The Benefits of High Intensity Training for Women
The benefits of HIT for women are many fold and at the same time there are also some misconceptions around HIT and strength training in general that need to be overturned. Many women want to strengthen their bodies and be fit, but do not want to have bulky, bulging muscles.
Yet that bulky look is near on impossible to achieve without an extremely rare genetic make up or failing that, taking anabolic steroids. About 99% of women in their natural state, cannot put on what would be considered unsightly muscle, no matter what their training approach or diet. What will happen if a woman takes a healthy approach to strength training (such as HIT), is they’ll be far more “toned” and achieve what is considered a very attractive feminine body-shape.
The very rare exceptions to this are those few women whose genetics would enable them to excel as a female shot putter or strength athlete such as an Olympic lifter. Those women are on the extreme end of the genetic spectrum and would already look “bulky” compared to their peers before they started any form of training anyway. A woman who doesn’t have that type of appearance in the first place is not going to become “excessively muscular” as a result of strength training.
It’s about maximising the female physiology, a woman training with HIT will become as strong as her genetics allow and yet not gain a lot of bulk. The fear that she will bulk up is a misconception and an unnecessary fear. It’s that classic thing where a person will stumble across a picture of a professional female bodybuilder and think if you strength train then that’s what you will become. That look is physically impossible for many men (without growth enhancing drugs), for a natural woman it’s even more ridiculous.
The real benefit of HIT for women is you will attain a lean, feminine and strong body that is extremely capable. Sometimes it is said, (although perhaps less so in these more enlightened times) that women are the weaker sex, and yet we see it time and again that women can achieve a very strong body whilst expressing a very feminine look at the same time.
HIT also gives women the opportunity to physically enjoy more activities in life. Even something as obvious in a woman’s life as pregnancy: the fitter and stronger a woman is the more likely that she will cope well with pregnancy and recover more quickly to regain the body shape she desires afterwards because she has a well functioning metabolism and healthy muscle tissue.
If you are working with a personal trainer do let them know you are pregnant right away and also details such as any previous miscarriages or pregnancy issues. From the trainers point of view those first three months of pregnancy are where you often need to be most careful with your pregnant client because this is the time when complications are most likely to occur. During the different stages of pregnancy adaptations will need to be made to the exercise routine.
After the baby is born, depending on how well the pregnancy went, some women have got back into training just two weeks after giving birth. Somewhere between two and eight weeks after birth is usually safe and appropriate. The trainer may make several adjustments to the training routine to begin with such as including a direct thigh adduction exercise to help overcome weakness in the pelvic floor muscles after giving birth.
For women a major concern as life develops is osteoporosis or demineralisation of the bones. Safely performed strength training has been shown to be the only activity that actually increases the density of the bones. For a woman going through menopause if she has been doing HIT before that she is going to retain that density in her bones, if she starts the training after the Osteoporosis has begun she will be able to re-mineralise the bones and their strength. Without the appropriate density the bones can break and fracture far more easily and for women over fifty this is something to be aware of.
Another major benefit for women is, psychologically knowing that you are strong and capable as this gives confidence and a higher level of self-esteem. Obviously there are also the cardiovascular benefits of HIT, the heart and the lungs are more able to provide the body with oxygenated blood and all these benefits are achieved in a safe manner. HIT is very safe, as you are never exposing the joints to excessive force.
Another fantastic thing for women considering HIT is that most women tend to get the whole concept and training approach far more quickly than many men. Men can sometimes approach it with a slightly macho attitude and want to prove how much they can lift. Whereas women tend to absorb the learning process almost instantly, the ability to perform HIT well and reap the benefits occurs in a very short period of time.
For women who have gained excess weight over time the combination of HIT with The ONE Diet is a healthy way to get back that toned body, or even see it for the first time. Combine those two elements and you’re going to get there as soon as you possibly can.
Let’s wrap up this post with the sheer practicality of HIT for women. Everyone’s time has become very precious in this decade perhaps for women even more so, juggling career, family, child birth, children, social life and the rest. HIT enables you to be as fit as possible and reap all the rewards of exercise in one or two twenty-minute workouts a week, simply put HIT fits.
Discover your inner strength with HIT.
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