Before you just jump on the bandwagon get your head around these great points about strength training that would impress your boss, and make you a more valuable asset.
1. It takes dedication to get truly strong.
I wouldn't say I've ever been 'truly' strong, but I've picked up almost 3 times my own body weight, so I think that qualifies me as someone who is 'quite strong.' This takes serious dedication. Years of lifting, hitting PBs AND set backs, but still going, always moving forward towards bigger numbers.
In our modern society attention spans are short and people struggle to maintain interest in something for long periods of time. Someone who shows they can lift big has clearly dedicated a lot of time and effort to their own development.
2. Strength training requires tenacity.
It hurts lifting heavy weights around. Cardio can hurt, sure, but nothing feels worse than waking up a day or two after a heavy squat session. To go back into the gym later that day shows a certain 'stick with it-ness' that your boss would love to see you applying to their work.
3. You develop an unrivalled sense of focus.
Focus is key to making the big lifts. I've been there, training and competing, and can tell you that when your mind is elsewhere, you're not going to make that lift. We all know that sense of feeling when you're totally in the zone, fully focussed on the task at hand. It feel great, and normally means whatever you're doing - you're smashing it out the park.
Lifting is like that. Powerlifting in particular involves you making 3 pretty technical lifts with an audience straight ahead of you, AND YOU'RE WEARING A LYCRA ONESIE! Bosses love someone who can crack on with a task undistracted.
I'm going to use the great Mark Rippetoe quote here: "Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general."
OK, unless your job is 'cayote wrangler', the first part probably doesn't apply to you. My experience is stronger people tend to get less ill less often and less severely when they do. The research definitely backs this up that those who train are less likely to get ill.
5. Have less painful periods, an easier labour and recover quicker.
"Now, be careful here Will," I say to my self. Before I get A LOT of stick, I obviously have not given birth and unfortunately will never get to experience that joyous part of life. BUT, it is well documented that a well trained core and pelvic floor make labour somewhat less difficult. Those well-trained muscles will also allow you to recover more quickly. I see ladies everyday who complain about a bad back that they've had since having their child.
To squat and deadlift heavy weights means you're going to build great core and pelvic floor muscles and long term experience, reduced, or hopefully no back pain.
Most of my female clients mention a reduction in period pains within just two weeks of training and diet plan!
6. You are equal with the guys in your office, so train like them... or harder!
Again, I want to be careful here, but it really annoys me that ladies feel like they have to train differently to men. I'm all for strong women in the workplace, after all, my mother was one, and some of my favourite bosses were women (and almost always more productive than the men). What annoys me is when women train like wimps in the gym - you know, lightweight tricep kickbacks for 50 reps to feel the burn on your wobbly upper arms.
If you take your gym training seriously by taking part in a few heavy strength training exercises then I guarantee you'll be taken more seriously at work. Once a woman has picked up her own body weight off the floor, she carries herself with new confidence.
I once trained a strong (mentally) woman who was making the move from cardio-freak, competiting in IronMan events over to weight lifting. One of my favourite moments was when she came in one day telling me that she walks around the hospital now (she was a nurse) sizing up blokes thinking, "I could lift him."
Despite what people think about strength training being a solitary endeavour, it's far from it. Firstly, it could be in the form of a body pump class, or Crossfit - which in my opinion are ideal introductions for women to get into weightlifting. These group sessions are obviously very social in there nature - 'GROUP exercise.'
Secondly, you have the unified sisterhood of the iron; any lady who deadlifts, sees another lady deadlifting will not be able to resist having a chat, comparing technique and talking about all the things they love about the exclusive 'ladies who lift weights' club. This doesn't stop within the gym, but continues onto social media throgh facebook and instagram (check out #girlswholift).
If you're interested in advice on how to lift, or to take your lifting to the next level then I'd love to hear from you. Get in contact with me, and I'll definitely be in touch with you to make that happen any way that I can.