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It's about strength not size

Strength Not Size: A New Six Week Training Program

The Gymbox crew is always innovating to bring our members something new and special to help them meet their fitness goals, and up next on offer we’ve got a six week program geared specifically towards the ladies (sorry, guys!).

So what is it? And why is it only for ladies? For those of you who know me firsthand, you’ve likely noticed my passion for weight training. But my evenbigger passion, and one the reasons I chose to become a personal trainer, is sharing my knowledge and love of weight training with other women. There is a serious misconception out there that resistance training (anything involving moving your body against another force, whether it be a dumbbell, resistance band, or your own body weight) will add muscle to the body and prevent women from achieving a lean and fit look, instead making them appear “bulky”. Not true!

Will lifting weights make you stronger? Yes! But here’s where the confusion begins: strength is not equivalent to size. Training for muscle size (like bodybuilders do) requires a specific program of a certain number of repetitions and sets of exercises, just as there is a separate scheme of sets and reps for strength training. It’s my job as a trainer to know the difference and apply that knowledge so I can help people get their desired results. I’d be out of a job if I turned all my female clients into hulks!

Adding muscle to the body not only requires a certain style of training, it also demands that you consume more calories than your body needs in order to maintain it’s daily functions, and is also heavily dependant on hormone function. For women conscientious of weight loss, it’s unlikely they will be eating at a caloric surplus. As for the role of hormones, testosterone is critical in adding muscle mass. The numbers reveal why it is so much more difficult for women to add muscle mass. On average, men produce 6-8mg of testosterone per day, yet women produce only 0.5mg/day.

If I haven’t convinced you yet that strength training won’t turn you into a giant she-hulk, let’s take a look at the benefits of a resistance program. The workout alone is a caloric burn, and studies show that your post-exercise calorie burn is increased more so after a weight training session versus a cardio session. Improved strength makes everyday activities easier, and will help to increase your performance in other areas of life like sports and hobbies (hiking, cycling, or rock climbing, to offer a few examples). Increasing your strength will also reduce your risk of injury, build bone density (important for fending off osteoporosis), reduce your chances of heart attack, improve your quality of sleep, improve your mood, and reduce your stress levels. If that isn’t a list of incentives then I don’t know what is!

Now that I’ve got you eagerly awaiting your chance to pick up some heavy iron in the gym, let’s go over the details of the six week program I’ve got designed to help you burn fat, get strong, and look great!

The Details:

What: A killer 55 minute workout of resistance training implementing primarily dumbbells and barbells, and sometimes incorporating cables, kettlebells, or other accessory equipment. You will follow a repetition and set scheme designed to give you strength (not size!), and be pushed to test your limits and lift heavy!

Where: Gymbox Fitness, 909 West Broadway, Vancouver

When: Fridays at 5pm. Beginning June 30, 2017

Who: Women interested in learning how to lift weights who want to get strong and lean. This program will be ‘Level 1’ out of a 3-level program, geared towards beginners and/or women who don’t feel confident in their knowledge and execution of weight training exercises. Once you’ve graduated from Level 1, Levels 2 and 3 will further your knowledge and challenge your skills at increasing intensities.Please note that the program will be capped at 6 participants exactly, so reserve your spot now!

The Goodies: What are the goodies, you ask? These are the extras that make the program just a little bit more special.

  • Each participant will get a 20 minute complimentary welcome session, during which I will take measurements and ask about each participant’s specific goals.
  • A welcome package including a goal tracking sheet, tips to optimize nutrition for your training, a surprise gift, and all the info about our special ‘Girl’s Night’ event.
  • Girl’s Night! A chance for the six of you (plus me!) to get together casually and have fun. A great opportunity for us to get to know one another, and a time for everyone to ask any questions about the program, nutrition, or anything at all.
  • Access to the ‘Strength Not Size’ WhatsApp group. An online messaging space where you can ask me questions anytime, as well as share your progress and encourage fellow participants. An invaluable resource where we can swap recipes and share tips on everything from how to deal with muscle soreness to where to find the best sports bra!
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