One of my very first posts on this blog was titled “I am woman, hear me grunt!“. The point of this post was to highlight a female client of mine who had fought against the mainstream media hype that women shouldn’t be strong and shouldn’t lift more than 5 pound dumbbells, because if they do, they will gain tons of muscle and look like a man.
(This idea is so far off base, I can hardly stand it. It literally angers me.)
In continuing with the theme of the first “I am woman, hear me grunt!”, I’d like to highlight a few more of my female clients.
I have two women I train that are sisters. I’ve been training them since January-ish of this year. These two women are in their mid 40’s and have been working out for a long time. They approached me 11 months or so ago about hiring me as their trainer.
And so it began.
They quickly learned that they were capable of much more than they had thought, both in terms of work done and weight moved. We started by doing mostly body weight movements (squat variations, push ups, rows, single leg work, planks), and to say that they found these movements challenging is an understatement. However, what they quickly found was that not only were they gaining strength, but they were losing weight, as well as inches. As they got stronger, I began to add weight to their lifts and they caught the “strength bug”. They found themselves wanting to get stronger in every lift. Each week they were shooting for more reps or more weight. And the more that they did this, the smaller they got.
One of these sisters had a history of horrible low back problems. The lightest amount of weight could put her into some pretty intense pain for several days and she was incredibly apprehensive to do even moderate strength training. I eased her into being comfortable strengthening her back, as well as coached her on how to use her back (along with the rest of her body) properly. Slowly she began to gain strength in her back and began to experience less and less pain. Fast forward to last week, this same client pulled 155 lbs in the deadlift! This was a personal record for her, but even more than that is was a huge personal achievement. She was adamant when I first started training her that she would never be able to deadlift any amount of weight due to her back. She certainly proved that wrong, and is no longer limited by that weakness in her body!
Her sister, also pulled 185 for two reps last week, which was a personal record for her!
Throughout this year, both of these women have told me several times how they’re able to wear clothes they haven’t come even close to fitting into for years.
For a very long time, they lifted light weights for lots and lots of reps and experienced no gains. Once they moved beyond the myth that this is the best way for women to lose weight and get leaner, they actually started to move towards their goals. And to top it all off, they feel a ton better in their every day lives.
Congrats to them and women everywhere who brake the mold!