“Me? Strength train? No way!”
Unfortunately, says personal fitness trainer Sommer Vriezelaar, that’s a common attitude among women. Common enough, in fact, to motivate Vriezelaar to create WOW! Women on Weights, which she offers at ProMedica Wildwood Athletic Club in Toledo.
“The No. 1 myth that keeps many women from starting a weight training regime is that lifting weights will make them bulky,” Vriezelaar says. “And that’s just not true.”
The No. 1 myth is that lifting weights will make women bulky. That’s just not true.
It’s all in the training, Vriezelaar emphasizes. “I teach them how to use weights to help them burn calories and strengthen – not bulk up – their muscles. I teach them how much weight to use, how to lift properly, how many repetitions and how many days a week they should train.”
Busting that myth out of the way, Vriezelaar then names three main benefits of strength training:
- Burns fat
- Helps with flexibility and range of motion
- Builds calcium and strengthens bones
During the class, participants receive “full body weight training,” Vriezelaar says. “I demonstrate what they have to do. I pick the proper weights for each woman. They do everything with my supervision, based on what level they’re at.”
The progress is incremental, Vriezelaar says. “Each week, I add a little bit to challenge them and then give them a little homework to do.”
At the end of the six weeks, Vriezelaar says participants will have increased their strength and endurance and should be able to do the workout three times in one hour.
“That’s one goal of several,” She says. “I want them to also come in twice more during the week and I want them to commit to continuing the program after the class is over. That way, they will continue strengthening their bodies and keep them strong.”
Vriezelaar says there’s no optimum age for beginning strength training but that females should not begin before the age of about 13. “I help women whatever age they are. I show them the proper form, which is so important in preventing injuries and getting the maximum benefits.”
To learn more about the WOW program or other strength training opportunities, visit wildwoodathleticclub.com or call 419-539-0235.