How do you sum up health and fitness for women?
Girls do cardio and men lift weights, right? … WRONG!
Most female clients that come through my door are looking for weight and fat loss.
First thing I say is – throw out your bathroom scales and concern yourself with body fat only. If your total mass does not decrease but your body fat drops 5-10% in 12 weeks, I have done my job.
Weight loss … or fat loss?
You see, muscle weighs 3 times more than fat! All my female clients lift heavy weights to encourage muscle stimulation, muscle tone and a firmer appearance (rather than what we call in the industry “skinny fat”). This creates a lean, fat-free, toned look, but may mean that the bathroom scales remain the same.
Lifting weights also offsets osteoporosis in women which is a great side benefit.
With this style of training and look comes rapid and efficient fat loss. This means the ‘weight watchers’ style of dieting (where you’re on the scales every 5 minutes) becomes irrelevant. So, unless you are clinically obese, your weekly weight is of no concern to me and it shouldn’t be to you either. It’s just that it has become a must for women to weigh themselves, almost like a female standard.
What’s ‘skinny fat’?
In the personal training industry this term is used for weight loss, but without toning and training the muscle at the same time. What you end up with is something like this:
This picture represents a slim lady and I’m sure she’s happy with the weight she sees on the bathroom scales. However what the image says to me is a lack of weight training. No squats, lunges, dead-lifts, hip extensions etc.
So my question would be, is she happy with her bum?
Long distance cardio … or weight training and HIIT?
Girls. Doing long distance cardio is a waste of time. Just think of the thousands of women right now around the world who are toiling away on a cross trainer, treadmill or bike for hours on end, and after several months losing nothing. Long term cardio has been shown to be an inefficient form of weight loss.
You should be doing a combination of weight training and high intensity cardio (HIIT). This combo is a guaranteed fat stripper.
Now before you rush down your local gym and start throwing weights around, please see a fitness professional for some advice and guidance on how to lift weights. I have seen hundreds of women (over 11 years in the industry), walking round a gym with a couple of 1-2 kg dumbbells in their hands, doing the occasional bicep curl or tricep kick backs. This can be even more of a waste of time than long distance cardio if you don’t know what you’re doing.
I know we have a DIY culture here in the UK but seriously, see a fitness professional for some expert advice!
Hormones affect body fat!
One important consideration is your hormone balance. I recommend that all female clients have their hormone balance checked out. This can be done via “bio-signature” modulation or through blood testing.
What you eat affects your body composition, but where you store fat and how your body loses it is controlled by your hormones. Control the hormone and you control the fat!
Of course if you’re on the contraceptive pill, this is a major factor. The pill has such an impact on my results with female clients, that I no longer guarantee results with women who are on it. The pill contains around 35-50 micro grams of oestrogen per pill, which massively throws out your oestrogen / progesterone balance. This increases fat storage on your quads, hamstrings and triceps … bingo wings!
It can also be useful to have a food allergy test. This will tell you if you’re becoming inflamed or bloated, or having problems digesting certain food groups.
For more information on personal training for women, please get in touch. For examples of training, take a look at this video.