Strength training involves using either your own bodyweight or tools (usually at the gym) like dumbbells, barbell and resistance bands to build muscle mass, strength and endurance.
There are so many great benefits to strength training. Unfortunately, some of us avoid going to the gym as we think it might make us look big and bulky (especially for women). We might also think that cardio is a better way to lose weight/ fat.
Today, we'd like to debunk these myths.
We had a chat with Swee--a yoga teacher and personal trainer.
Swee was a competitive rhythmic gymnast through her school years, and started yoga as a way to reconnect with movement and flexibility.
Swee was doing high intensity cardio workouts for 5-6x a week, with some weights for intervals. When the results started slowing down, she looked to Instagram and Youtube to educate herself on the importance of strength training.
Could you share with us how you started going into strength training?
After 1 year of doing only yoga, I started exploring group HIIT, spin, boxing, weights classes as a way to gain strength and change my body composition. I did 1 year of that, realising that progressions in strength and body composition came and left or progressed too slowly for the amount of time I spent doing it (5 45minute sessions weekly!), because of 2 pitfalls:
1) an inconsistent workout programme whereby the exercises were different every day, and
2) the exercises programmed in a group class often are not targeted and optimised for an individual's strength and muscle growth.
Once I understood these inefficiencies I was making in my training, I looked to IG and YouTube to educate myself on the topic of strength training, and purchased my first 3 month strength programme from a renowned bodybuilding coach on IG.
It worked -- I grew much stronger in a shorter amount of time and learnt how to change my body composition through food, training and daily activity. I've become more disciplined and confident in my ability to persist through fear, hardship and excuses as well, which is a key result of strength training I hope more people, especially women, can experience.
Could you share with us the importance of strength training?
1) You lose what you don't use/need.
2) Strength training also increases your cardio abilities with less injury risk.
3) Strength training is incredible for building mental and emotional resilience.
Personally, for yourself, what drives you to stay active?
How would you advise women who just embarked on their strength training journey? Do you have any do's and don'ts to share?
Don't seek out quick fixes and shortcuts; seek sustainable practices and results. Try to enjoy the (tough) process and you'll love yourself so much more for it.
If you'd like to learn more, you may reach out to Swee on her Instagram page or find her at One Personal Trainer SG.