Today I'm featuring a recent blog post that my 'go to girl' Rachel Cosgrove wrote. I think it's a great piece and I thought I would share it with you. I don't think it matters if you are training female athletes or general population, if your goal is to help your client transform their physique then you need to read this blog (especially if you are a guy that trains females!).
I was just thinking that one of the number one goals I have with my clients to change their bodies is to change the negative mental chatter that goes on upstairs all day long. Most women spend a lot of time each day talking negatively to themselves and have to consciously stop themselves and catch themselves. I had a realization that when women are using the wrong type of exercise to lose fat it not only doesn't work physically but it doesn't work mentally as well. Long runs or steady state cardio on a machine perpetuates this negative thinking that is so common for women.
Picture this - A woman running for an hour- what is going through her mind? Maybe she is thinking about her day ahead or her kids or a vacation that she has coming up but I bet you most women spend a lot of their time thinking- "Ugghh I can still feel my stomach jiggling when I am running...my thighs are rubbing together....gee, look at that runner- why don't I look more like her? Uh Oh, someone is coming up behind me and probably noticing how wide my ass is...How much longer...If only I hadn't pigged out last night I wouldn't have to torture myself like this..."
Ladies? I know you won't admit it but aren't these the kind of thoughts you might have while running at a steady state with nothing to think about except the tortuous exercise of repetitive motion you are doing to try to drop a few pounds and fit in your jeans so of course most of the time you will think about your body and how did you let yourself get here in the first place and beating yourself up?
Now Picture this - A woman goes to the gym to lift weights. Her focus is on the exercise she is doing, keeping her stomach tight and focusing on lifting the weight and keeping her form. She has to be thinking about what she is doing at that moment and most of her thoughts will be "I need to squeeze my butt and keep my stomach tight. I have 5 more reps, I can do this...."
I am not saying she won't have the occasional fleeting negative thought but it will be a lot less than if she has an hour of doing nothing but the same motion over and over again with nothing but her thoughts swimming around in her head. So not only is strength training better for women for all of the physical reasons but it is better for them mentally too. And having less negative thoughts and more thoughts about keeping your stomach tight and being strong and finishing your set will lead to better results. The mind and body are connected. If you are spending an hour everyday doing steady state cardio thinking negative thoughts to yourself you could be undoing exactly what you are trying to do while you are trying to do it...Because your body is listening to what your mind is telling it.
If you liked this post then check out Rachel's fantastic book, The Female Body Breakthrough which is packed full of useful training advice.