Why training like a dude could be a good thing
Personal trainer, Dylan Rivier, talks to us about the benefits of adding some dude-like training to your fitness regime.
Over the past few years, with the growing popularity of disciplines like Crossfit, women’s physique competitions and exercising in general, a strange and wonderful thing has happened. Somewhere along the way, the female ideal went from coveting the super skinny to working towards being fit and strong. Kate Moss’ famous tagline “nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels” was replaced with “strong is the new sexy” for many Instagram warrior princesses, and I, for one, could not be happier!
Finally (and to the intense relief of personal trainers worldwide), girls all over started to realise that lifting weights does not equate to Arnie biceps but rather, is a seriously effective way to shape their entire bodies. Armed with a new found respect for the weights room and the amazing effects resistance training offers, gyms every where have started to experience an increase in the amount of girls shifting iron with the boys in the “boneyard”.
When it comes to training ‘like a dude’ in the gym, there are some methods commonly associated with the way a male trains that can be beneficial for the female body. Think heavier weights, varied rep ranges, drop sets, super sets and hitting muscles using different types of resistance. Here are some of the benefits to getting out on the weights floor:
It can help with fat loss
Yep you heard me, lifting weights can help you reduce your body fat percentage. Your body burns calories when you move, but it also needs energy to maintain it. The big advantage of weight training is your body’s ability to burn fat both during and after exercise.
Become a more efficient, energy burning machine
After strength training, your body continues to consume extra oxygen for hours and sometimes days later. When your body uses more oxygen, it requires more energy resulting in an elevated caloric expenditure.
As your strength training improves and your lean muscle mass increases, your body begins to burn calories more efficiently. This next part is simple math so take note:
The more muscle contractions you experience in a day, the more calories you will burn. Now here’s the good news… The more lean muscle you have, the more contractions you will experience. What does it all mean? Easy! More muscle = more calories burnt.
Yes you’re allowed to lift heavy. Gone are the days that the 1 and 2kg dumbbells were considered the ‘girly’ weights. These days women are throwing around big heavy weights with the boys and often with better form (don’t tell anyone I said that). Lifting heavier weights for less reps (I’m talking 3-5 reps ladies) is a great way to build strength – especially when you’re doing big compound lifts like the squat, deadlift, bench press or bent over row. Not only are these the foundation exercises of weight training, they are also fantastic at developing strong foundations and strong ligaments. Which brings me to my next point…
Build a solid core
Yep your mid-section of muscles that we commonly refer to as your ‘core’ are working over time when you lift heavy and again, especially during those compound lifts. So not only are you helping to build a strong lean physique but as a result your stomach muscles are getting a workout without a sit-up or crunch in sight!
Become a booty builder
If you’re putting your lower body under load, you’ll build that booty. I get asked regularly how to build a strong, tight, curvy behind and this is your answer! Squats. Lunges. Hip Thrusts. Bulgarian Split Squats. Deadlifts. The list goes on.
The bottom line is, if you want a curvaceous butt that’s the envy of a Victoria’s Secret model, you’re probably not going to achieve it very quickly in the group fitness class you’ve been attending, your time is better spent on the weights floor.
Hopefully by now you’re convinced that borrowing some of the habits of the guys on the weight floor (not the bad form or the grunting!) will help you to become stronger, leaner, more confident and curvy in all the right places.
Dylan Rivier is the owner of Built By Dylan and has been a personal trainer for over 11 years. He has worked with film, television and fashion celebrities as well as college athletes, weekend warriors and the general public.