The Psychology of Strength Training for Women: A Testimonial

"There is nothing more rewarding for me, as a female and as a trainer, in seeing women become empowered in their training, and then watching how this translates into the rest of their life".

This is something I truly believe, and I'm reassured that it really is the case when I get to see the results firsthand of women training with weights on a daily basis.  I asked one of my clients to tell me what being empowered is really all about.  Meet Lizzie - a high powered and high profile lawyer - one of a growing number of strong, capable and result driven females trying to survive and thrive in a cut throat corporate environment.  She had never set foot in a weights room before. That was the area reserved for the guys.  One 30kg Trap Bar Deadlift later, and you can read Lizzie's story about how a Barbell has given her courage and confidence in a Boardroom. I guarantee you'll be inspired!

"In May 2016, I was not in a good place – I felt I had no control over my life and I was putting everything and everyone else before me. 

I decided I needed to do something about it,  and that I would give a personal trainer a shot – why not at least I would lose a few kgs (hopefully). 

But I had no idea what starting with Alexa would actually mean. 

Some 9 months on – yes I have lost some kgs and I look so much leaner – my family, my friends, my work colleagues all comment on it and I have dropped from a squeeze size 12 to an easy size 10. 

But it’s not the weight loss or increase in muscle that has had the biggest impact on my life… it’s the confidence, the ability to set boundaries and the ability to say no – that has been the biggest impact.

It had never occurred to me that being strong physically, lifting weights and meeting it with the “boys” would mean so much. 

I had always thought I was strong and tough – I mean I could work 72 hours straight if I needed to….

What I didn’t realize was, as a high achiever in a boys world, I had internalised the negativity, blamed myself, not stood up for myself, over analysed every mistake and error and let the voice inside my head say I wasn’t worth it for so long.  

I now walk into meetings holding my head high (yes physically that’s because my training has improved my posture immeasurably), but it’s the self confidence that means I can continue to hold my head high. 

When people give me their view on “how I can improve”, “constructive feedback” for my own good  - the old “I don’t want to be rude but…” – rather than internalise the criticism, re-run the conversation, leave the meeting frustrated, with tears welling in my eyes – I think I can do a Romanian Dead Lift – can you?  I moved from 10 back extensions today to 12 – can you do one?

I have developed a mental toughness I never thought possible.  When I couldn’t do Bulgarian split squat – it wasn’t because I couldn’t physically it was because the voice in my head said I couldn’t.  And when Alexa told me I could, because of her ability, her support, her intrinsic warmth and nurturing – I believed her and I did it!  If I can do Bulgarian split squats – then I can do anything – including saying no, setting boundaries and not feeling guilty about putting my needs first.

What I have learnt the most and why I continue to go to Alexa and why that won’t change – because the voice inside my head now says “I can if I want to”, “I am strong”, “I am worth it”.  Thank god I learnt this lesson before turning 43!