Strong is Beautiful

Empowering women through strength training with barbells

By Matt Bishop
Posted 9/20/17

There’s no doubt that any activity is better than none, especially for those who have been sitting on the couch for the last year.

There are fitness trends today that have wildly captured the …

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Strong is Beautiful

Empowering women through strength training with barbells

Posted

There’s no doubt that any activity is better than none, especially for those who have been sitting on the couch for the last year.

There are fitness trends today that have wildly captured the attention of many fitness enthusiast and average Joe's alike. But these trends are for the people who want to get really sore, really sweaty, and perhaps one day be sponsored by Reebok. When sore and sweaty are the goals, that’s called working out. Training, on the other hand, is when you set a goal and create a plan with which you will eventually achieve that goal.

Most people enjoy working out because after they leave the gym, they are hurting, but they feel good from all the endorphins pumping through their bodies. Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, unless an individual hasn’t been training for the last several years, doing random workouts instead of training, will not bring the results all of us folks are looking for.

While there are many ways to get fit, there is one type of training that trumps them all: loaded, normal, safe, sensible everyday movements we do as humans, under a load (barbell). I can attest to this claim as I went from 135 pounds to 170, with little gain in body fat over an 18-month period, using only a barbell. Had I been more consistent and slept better, this progress could have been made quicker. But not only has barbell training been beneficial for me, it’s been wonderful for my clients as well.

One of my trainees recently divulged that in our 11 weeks of training together, that she has made more progress through her strength training program than she ever did by doing long-distance, slow cardio and random workouts - which was the plan her other trainer provided her last year. They trained for entire year, by the way.

Another client of mine, a retired woman who is 73-years-old, dead lifts 100 pounds off of the ground. It took us six weeks to get her there. Through barbells and kettlebells, my sister dropped 22 pounds in 8 weeks. She trained three to four times a week, no more than 45 minutes per workout. One woman I’ve been training is a mother of three small children and a business owner. Within an hour of our first training session, she deadlifted 175 pounds off the ground. There aren't many guys out there who could do this (with safe and proper technique). The video we posted got over 2,400 views on Facebook.

I truly hope this "viral" video we published got the attention of the many women out there who think barbell training is unsafe and makes them bigger. Not only is free-weight training great for building a stronger, more appealing physique, but it’s also incredibly empowering.

Now that the philosophy is over and you’ve heard a couple great success stories, let’s get to facts of the matter and dive in to how strength training with barbells is so effective, and why you should start lifting them too.

1) As you get stronger physically, so does your mental and emotional fortitude. Once you're lifting 100 pounds off the floor like it's nothing, you start to realize you are a much more capable person than you thought – in and outside the gym.

2) Barbell training is "loaded" normal human movement. In everyday life we are constantly squatting to pick up trash from the ground, we are lifting our kids off the floor and into our arms, we are pushing our cars off to the side of the road if we break down, etc. Running long distances and doing box jumps will only get you better at running long distances and doing box jumps. Barbell training gets you better at doing things that require real world strength.

3) When we load as many muscle groups as possible under challenging amounts of weight, our bodies release chemicals that makes us happy (like dopamine and endorphins) and others like human growth hormone that keep us looking and feeling young.

4) There are many ladies who fear that lifting heavy weights will turn them into giants. It just doesn't happen. Barbell training will not make you big and bulky unless you are eating 4,000-5,000 calories per day and taking illegal drugs. What it will do for you though, as a woman, is lean out your upper body, shape up your legs, and make your backside perkier and more firm. Who wouldn’t want that?

5) You can train many of those little aches away that most people tend to have in the knees and lower back. Through barbell training, we strengthen not only our muscles, but our bones and all the connective tissue that hold this miraculous human body of ours together.

Of the dozens of people I have trained, none of them have ever been injured, and all of them have become stronger and lost inches off their waists. We’ve never used a single machine or gone on long-distance runs. We don’t do dangerous circus tricks and we don’t care whether we get sore or sweaty by doing random workouts.

Get a goal. Get a barbell. Get to work.

Strong is Beautiful.