The gym is my territory, a place where I feel totally at home. But, make no mistake, I haven’t always been this way. Before becoming a figure athlete I used to run long distance events for my country and it’s safe to say that weight training did not even enter our vocabulary! For a long time, weight training for women has been an alien concept; one that is neither deemed necessary, nor appropriate for the fairer sex.
Luckily for us women, society is changing. There are more female role models coming into the limelight; people like Nicole Wilkins and Jessica Ennis are flying the flag for fit, athletic women. So why is the way we train not changing with this shift in attitude, and why do women still fill the cardio areas and classes in the gym?
I have seen first hand the effects that different types of training can have on the body, so let me save you all some time, cut to the chase and tell you how to stop wasting your time in your search for a lean, toned physique…..
Here’s the big thing; most of us know to some degree that lifting weights is the way to go. But most of us are either too scared, or lack the knowledge to try it properly. Now, If I’m honest here, this really isn’t our fault; gyms environments on the whole are not conducive to helping us make the shift to training with weights, and the best thing you can do is to find someone you trust. Find someone who can help you with the transition, someone who can coach you properly and who understands where you are now. Confidence can make all the difference when tackling a new exercise, or getting under a heavy bar.
Ladies, let me be blunt. Most of you when it comes to getting in shape simply need to step it up! The women you see on the front of magazines and on stage don’t complain to their coach that the weights they are using are too heavy. They don’t skip sessions because they are tired or sore or not feeling one hundred percent. They get on with it, no whining, no questions asked. If you’re looking to make a positive to your body, change gym time is non-negotiable, and the tough sessions; the ones where you’re truly tested; those are the ones that really count. Because they set you aside from all the other women out there, the ones who weren’t prepared to go the extra mile.
Should it hurt? Hell yes! It should burn like fire. You need to go out way out of your comfort zone, you need to learn to love it. Yes it’s tough, but with it comes a sense of achievement, a feeling of being strong and in control that you simply cannot get from anything else.
If you think you can achieve the body you want without looking at your diet, think agin. You cannot out-train bad nutrition, plain and simple. You need to look across your whole lifestyle, what you are doing in every aspect of your life, and be prepared to make changes everywhere.
Ladies, you need to understand that sculpting an athletic, toned physique requires you to eat! You’ll need to eat what might seem now like rather a lot of food. It’s likely you’ll need to eat more protein because this is the fuel your muscles need to grow. You need to not be scared of carbohydrates, because every food group has a place in your diet.
See food as fuel, you eat even when you’re not hungry if you need to. You develop a structure and routine to your life so that not one single day goes by that you don’t either prepare food to take with you whilst you are out, or have a plan as to where to get the food you need. You don’t treat every social occasion as an opportunity to not follow through on your diet.
You might have to shed a whole lot of sweat and a few tears to get where you want to be, but ask anyone who has taken the leap whether it’s worth it, and you will get one clear and resounding answer. Now go out there and make a change!
Photo Credits: SNH Foto