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Strength Training: Does not have to be scary

What do you think of when you think of strength training? Most people think of big, athletic, men who

can lift hundreds of pounds, and look like The Rock. Those people do exist, but that is a small portion out of all the people that "strength train". Our culture has made strength training this intimidating feat, with the primary goal to gain enough muscle to alter your physic. This image of strength training intimidates a lot of people (especially women) and thus deters them from incorporating strength training into their training programs. Speaking from experience, I did not even try to start incorporating strength training into my life until college because I was intimidated by the heavy weights, lack of knowledge regarding exercise programming, and feeling of not belonging in the gym because I was not a big athletic man. I am going to break down some of the common myths behind strength training to make it less scary and encourage more young females to strength training to improve their sport performance.


Myth #1: You do not have to lift heavy to see results

There is a misconception that you have to lift super heavy to see results. Everyone is different, everyone has different training goals, and there are many factors that go into designing an individualized program to best fit YOUR goals. For example an athlete competing in a body building competition is going to train much differently compared to an athlete who runs track and field. The athlete who runs track and field has a training goal of lean muscle and endurance, compared to the body builder who is going for max hypertrophy and strength. Though these two athletes will look physically different, they will both be meeting their personal goals with the proper training program.

  • Factors that go into determining the best program for YOU

    • Personal Demographics (age, sex, weight)

    • Training goal (power, strength, hypertrophy, endurance)

    • Sport Season (Post, off, in or pre season)

    • Sport position (Ex: Goalkeeper vs Striker)

Myth #2: Your muscles are going to look "big" if you strength train

There is a misconception that your muscles will look big if you start to strength train. Unfortunately women fall into this mindset the most. Most women are fearful that if they strength train, their muscles will grow to the point in which they look "manly". This is NOT the case! Your training goal determines the results and if your training goal is not maximal hypertrophy then you will not reach that point! The general goal of strength training is to be physically fit for your life, your sport and within your comfort zone.


Myth #3: You have to spend 3 hours at the gym to reach your goals

There is a misconception that the longer you are at the gym the more results you will see. FALSE! You do not need to spend 3 hours a day at the gym to see results and reach your goals. For the majority of athletes an hour to an hour an a half is plenty of time to be able to reach your goals. On top of this you do not need to be doing a lot of exercises in one session. Generally 5-6 exercises in a session, performed efficiently, with proper sets, reps, and rest breaks is sufficient to meet your goals. If you have never strength trained before, start with 3 exercises, get your feet wet, get comfortable with a gym set up, take your time with the exercises and progress from there. Again, everyone is different and your goals are YOUR goals and no one else's.


So now what?

Hopefully this has helped to ease your mid about strength training and make it seem less


scary. As I have repeatedly stated everyone is different and everyones training program will be different to reflect your personal goals. I will be posting more regarding the different types of training goals, what they mean, and how they fit into a soccer lifestyle. I encourage everyone reading this to reach out with questions in the forum regarding strength training, any other fears you may have, and how we can work through them together.

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