age-old sexist claims around how energy systems work in women’s bodies, including the impact of our hormones.
You need to ask: What results am I looking for?
Without knowing, you can’t immediately scrap this generalised claim.
The reality is that there are many different ways to program for a goal, but it has to be specific to that goal. For example, doing cardiovascular work is incredibly good for many reasons, including but not limited to heart health, sports specific training and general fitness. But the claim that you’ll get better results from cardio is far too generalised and completely dismisses the individual’s needs and goals.
MYTH FIVE: Women need special programming
Nah mate, nah.
We don’t need special programming. We need specific programming. There is a difference.
As we have already mentioned, everyone needs specific training; what each of us does with our training comes back to our individual goals. Whether you’re male or female, your program should be specific to you & your needs when it comes to strength training.
Throughout our training weeks as we move with our menstrual cycles, it’s so important to be aware of the different phases of our cycle and learn how to listen and honour our needs in training. We love to see so many women training with their cycle instead of against it. But…. one big point to be aware of here. Our menstrual cycles all differ as does our training needs. Track your cycle and become aware of how you are impacted.
And here’s one extra because it’s an important one…
MYTH SIX: You’ll end up bulky/less feminine
This is just not true at all… Ladies, we don’t have the levels of testosterone that men do to end up super bulky.
When we think about this topic, we often think about the women who compete in bodybuilding. However, women who compete as natural athletes (don’t use sports enhancing drugs) work their absolute toosh off over many years. They require LOTS of food to get them to that point and even still, genetics has a lot to do with it.
We also gain lean muscle mass over time at a lower rate than men, so overall, it is incredibly hard for a woman to become bulky. So ladies, lift away!
Coach Rach x