GIRL POWER REVOLUTION
As we move into 2016 we are very happy to be entering into our 12th year working with athletes. It has been a blessing working with so many great families. Over the last 5 years we have developed a great understanding working with the female athlete. We have worked and continue to work with some of the best female athletes in Nassau and Suffolk County. Some of those athletes started with us in middle school and continue to work with us as collegiate athletes.
Today’s post addresses one of the biggest challenge we face as fitness professionals. Female athletes struggling with the idea: “I don’t want to get to bulky lifting weights.” A major function as a fitness professional is to help educate those athletes and families overcome some of the terrible myths that continue to be perpetuated in the female fitness world. In particularly, these myths continue to feed the anxiety that young female athletes struggle with in regards to body image and strength training.
The most important principle in our program is we believe there is no scientific reason to train our male and female athletes different. In fact we know female athletes have the same physical demands in sport as their male counterparts. More importantly, because females have a higher propensity to major injuries I believe strength training is a crucial component in the development of the female athlete. I recently read an interview in the New York Times with Dawn Scott, the Strength and Conditioning coach of the US National Soccer program, who echoed those same sentiments.
On the contrary, strength training is fantastic for revving up your metabolism and burning more calories each day. The effect is not a bulky body but a leaner body. While we believe strength training is an important aspect of our program, the goal of strength training in our program is to improve the athletes strength, increase their force production and create an athlete that moves efficiently on the field of play, while reducing the chance of injury! While many of our female athletes have become leaner over the years, none of our athletes are “bulky” and more importantly all of our athletes have increased their movement efficiency in their sport. Whether its getting to more 50/50 balls, getting up and down the basketball court quicker or increasing their pitching speed, our strength training program has always had a positive effect on these and many other athletic movements.
More importantly, female athletes don’t produce enough testosterone to add significant amounts of muscle mass quickly or easily. On average males produce 7-8 times greater testosterone than their female counterparts. Muscle mass takes years and years of hard work to build, and many female athletes that become very muscular choose to enhance themselves chemically because they have such a hard time gaining muscle mass. Not a strategy we use at Athletes In Training.
So with that being said I would like you to check out our video ode to those girls that have paved the way for our program to grow into become experts at training and developing the female athlete. I want to give a special thanks to these girls and their families for being the pioneers that helped us start this movement and we want to encourage those past and present pioneers to continue to train hard, get strong and join us in the “girl power revolution.”