Guest Post – Why women should lift heavy and celebrity trainers should shut up.

I’m hugely chuffed that Helen from Whole Life Fitness let me feature this post on my blog.  She posted it back in November and when I first read it a lot of things made sense.

Helen is always good as a sanity checker for me.  She’s a personal trainer, she’s fit, but SHE EATS CAKE.  She’s honest, and knows her stuff.  I like the below blog because I am one for being a sucker.  I bought the Atkins book when it was claimed Jennifer Aniston was an avid follower, I tried Pilates because some other celeb I wanted to be when I grew up happened to be mentioned in an article a bout it.  These days, I’m a bit more lazy realistic when it comes to that sort of thing.  

So, in the spirit of New Year and everyones resolutions, please read and take heed!


Last week I bought a magazine called Glamour. Now I gave up buying women magazines about a year ago and both my bank balance and my attitude towards my body has thanked me. However this issue had a free nail polish and I do love nail polish. Whilst flicking thru the magazine I came across this bit of advice:

“I prefer to keep the weights low” (the “celebrity” personal trainer advocates 3lbs) which apparently will “create more of a woman’s body – sensual and sexy, but strong”

The above were quotes not journalistic interpretation.

Well I call bullshit. To get strong you need to lift weights, and you need to lift heavy weights, constantly challenging your body so it will change.

Here is what heavy weights for woman can do

  • Actually make you strong.
  • Help keep your bones healthy and decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Increase confidence.
  • Make your shoulders & arms look shapely in sleeveless tops.
  • Enable you to carry either your drunk mate or your sleeping child upstairs to bed (depending on which stage you are in life!)
  • Help you lose or maintain weight. You’ll keep burning calories AFTER you have finished your weight session.

And here is what doing heavy weights as a woman won’t do.

  • Make you bulky
  • Make you a man
  • Make you unsexy, unsensual, weak
  • Frighten men (well it might but that’s their problem not yours)

This goes for whether you are 20 or 80 years of age.

For an awesome post about 6 female Strength Training Myths Busted read Nia Shanks blog, who  can deadlift 330lbs and is neither big nor bulky.

Articles like these are dangerous, women read them and believe that all they need to do is follow the advice and they will be able to replicate their favourite celebrity body.  It is very rare that in such articles nutrition, lifestyle or genes are mentioned, which results in a skewed perspective rather then the full picture.

There are no downsides to doing heavy weights (as long as your form is correct!), how can anyone argue against exercise which actually makes you strong and helps prevent ageing?

Being strong and healthy IS sexy, there are no buts about it.

Original Blog post can be found here


  1. Mrsb

    Great post. Using light weights for millions of reps will actually make you bulkier than lifting heavy weights for 3-8 reps… And yes – women’s magazines suck.

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