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Reload this Page A males guide to training your woman
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A males guide to training your woman
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Default A males guide to training your woman - 12-15-2005, 09:49 PM

A Males Guide to Training Your Woman

Do encourage the women in your life to train with weights. No matter what her skill level, ability, age, or body shape, every woman can benefit from weight training.

Don't push her if she's not interested. She may be uncomfortable, she may hate weight training, she may not want to work out with you (I know you're a swell guy, but hey, it happens). She might prefer to work out in a different setting or in a different way.

Do debunk myths about women and weight training. Explain to her that she will not get too big, or turn into a man, or wind up muscle-bound and slow, or whatever people think happens when they lift weights. Assure her that it is okay to work out with free weights, and that it is much more effective to squat than to do a thousand unweighted leg lifts. Send her to this site if you must. Don't get too bummed out if she doesn't listen to you. Many male trainers and coaches despair of this too. First, wives never listen to their husbands anyway (I should know). But quite often, the grrls need to be shown positive examples of other women who have lifted weights and not turned into monsters. Try pointing her towards Maryse Turcotte, who lifts weights heavy enough to make her an international champion.

Along with role models, do show her positive real-life examples of what weight training can do, particularly examples which relate to her needs. She may want strength and power for another sport or activity. She may want functional strength. She may want to lose bodyfat. She may want to increase her bone density. All of these and a variety of other goals can be accomplished through weight training.

Don't assume she shares your goals, but be happy if she does.

Don't indulge in worries about her weight training threatening your masculinity. There is no direct, inverse relationship between her bench press and your penis size. Of course, if you're reading this you're probably not overly threatened. Strong women are cool! Every straight boy should want one!

Do be positive and encouraging about her progress. If possible focus on strength achievements and skill mastery, not losing bodyfat. For most male-female couples who aren't pro bodybuilders, discussions about bodyfat are dangerous territory. This also goes for discussions about femininity.

Don't criticize her body. There's a good chance she will be more critical of herself than you could be of her, but make sure you're not saying anything negative anyway. Also don't compare her to other women (unless you want to score points by telling her how much more buff she is than Jane So-and-So).

Do start her off small if she is a beginner. Let her work within a range where she is comfortable and understand that many people need to progress slowly within the bounds of their security. Think long term progress rather than short term gains. A good weight to start with is something she can handle for about 12-15 reps per set, not because this is for "toning" but because it's light enough that she can learn good form, as well as allow her connective tissue to adapt. After 6-12 months she can start going heavier.

Don't underestimate her capacity to gain strength. She may gravitate immediately towards the heavy stuff. Let her run with it and you might be surprised where she ends up.

Do gear her training program to her needs and goals. This might not be the same kind of program you use. But do also steer her away from the typical female program of hours of low intensity cardio and tiny weights, if you can.

Don't give her a lame-ass program just because she is a girl. Don't tell her to tone, firm, or sculpt. Women do not need special programs with ultrahigh reps and low weight. We can squat, deadlift, power clean, throw a shotput, do one-rep maxes, yadayadayada, just fine thank you very much! "Definition" is just a function of bodyfat levels, but I'm sure you know that already. (If you don't, read this)

Don't advise her against using "too much weight" unless that advice is genuinely useful (i.e. if you see her about to bench press 400 lbs. on her first day). Don't tell her she is going to hurt herself unless, again, this is genuinely useful advice. Don't worry about her hurting her reproductive organs. Her reproductive organs are much better protected than yours.

Do realize that the average untrained woman is going to be weaker than the average trained male. Don't expect her to immediately do stuff that was easy for you. I recall seeing a guy and a girl working out together. She was just starting out and he could not figure out why she couldn't do a pullup. In his mind she just wasn't trying hard enough. For him it had been easy to do a pullup right in the beginning.

Do be aware that while in most ways a woman's program does not differ from a man's, there are some things that might be dissimilar. Starting strength is one thing. She may also find that her menstrual cycle affects how her training goes from workout to workout. She may react differently to carbs than you, and will quite likely find it more difficult to lose bodyfat. Her squat or deadlift stance may be different than yours, or she may find it more comfortable to use narrower dipping bars. Her flexibility is likely better, but the downside of that is that her joint laxity may be too, which means watching out for joint hyperextension.

Do take her, her goals, and her progress seriously. Don't make stupid sexist jokes or comments, because this sends a negative message (and it also makes you look like an ass).

Do be aware of how other women feel in the gym, which continues to be a somewhat male-dominated space. Be aware of how you're using the space, and be considerate of the fact that women may not feel as comfortable as you. Think about how you feel when you're in a situation where you're the only person like you and everyone else is different.

Don't leave machines and bars loaded up with heavy weights. Don't ogle. You may think you're being subtle but most of the time you're not. If a woman is wearing a Walkman that's likely a signal that she doesn't want to be disturbed during her workout.

Do help your female friend, partner, or client feel more comfortable. Include her as much as you can in the gym community. Help her feel like the gym is her rightful space too.

Now get out there and get your lady hauling some iron!

I am not a doctor and I have not had any traditional training. I am a person with information that other people have studied and proven to be effective and wrote in books. I just pass that information on to you.

Rest in Peace Nandi

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Default 01-22-2006, 03:32 PM

I know you posted this like a month ago but awsome post
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Default 02-06-2006, 10:55 AM

Here's a link to an article I found very useful when trying to convince my fiancee to work out with me
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