Last week, a client announced to our workout class that she noticed her shirts were getting tight in the arms. She said it with pride in her accomplishment of getting stronger. We all cheered for her!
Another client told me how she noticed that she walks with more confidence and power. She was definitely feeling herself! That was a high point for me as a trainer.
All of my clients are on a journey with their bodies. At one time or another some have expressed the fear of getting "bulky" when weight training. They just wantd to "tone up." This is a common concern for a lot of women new the practice. Here is my response:
🏋️♂️ If you don't want to look like a body builder or a power lifter, that's ok! The amount and type of training body builders and power lifters do is very specific to their goals, so they're not appropriate for your goals.
🏋️♂️ The definition of "toning up," as we have been taught, is not useful. The truth is, if you want better muscle tone, you have gain muscle mass. The most important reasons for adding muscle - strength, balance and confidence - have nothing to do with appearance, but you may become more pleased with how you look as your body changes.
🏋️♂️ Weight training also adds or maintains bone density, so healthy bones paired with increased muscle mass may result in a change in weight. If the scale has been your determinant for affirmation, this is a good time to find some alternatives that allow you to accept this healthier version of you.
🏋️♂️ Don't be afraid of lifting heavy weights! You are probably ALREADY lifting heavy - carrying in ALL the Target bags at once, loading kitty litter into the car, lifting children, rearranging furniture, pulling suitcases, . . . Training with heavy weights ensures that you can continue your activites, and add new ones, with satisfaction and confidence.
🏋️♂️ MOST IMPORTANT! Challenge yourself to learn what it is about "bulk" that is so unappealing to you. This is THE most important piece of training.
The "ideal" female body type is rooted in a power structure that does not benefit women. Women have given up time, money and health attempting to reach an ideal that is inherently unattainable and unsustainable. Our bodies were designed to CHANGE over time and in response to life's seasons and stressors. How much have you paid to fight these changes to stay small? And what have you received in return?
Address your fear or discomfort when you see a a body builder who looks "too masculine" or a power lifter who is "too big." When you accept that other people's bodies are theirs to do what they want, you will find your own self-acceptance.