Fitness Trainers Tell Us Why Women Need To Take Their Workouts More Seriously Than Men
- IWB Post
- September 3, 2018
While technology has made our lives easy, it has also given us a fatal byproduct i.e. a sedentary lifestyle. That is why, today more than ever, it has become paramount that we adopt some form of conscious workout routine to not just keep our bodies fit but also to keep our minds healthy and this is where a well-equipped gym comes to the rescue.
Gold’s Gym India has joined hands with IWB to inspire country’s sportswomen to “Move it, Pump up, Beat it” by making available their up to date gym facilities to all the four National Women’s Sports Teams to help them keep fit and stay healthy.
We recently spoke to Shweta, Kavita and Mona, trainers at Gold’s Gym, and got into an in-depth conversation about women’s health and fitness.
Here are excerpts from our interaction:
Let’s begin by understanding how we can decide upon the correct way of exercising and what suits us the best?
Shweta: The correct training method for you is decided by your body type. There are three basic body types- Ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs. Ectomorphs are the people with really lean bodies. Their metabolism rates are very high and therefore they burn calories faster than most people. Such people should focus on building muscles and thus the ideal workout for them would be of short duration and comprise of a lit bit of cardio (vital for endurance) and high-intensity strength training.
Endomorphs are the people who are on the bulkier side of the scale and have really slow metabolism rates. Such people require long duration workout, ranging from 1.5-2 hours, with 40-45 minutes of cardio plus some strength training.
Mesomorphs are the genetically gifted people. They have good muscular strength and exercise shows instant results on them. The ideal workout for these people would be equal proportions of cardio and strength training with heavy weights.
Women often confuse fitness with being thin. Can you help us break this myth?
Mona: Thin is not fit. If you have no body strength whatsoever then what’s the point of being thin? Always remember, it should never be about the thinness of the body, rather the strength of the muscles. Also, even if you are thin that doesn’t mean that there is no need to work out. Being skinny is a sign of lack of muscles and you can’t develop them without working out. The energy and confidence level of the people who work out remains way higher than the ones who don’t.
Shweta: This is a misconception that is taking a huge toll on the health of women everywhere. Cardiovascular strength is fit, the ability to efficiently carry your own body weight is fit, having strong muscles is fit. If you are thin and have it all then you are fit, otherwise not.
On that note, what according to you is the right definition of being fit?
Kavita: You are fit if you have the energy to go about the day without feeling lethargic. It means to have a very strong cardiovascular system and good muscular strength. Also, if mental pressure and stress are bringing you down then you are not fit. If you are fit then you will automatically adapt to stressful situations instead of succumbing to them.
Shweta: To be fit is to have good strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.
So I gather that there is a need to adopt both strength training and cardio in our workout routine. How can we strike the right balance between the two?
Kavita: The body requires both, however, in different proportions depending upon the type of body. We need cardio to strengthen our cardiovascular system and strength training for stronger muscles. It is integral to strike a balance between the two for an overall healthy and fit body.
Shweta: Women have this tendency of liking cardio more than strength training. But focusing just on cardio is not a good idea as an excess of cardio weakens your muscles. Thus strength training is equally important.
It is often considered that weight/strength training is not for women as it might make them “more muscular.” Why do you think is weight training important for women? What are the benefits of weight training?
Kavita: First of all, strength training is not an option but a necessity. If we talk about the internal impact of weight training then it is a very good way to relieve stress. Whatever mental pressure you are struggling with, you can give it all on weights.
Again the physical benefits are endless. Strength training tones your body and it gets you into the right shape. It strengthens your cardiovascular system. It also eases and regulates your menstrual cycle by strengthening internal muscles.
Mona: Women today are getting independent in all aspects of life and physical strength should be one of them. Weight train once and find out how much stronger it makes you. All this while we have given up on tasks pertaining to physical strength. Weight training will make you independent from that front as well. We don’t need men to lift things for us.
Regarding the “more muscular” part, owing to our hormones, it is practically impossible for women to bulk up like men. The “manly” and muscular women that you see in certain magazines and competitions are because of the hormones that have been externally injected into their bodies.
Shweta: So in our society, we have this mindset that women need not work out as all the household work is sufficient for them. This is absolutely wrong. Doing all the household work, women are just consuming energy but they are not doing anything to enhance their strength. This is why with age and after all the hormonal changes, our bones become weaker, way sooner then they are supposed to. Not working out and ignoring your fitness just aggravates health issues.
Proper strength training can help women with hormonal changes and also control B.P., hypertension etc.
With so many fitness trends coming up, how should one approach and adapt them cautiously?
Mona: There is nothing wrong in following and incorporating these new fitness techniques into your workout regime. They will just make it more diverse and yield better results. However, it is always good to be vigilant and pay attention to anything that is not suiting your body. Provided that the new trends like pilates, piloxing or Zumba are suiting your body then what’s the harm is doing it? But I strictly advise against picking random YouTube videos and following them. You don’t know how proficient these people are when it comes to fitness training, they don’t know what works for your body and thus it is always good to avoid this approach.
Shweta: Try everything but before deciding to stick to it ask yourself if it is suiting your body. No one knows your body better than you. Thus the onus falls on you to decide what works best for your body.
What changes can we incorporate in the Indian gym culture so as to attract more women?
Kavita: I believe awareness is the key here. I think the misconception that gyming is not for women is deeply embedded in the mindsets of Indians which is a big problem and absolutely untrue. Men don’t undergo the same level of hormonal changes as women which impacts everything right from their weight to their ability to conceive. Considering this, women should be more concerned about their fitness. This is what we need to tell them all so as to make them understand the importance of working out.
Mona: It can be done in two ways. Firstly, by incorporating fun and interactive ways of training like Zumba, aerobics etc in the mundane routine. Secondly, the right kind of push from the trainers can work wonders. If they are comprehensively told about the importance and benefits of working out, the women will automatically start taking it more seriously and showing up.
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