Ladies, You Need to Lift

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I worried I’d get big if I did power-lifting, but I’ve dropped a dress size.

Lifting provides a challenge for me, and I love the training environment. My gym is full of athletes of all ages, each with their own goals. No one is there to show off. It really is empowering.

-Nicolle Smith (took up powerlifting at 46).

If you’re not a runner (and I never enjoyed running), the options for fitness in the middle years really narrow down to a handful of activities. Many play tennis (which yields a high chronic injury rate in the over-40s), take up yoga (which is fine, but doesn’t really get the heart rate up), or try golf (which isn’t my thing).
Will Davis at Performance Pro started me off with body weight exercises, and at first, when he asked me to pick up a bar bell, I told him I didn’t want to lift heavy weights; I worried that I would get big. He guaranteed I would not.

So, here’s the StratFit Science:  Maximum Strength

Many women are worried they will add extra muscle mass to their frame if they lift heavy weights.  This is scientifically untrue.  Lifts with 85% of 1 repetition maximum and above (like most Powerlifting Training) are done for low reps.  This high intensity/low rep scheme does not require enough total mechanical work from the muscles for very much protein breakdown to occur.  The training is highly neurological.  This means neural integration will greatly improve (which improves strength and all movement abilities) while little muscle mass will be added.

In order to add more mass, lower intensity and more reps must be done.  High intensity work is also the most effective for maintaining good muscle tonus (the toned look).   Powerlifting training is the most effective form of training for most women’s goals.

For quoted article, visit: The Gaurdian

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