By Karen Smith, Senior SFG
Women should be strong because we are capable of great physical strength. Too often, women limit themselves by thinking strength training is for men, or that it will make them look like men. I am here to tell you that is not the case. Get over this fear; we have been fooled for far too long. Once I got out of the mindset that I needed very high reps and low weights, guess what happened? I achieved greater strength gains than I ever thought possible. Many women would rather not try, out of fear of failure. Women need to realize that when they focus on being STRONG first, they will achieve so much more. Why not be able to lift and move things that need to be moved, instead of having to wait for a man to assist you?
How strong is “STRONG”?
As a woman in leadership for StrongFirst, I have a mission to help other women see that they can be strong. There are many answers to the question “how strong is strong?” StrongFirst sets strength standards that are achievable with practice and consistent training. A woman attending SFG Level I will need to Military Press two 16kg bells for 5 reps (if weighing over 123.5). Women who choose to advance to SFG Level II will need to meet our standard 1/3 bodyweight single arm military press. In my opinion, a strong woman should also be able to do a pull-up, and deadlift at least 1-1.5x her body weight. Women can be very strong, so stop making excuses and start lifting something heavy!
Tips for women:
• Don’t FEAR bulking, it is not going to happen!
• Find a Trainer/Instructor who understands STRENGTH program design.
• Set a Strength GOAL!
• Strength gains come from low reps and heavy weights.
• Get use to longer rest periods between heavy sets.
• Get on the pull-up bar OFTEN!
• Find other women who are serious about getting strong.
• Find a trainer who inspires you and lives what they preaches regarding strength.
• Stop making excuses!
• Think of your strength training as a never-ending journey.
• Age should not limit you from starting strength training.
• Do not let fear of failure keep you from trying.
Women’s Beginning Strength Program:
Karen Smith, Senior SFG is the owner and head instructor a Kettlebell Elite in Virginia Beach VA. She has been personal Training clients of all fitness levels from children to elite US military forces for the past 12 years, and specializing in kettlebell instruction since 2008. She is a certified Specialist of Body Weight Strength (SBS), CK-FMS, and Battling Ropes instructor. Karen is available for private and group sessions, and available to instruct workshops/seminars across the country. She can be reached at email@example.com or www.kettlebell-elite.com.