I often get asked by students/colleagues/clients if resistance training is safe for women and if they should even do it!
Myth 1: Strength training causes women to become larger and heavier
- Strength training reduces body fat % and increases lean weight
- No change or decrease in lower body girths and small increase in upper extremity girth
- Only women with genetic predisposition for hypertrophy (increase muscle mass) AND are participating in high volume, high intensity training will see substantial increases in limb circumference.
Myth 2: Women should use different training methods to men
- Generally machine use is advocated using slow tempos, however, there is no evidence that women are more likely to be injured in strength training than men.
Myth 3: Women should avoid high intensity or high load training
- Low load, high reps are often below stimulus sufficient for adaptation and therefore women shouldn’t avoid high intensity/load.
- Higher intensities needed to effect changes in bone, muscle, cartilage, ligament and tendon strength.
(Ebben & Jenson, 1998)