Once it’s revealed that I’m a trainer, women ask the same thing, “what’s the best way to lose weight and tone up”? When I mention weights as a highly effective tool for weight loss I always notice the eyebrows rising. It seems the common idea is that weight training results in females becoming bulky, less sexy and masculine. I don’t know who started that rumour which has spread like wild fire but that is not true. The women who do bodybuilding and I’m assuming these are the results that are feared train extremely hard, lifting huge amounts of weights, eating ridiculous amounts of protein and set out with that purpose. Unless women hit the gym with a vengeance, determined to look like the cover girl of a muscle magazine, it just won’t happen. What can happen, though, is that she will end up with a firmer looking body and more. The scientific reason is men produce up to 10 times more testosterone (growth hormone) then that of a female which is why men are generally bigger and stronger than women. It is the higher levels of testosterone which leads to muscle growth and the fact is women just don’t have enough to naturally make huge muscle gains. Some of the benefits of weight training are a leaner figure with increased muscle tone, weight loss and an increase in your metabolism meaning you burn more fat while resting.
I wanted to make this point clearer, so I thought who better to talk with than the British Women’s Power lifting Champion (under 70kg weight division) and English Weightlifting champion (under 69kg weight division).
So I spoke to Evelyn Stevenson (Seen above ) who in November will be competing in the World Championship and got her views:
How long have you been doing weight training and what made you start?
I have been weight training properly now for maybe eight years, I have always done sport from a young age so it was something that I just incorporated into sport and started to see the benefits it had not just in sports but also for my physique
How did the progression from weight training to Olympic lifting competing start?
Well I was working as a Personal Trainer and about 15months ago and I was on a course where my now coach asked me if I was strong, I was like….’I think so’, and so was asked to come down to a training session. So I went down to check it out, started to train and loved it from then. I found as I progressed I was quite strong, in January 2011 I competed in my first Power lifting competition and found it came more natural to me and so am dedicating 2011 to becoming World Champion in Power lifting.
How has weightlifting changed your appearance?
Weightlifting/Lifting Weights if anything has given me a strong yet feminine physique, where I feel mobile, strong, flexible but also womanly at the same time.
You’ve kept your femininity and female curves, was that a concern for you at first?
I Did not have many concerns at first because coming from a Sport background I was aware of only the benefits of weight training and find it a shame that so many women spend so long on cardio machines in the gym when they could achieve so much more by just ‘lifting some weights’
What would a typical training session entail?
Well as mine are sports specific it is a little different to your everyday resistance programme. I am currently on a new 9week programme in building towards getting a lot stronger over the next few months. Currently I train five times a week incorporating the major Power lifting Lifts (Squat, Bench and Deadlift) with additional assistance work to help with the major lifts. I balance it out with back work including bent over row, pull ups and supine pull ups. I don’t do much cardio if any because I don’t need to. I still also do my Olympic lifts twice a week so I Power Clean, Jerk and Snatch. I love training it puts a smile on my face.
Any advice to the female readers who fear bulking up through weight training?
It is a shame that women fear the weights room, when it is the best place to be. It is hard to bulk up and I think some people see one photo of a body builder and believe that is how they will look if they weight train. If you weight train you will build your muscle fibres and drop body fat, you can achieve a strong tone physique without spending hours on the cross trainer, so next time you’re at the gym…don’t get intimidated, get into the weights room. I weight train five times a week and have seen nothing but benefits to my appearance.
Lastly, when will you and Mr STONEiMAGE be going back to back in the gym and working out together?
I am always up to a good gym session, as soon as possible; I can put you through your paces!!!
You wouldn’t believe that a woman as slender as Evelyn deadlifts 140kg (I weigh 77kg to put that in perspective), Squats 120kg and benches 72.5kg.
I’ll definitely be holding her to that and by looking at her pictures; there is nothing bulky and masculine about her physique so ladies start incorporating weights into your workout. You’ll achieve greater results.