Friday, September 16, 2016

Plyometrics

Athletes are required to generate explosive power when performing athletic based movements. These movements in a competitive scenario would require changing of direction, accelerations, jumping and sprinting. Plyometric was created to improve this generation of power. The credit goes to the Russian Scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky for creating Plyometrics, he developed the protocol to imitate and improve the explosive aspect of athletic training. As per his observation, in jumping and running the lower limbs have to absorb and react to ground reaction forces that were very high (4).
In simpler terms, Plyometric training adapts the muscles to provide the maximum force in a very short period of time. This is achieved by increasing the activation of a motor unit and in the maximum number of motor unit activation (4).

Technical aspect of Plyometrics
Any movement is executed by the contraction of muscle, the contraction can be further divided into an eccentric contraction where the lengthening of the muscle against resistance takes place and a concentric contraction is when the muscle shortens against resistance.
For a plyometric based activity we can divide the movement into three phases
1.    Eccentric contraction
2.    Amortization
3.    Concentric contraction
For instance, depth jump (See Figure. 1) was created to duplicate the explosive activity in a controlled, measurable environment. The first phase is initiated when an athlete jumps from a platform on to the ground. The powerful muscles of the leg extensors experience a certain amount of ground reaction forces (shock). The eccentric phase is accentuated in the landing where the muscle is forcibly contracted. The amortization phase is the phase between the landing and the jumping. This phase is the most important phase and needs to be short. If an athlete spends a longer time in the amortization phase there is a greater loss of stored energy. The final phase is the concentric phase, where the stored energy is combined with a voluntary contraction to ensue the next movement (3).
depthjump.jpg
Figure.1

How of the workout
Creating a plyometric program requires one to focus on increasing power. Power can be increased by increasing strength, speed or both the variables together simultaneously. Hence, while designing a program we need to measure the intensity this can be achieved by monitoring the foot strikes or touches (1). Since, the program is executed with maximal effort or speed the duration would be shorter in comparison to a conventional strength training program. Athletes engaging in a plyometric program needs to have met certain strength training protocols. Normally, a strength and conditioning coach administers certain battery of test before implementing a plyometric program for an athlete. However, it is advisable that the athlete should have certain amount of strength training experience or is strong enough to squat, deadlift 1.5 – 2 times their body weight.

What is the workout (4)
Examples
1.    Marching
2.    Skipping
3.    Side hops
4.    Forward and backward hops
5.    Jumping in place
6.    Multiple hops
7.    Footwork/cone drills
8.    Box/depth jumps

 Safety measures
1.    Surface for plyometric need to have shock absorbing qualities.
2.    Rest and recovery is important in any training scenario.
3.    It’s a sport specific workout that is performance oriented
4.    Right footwear that could provide adequate support and stability

Is Plyometrics required for the general population?
As a fitness professional, we designed program in resistance training based on specificity for the general population. This is based on the belief that exercise should replicate movements that are executed on a daily basis. A sedentary individual entering a gym needs to build on the base strength, where he gets stronger, fitter and leaner by increasing the poundage, volume or the speed in their major lifts. This is done by providing the individual with a program that focuses on compound movements and minimises the chance of injury. It is very rare for us in our daily lifestyle to execute a movement that requires explosiveness, power. So a very specific plyometric program is not advisable for an individual whose only goal is to get fitter or leaner. However, certain low intensity based jumps, skipping and hopping can be included in a program for a specific time frame. Further, it is advisable that any plyometric program should be designed by a strength and conditioning coach, after taking into consideration the fitness, strength levels of the individuals or the group. Another shortcoming that is observed in most commercial gyms is the absence of plyometric based equipments and infrastructure.

References
1.    LaKeysha, S, McClenton, L.E.B., Jared W.C. & Kerseey, R,D. (2008). The Effect of Short Term Vertimax Vs Depth Jump Training on Vertical Jump Performance. J. Strength Cond Res 22: 321-325, 2008.
2.    Lundin, P. (1987). Plyometrics Training Loads For Youths and Beginners. Track Coach
3.    Read, M.M. & Cisar. C. The Influence of Varied Rest Interval Lengths on Depth Jump Performance. (2001). J. Strength Cond15: 279-283, 2001.
4.    NSCA Position Statement. (1993). Explosive/Plyometric Exercises. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. 15(3):16.

Frank A. Mapranny,
Training Director,

YFC 

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Art of Deliberate Practice

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”. – Bruce Lee

There is always a questionable debate happening over the years – Talent vs. Hard Work. In recent years there have been plenty of research that has suggested that expertise in any skill or excellence is the product of practice and not innate talent. It has been further researched that excellence of performance or mastery over a skill depends on quality of practice (2). It is understood that to acquire a new skill, an individual needs to practice continuously to gain a certain amount of motor control. However, we would agree that an expert performance is qualitatively better in performance than a normal performance (1). So an exceptional performance in comparison to a normal performance wouldn’t be innate talent but the ability to practice and work, continuously and deliberately to improve your level of performance (3). To learn a new skill we would have to go through the three stages of learning
1. Cognitive
2. Associative
3. Automatic
10,000 hrs of Deliberate practice
Studies have compared various elite level performers ranging from sports, music and other activities that require someone to master a craft. In a study conducted by Ericcson (2006), they posited that to attain mastery over chess required an individual to practice the skills on an average of 10 years. The earlier you start to learn an activity the faster you would be able to master that activity. Furthermore, music composer took an average of 10 years to understand the different instrument, to understand the sound and the shape. As per statistics, a music composer with 10 years of deliberate practice under his belt would be able to compose a masterpiece by the time he turns 24 years old. A best example for us would be A R Rahman, he started playing at the age of 11 and he got recognized for his musical score in “Roja” at the age of 25. 10,000hrs is not a magic number that once you cover the number of hours you attain mastery. The 10000 hrs require deliberate practice and the effort from ones end.
A skill that required 2-3 sessions to master is called as deliberate practice. Once you have done that you move on to a different set of skills for the next 3-4 sessions. The method of deliberate practice can be applied in learning any new skills, if I take this to the strength training and I would want to learn the clean and press. I would break the movement into simpler movements for a person who is already into Strength training and would like to learn the Clean and press
1. The individual would have to master the technique of Deadlift.
2. Master the Front Squat
3. Master the Overhead press, military press, push press and the split jerk
4. We would then have to break the movements into Power Cleans, Hang cleans and the high pulls. This last component of the movement would have speed has an additional component and would require a certain amount of mastery of the previous mentioned lifts.
It is important to understand that each component’s in this above mentioned example made you ready for the next complex component. If we apply deliberate practice to a beginner we would have a very simple protocol in weight training. The technique would be applied to learn the form and technique of basic movement i.e. squats, Chest Press and Deadlifts. Here the lifts would be made simpler and simple progression from holding the barbell, to grip strength, tightness and neutral spine would be mastered.
Adopting to deliberate practice
Reflective practice
Repetitions is required to attain a skill, however, mindless practice in any skill would be detremintal in performance. Practice can be broken down to attain performance. Depending on the complexity of the skill, we need to break it down to blocked set. These blocked set could be then practiced and evaluated. For instance A beginner would learn open chords one at a time. The better you get at any skill, you need to retain it and to have a retention transfer happening in that particular skill. We need to work on random practice; the aspect of random practice is to combine two or three complex tasks to improve a set skill. For instance to practice two to three chords of an acoustic guitar to learn a verse, this helps in acquisition of the chords and make your process automatic.
Feedback – make mistakes
The importance of a coach is paramount for a beginner wanting to learn a new skill. The teacher helps in correction or gives feedbacks to correct the skill or the form. The learner would then cognitively process the whole feedback and improve on the set skill. During practice, the learner needs to work making mistakes during practice. It helps for the person to get out of the comfort zone and learn something new. So during every practice the limitation of that particular individual changes for the better.
Goal setting
Deliberate practice is not fun. It requires pre defined goals that would improve your acquisition skills and help you to better your performance.
There are plenty of research that debunks the 10,000 hrs of practice by Malcolm Gladwell a myth. We do understand that beside the 10,000hrs of practice we need the motivation, the effort and the dedication to continue your practice.
Reference
1. K.A.Ericsson. (2006). The influence of Experience and Deliberate Practice on the Development of SuperiorExpert Performance. The Cambridge Handbook of Expertice and Expert Performance,38, 685-706.
2. Gobet, F. (2012). Deliberate practice and its role in expertise development. In N.M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the science of learning. New York, NY: Springer.
3. A.M.Williams & N.J.Hodges. (2005). Practice, instruction and skill acquisition in soccer: Challenging tradition. Journal of Sports Sciences, 23, 637-650.
Frank Mapranny
Training Director,
YFC

Ten Reasons To Train For Muscle Instead Of For Fat Loss.

#1: You Will Be Training All Your Beautiful Muscle
When you overload muscle by lifting weights you're not accustomed to, it causes metabolic and functional changes that safeguard your body from injury, fat gain, and muscle loss.
#2: Be Less Likely To Slash Calories
When you slash calories to lose fat, you experience considerable muscle loss in conjunction with any fat loss. Calorie cutting also causes the body to down regulate metabolic rate in order to preserve fuel stores.
#3: Be Stronger
Being strong means you’ll be able to apply greater, more efficient stimulus to your body for faster changes in your physique. It also correlates with greater concentrations of fat burning hormones like testosterone and growth hormone.
#4: Have Better Hormone Balance & Less Stress
The process of losing fat is inherently stressful. Most people fixate on fat loss when they are trying to get lean. This anxiety about food and body fat makes the body feel threatened, raising cortisol. Thyroid hormone and androgens can also become depleted on low-calorie or restrictive diets, blunting fat loss and causing fatigue. Instead, stay motivated by focusing on the numbers on the weight plates instead of on the scale.
#5: Have Better Insulin Sensitivity & A Faster Metabolism
Anaerobic exercise like strength training and sprinting has a profoundly beneficial influence on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar function. In an insulin resistant state, you are much more likely to store the food you eat as fat. By training for muscle, you increase both the receptivity of the muscles to insulin and their demand for glucose.
#6: Be Less Likely To Overdo Cardio
Being fixated on fat loss can easily lead to overdoing cardio in an effort to burn more calories. This often backfires because scientists have found that the brain can actually sense the energy imbalance and will increase hunger hormones while down regulating activity levels.
#7: Less Back Pain & Better Posture
Building muscle and strength will help you develop better body awareness so that you keep your head in line with your spine and your movement patterns will be smoother. A strong lower back and core will help you stand up tall, keep your abdomen tight, and avoid back pain. A stronger upper back will give you the ability to roll your shoulders back by retracting your shoulder blades. You’ll look and feel more confident, and people will have more respect for you!
#8: Have Stronger Bones & Less Risk of Fracture
Building muscle increases the body’s ability to buffer acid, which is key because an elevated acid load leads to calcium loss from the bone. Plus, studies show that lean mass consistently correlates with stronger bone density and lifting heavy weights that load the spine is the BEST way to build bone.
#9: Be Less Likely To Reward Yourself With Food
Research shows that when people are motivated to work out in order to lose fat, they inadvertently end up eating more calories afterwards. Scientists think that people have become conditioned to reward themselves for physical efforts that they associate with fat loss. Instead, training “for fun,” “to get strong,” or “to build muscle” doesn’t have this pitfall and people are more successful achieving lasting body composition changes.
#10: You Might Fall In Love With Training
When you start training for muscle and performance, it’s common to discover this wealth of strength within yourself. Setting PRs every week is a great way to keep you excited about training that makes it easier to stay on track with workouts and nutrition so that you become someone who makes staying lean effortless.
By Pankaj Narsian - Fitness Manager, YFC

Old age and benefits of Strength training

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength” – Betty Friedan


Human aging is a natural process that is inevitable. The body is subjected to muscle atrophy (Sarcopenia), weakness and functional impairment that are experienced in the fourth decade of life. From there the strength loss is approximately around 1% and accelerates with every passing decade (3, 8). This loss of muscle in combination with increase body fat composition leads to the ‘fat frail’ issue, ‘fat frail’ individuals tend to suffer more from lifestyle issues in comparison to someone frail and non obese (1).
Our rising geriatric population in the country brings its own unique challenges. According to United Nation Population Division, the older Indian population is projected to increase in the next four decades.  By the mid century, the geriatric group is expected to be around 323 million people, a number far greater than the total U.S. population in 2012 (9). The increasing number in the geriatric population brings in a number social, economic and health issues. One of them is the health and fitness improvement of this subset, so as to improve the overall quality of life and the independence in their functional abilities.




Strength and Age – Correlation

Strength can be defined as the maximum force generation capacity of an individual. Its force generation capacity peaks in the second and the third decade. Research has posited that the force generation capacity shows a slow decline till the age of 50, after that is declines at a rate of approximately 12 – 15% per decrease with a rapid force generation loss above the age of 65 years (1).  It is interesting to know that most of the research has considered only healthy older population; the decline of muscle function in the whole would be even greater if we include older individuals suffering from lifestyle disorders (1). Furthermore, the tendons in older adults tend to work in the higher region of the maximal tendon force. More likely this compensatory operation happens closer to muscle optimal length because of the reduction in force.  As a result this affects functional movement’s more specifically, increasing the movement time (MT) to decelerate body mass, a paramount in the prevention of falls (1,2,4,5,6).


Intervention with Strength Training
Age-related losses in bone mineral, basal metabolic rate and increased body fat content can be avoided through physical exercise and training. Through resistance training it may be possible to prevent Sarcopenia and lifestyle associated abnormalities i.e. type II diabetes, coronary artery disease, osteoporosis and obesity (4, 8). According to some research, resistance training was able to improve the functional strength of the elderly population. Specifically, it mentioned that heavier loads would be able to improve the force development aspect of the individual. During the experiment, individuals dependent on walking cane after the exercise intervention were independent in their own capacity. Certain percentages of people using the support of their arm to get up from the chair were able to use their leg strength in the later stage of the exercise program (1).


Advantages of Strength Training

Anti- aging
The most important advantage of strength training is Anti-aging, anti-aging means reversing the aging process. It’s been suggested that Strength training can reverse aging at the gene level. It also affects the metabolic function of the mitochondria and reduces the cumulative effect of oxidative stress (7).

Motor learning
As we age the neurological pathways do get affected and that affects the overall movement time (MT) of an aged person. Aging increases the size of the motor unit and results in sub optimal signaling and firing at maximal contraction. With weight training the force generation capacity of the muscle improves because the motor unit functions optimally.

Increased Strength
As mentioned previously, old age people improve their strength through weight training and are able to improve their muscle mass with improved body composition. As a benefit of increased strength the functional capacity of the geriatric person is improved.

Improved body composition
Reduce in body composition would keep away the lifestyle related disorders. The elderly would be able to avoid diabetes, blood pressure and chronic conditions.

To conclude, strength training would be an ideal way to improve the functional parameters of the geriatric population. With the right kind of intervention we would be able to control the lifestyle issues making the subset for independent and confident in their activities of daily living (ADL). As the saying goes – “Age is just a number”

References
1.  G.R.Hunter, J.P. McCarthy and M.M. Bamman (2004) Effects of Resistance Training on     Older Adults, Sports Medicine, 34, 329-348.
2. J.A. Kent_Braun. (2009) Skeletal Muscle Fatigue in Old Age: Whose Advantage? Exercise Sport Science Review, 37: 3-9.
3. J.E. Morley, R.N. Baumgartner, R. Roubenoff, J.Mayer and K.S. Nair (2000). Sarcopenia, Presented at the seventy-third Meeting of the Central Society for Clinical Research, Chicago, IL.
4. J.F.Hopp (1993) Effects of Age and Resistance Training on Skeletal Muscle: A Review, Physical Therapy, 73: 361-373.
5. K.E. Yarasheski. (2003) Exercise, Aging, and Muscle Protein Metabolism. Journal of Gerontology: MEDICAL SCIENCES, 58A:918-922.
6. N.D. Reeves, M.V.Narici and C.N.Magnaris. (2006) Myotendinous plasticity to ageing and resistance exercise in humans. Experimental Physiology, 91: 483-498.
7. Melov S., Tarnopolsky M.A., Beckman K., Felkey K., and Hubbard A. (2007) Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle. PLoS ONE 2(5): e465. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000465
8. W.J. Evans and W.W. Campbell. (1993) Sarcopenia and Age-Related Changes in Body Composition and Functional Capacity. The Journal of Nutrition, 465-468.
9. http://www.prb.org/Publications/Reports/2012/india-older-population.aspx


Frank Mapranny,
YFC Livefit

The Beauty of Lifting Heavy Weights


Again and again, research has shown that women who maintain a regular, moderate strength training program benefit from a long list of health advantages. Some still fear that weight training might bulk them up in unfeminine ways; however, as women of all ages realize the benefits of resistance training, negative attitudes about women in the weight training room are rapidly fading.  “Lifting weights is excellent for improving bone density, joint mobility and body composition, and relieving anxiety and depression”

Strength training doesn’t have to mean bodybuilding, and it’s certainly not just for men; weights have significant health benefits for women. Don’t worry – you won’t end up looking like Arnold! Women generally have too much estrogen in their bodies to build large amounts of bulk.
Because women naturally have less muscle mass than men, strength training can help make everyday activities easier, such as picking up the kids, carrying groceries, or working on household projects. Resistance training can also be a helpful complement to a fat loss program. Combined with cardio, resistance training can help reduce body fat and leave you more toned and fit-looking, and some studies have shown that weight lifting can increase metabolism following a workout.

What are the benefits of strength training?
Strength training is the fastest way to improve muscle strength and endurance. The increase in muscle strength and endurance allows a person to perform everyday tasks with less effort and for longer periods of time. Many changes in muscle tissue that are associated with age are caused by disuse. Simply forcing the muscles to work on a regular basis significantly improves their capacity to do work. Resistance training can also improve circulation, coordination, balance, bone and ligament strength.

Is it safe for a woman to participate in strength training?
Some misconceptions associated with weight training are that women would produce bulging muscles and/or they would seriously injure themselves lifting weights. It is very difficult for a woman to produce large muscles due to the fact that women generally have high levels of the hormone estrogen. The fact is improvements are made in muscle tone, strength and endurance and not necessarily in size. As muscles become toned, the body begins to lose fat tissue and becomes more firm. When it comes to strength training, anything that is considered a healthy practice for men is also healthy for women.

Is it necessary to stretch before and after performing free weight exercises?
Yes, stretching before exercise prepares the joints for motion, helps avoid injury and increases the range of motion of the area being stretched. After exercise stretching reduces soreness, helps to prevent muscle cramping and increases the range of motion. When stretching it is important to remember to stretch until you feel a slight tension and hold for 10-20 seconds. Do NOT bounce. Never stretch until it hurts and stay relaxed throughout the stretch. Aerobic exercise and stretching should be performed first followed by resistance training participation. Trained professionals should demonstrate proper form and technique of each exercise before participation is encouraged.

Techniques for Strength Training
  • Proper body alignment is an important component of strength training. When standing, feet should be shoulder width apart with knees slightly bent. Movement should be slow and controlled. At the beginning of lift, use the 4 count system with a pause and then return to starting position.
  • Proper breathing techniques are essential when training. Never hold your breath. Inhale at the beginning of the lift and exhale during the release of each weight.
  • You may sit or stand while participating in resistance training. Never use a resistance that is so heavy that it cannot be lifted at least eight repetitions per set. Heavy resistance can be dangerous and damage the skeletal and joint structures.
  • It is recommended that every set consist of 8 to 12 repetitions per set. As the training effect occurs, achieve an overload initially by increasing the number of repetitions, and then, by increasing the free weights.
  • Limit each workout to one to two sets of these six different exercises. Make sure that all the major muscle groups are included in the training session.
  • Don't over-train. Two strength-training sessions per week are the minimum number to produce positive physiological adaptations.

Again, for the safest, most effective program, you should seek the advice of a certified fitness professional. We at YFC ( Your Fitness Club ) will always trust in science and no nonsense. LIVE FIT !

-Dhruv Mandlik
(YFC - Fitness Counsellor)

Plyometrics

Athletes are required to generate explosive power when performing an athletic based movements. These movements in a competitive scenario would require changing of direction, accelerations, jumping and sprinting. Plyometric was created to improve this generation of power. The credit goes to the Russian Scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky for creating Plyometrics, he developed the protocol to imitate and improve the explosive aspect of athletic training. As per his observation, in jumping and running the lower limbs have to absorb and react to ground reaction forces that were very high (4).


In simpler terms, Plyometric training adapts the muscles to provide the maximum force in a very short period of time. This is achieved by increasing the activation of a motor unit and in the maximum number of motor unit activation (4).

Technical aspect of Plyometrics

Any movement is executed by the contraction of muscle, the contraction can be further divided into an eccentric contraction where the lengthening of the muscle against resistance takes place and a concentric contraction is when the muscle shortens against resistance.

For a plyometric based activity we can divide the movement into three phases
  1. Eccentric contraction
  2. Amortization
  3. Concentric contraction



For instance, depth jump (See Figure. 1) was created to duplicate the explosive activity in a controlled, measurable environment. The first phase is initiated when an athlete jumps from a platform on to the ground. The powerful muscles of the leg extensors experience a certain amount of ground reaction forces (shock). The eccentric phase is accentuated in the landing where the muscle is forcibly contracted. The amortization phase is the phase between the landing and the jumping. This phase is the most important phase and needs to be short. If an athlete spends a longer time in the amortization phase there is a greater loss of stored energy. The final phase is the concentric phase, where the stored energy is combined with a voluntary contraction to ensue the next movement (3).
Figure.1

 How of the workout
Creating a plyometric program requires one to focus on increasing power. Power can be increased by increasing strength, speed or both the variables together simultaneously. Hence, while designing a program we need to measure the intensity this can be achieved by monitoring the foot strikes or touches (1). Since, the program is executed with maximal effort or speed the duration would be shorter in comparison to a conventional strength training program. Athletes engaging in a plyometric program needs to have met certain strength training protocols. Normally, a strength and conditioning coach administers certain battery of test before implementing a plyometric program for an athlete. However, it is advisable that the athlete should have certain amount of strength training experience or is strong enough to squat, deadlift 1.5 – 2 times their body weight.

What is the workout (4)
Examples
  1. Marching
  2. Skipping
  3. Side hops
  4. Forward and backward hops
  5. Jumping in place
  6. Multiple hops
  7. Footwork/cone drills
  8. Box/depth jumps

 Safety measures
  1. Surface for plyometric need to have shock absorbing qualities.
  2. Rest and recovery is important in any training scenario.
  3. It’s a sport specific workout that is performance oriented
  4. Right footwear that could provide adequate support and stability

Is Plyometrics required for the general population?
As a fitness professional, we designed program in resistance training based on specificity for the general population. This is based on the belief that exercise should replicate movements that are executed on a daily basis. A sedentary individual entering a gym needs to build on the base strength, where he gets stronger, fitter and leaner by increasing the poundage, volume or the speed in their major lifts. This is done by providing the individual with a program that focuses on compound movements and minimises the chance of injury. It is very rare for us in our daily lifestyle to execute a movement that requires explosiveness, power. So a very specific plyometric program is not advisable for an individual whose only goal is to get fitter or leaner. However, certain low intensity based jumps, skipping and hopping can be included in a program for a specific time frame. Further, it is advisable that any plyometric program should be designed by a strength and conditioning coach, after taking into consideration the fitness, strength levels of the individuals or the group. Another shortcoming that is observed in most commercial gyms is the absence of plyometric based equipments and infrastructure.

References
  1. LaKeysha, S, McClenton, L.E.B., Jared W.C. & Kerseey, R,D. The Effect of Short Term Vertimax Vs Depth Jump Training on Vertical Jump Performance. J. Strength Cond Res 22: 321-325, 2008.
  2. Lundin, P. (1987). Plyometrics Training Loads For Youths and Beginners. Track Coach
  3. Read, M.M. & Cisar. C. The Influence of Varied Rest Interval Lengths on Depth Jump Performance. J. Strength Cond15: 279-283, 2001.
  4. NSCA Position Statement. (1993). Explosive/Plyometric Exercises. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal. 15(3):16.

Frank A. Mapranny,
Training Director,
YFC

For the Woman of Strength - II




“Empowerment lies in finding the strength within and resorting in relentless pursuit of discipline for the extraordinary”

This is a follow up article to the one I had written in April’13. I have been a tad complacent with my writing practise and have been facing a mental writing block from the past few months.
In my previous article, I had written about strength training for women and the importance of strength training for the female population. The current article I would try to focus on some of the myths that are still prominent in the gym for the female gym users. My current article is greatly influenced by Nia Shanks blog and I would suggest the readers go through her website that is addressed at the bottom.

Women going Masculine through Strength training
Plenty of lady members in YFC ask the same question because of this fairly popular myth, do I get huge after lifting weights? No you don’t, it’s the body fat percentage that make you look bigger and that’s a sad truth. Moreover, compared to the male the females have very less amount of the muscle building hormone called testosterone (muscle building). As far as I remember a woman would have around 1/10 amount of testosterone in her body in comparison to the men. Until you do not artificially resort to performance enhancing drug (PED’s) your body is not capable of getting muscular.

Strength training is not the appropriate way to lose fat and get toned
Progressive weight training helps a woman to retain her muscle mass that is required to increase her body metabolism. This increased metabolism improves her ability to burn more calories in comparison to ladies who do not strength train.

Strength training is time consuming
Strength training is not time consuming, a careful planned approach could enable you to get the desired result. However, strength training like any other skill requires practise and would require a certain amount of training to develop an injury free form and technique. As you progress from beginner to an advanced trainer you require time to recover in between sets which is dependent on poundage. Even this can be controlled if you perform the basic compound lifts in your routine.

Strength training is dangerous
Crossing a road is also dangerous, if you do not heed to the traffic rules and regulations. Strength training is no different. We have to invest our time to learn the proper form and technique to be injury free. 

High reps Vs Low reps
Strength training is a skill that needs to be learned and acquired. Any beginner at the start have to go through a very light weight with high reps (*15-20) to understand the dynamics of a particular movement. As you progress from a beginner and move up the hierarchy, you need to challenge yourself with heavier weights. As you start lifting heavier the intensity increases, as a result you end up doing low reps.

Frank Mapranny,
YFC

References
http://www.rd.com/health/fitness/6-strength-training-myths-for-women-debunked/
http://www.niashanks.com/2012/10/myth-buster-6-female-strength-training-myths-that-wont-die/
http://jillfit.com/2012/08/06/top-5-female-strength-myths/
http://health.yahoo.net/experts/fitnessforreallife/busting-strength-training-myths-women
http://stronglifts.com/weight-lifting-myths-debunked/