Strong is the new skinny. At least, according to Pinterest. In 2017, searches for ‘strength inspo’ increased by 415% compared to 2016.
So if strength and fitness are your goals for 2018 we’ve got a few recommendations to help you best reach your goals. But we won’t be dishing out exercise advice. In fact, this will be all in your head.
Unfortunately, both men and women can be held back in the gym by gender stereotypes. We’re going to address both genders separately.
For women, it may be avoiding ‘too much’ resistance exercise to avoid ‘looking like a man’ and ‘bulking up’. This is an outright myth. Resistance training will actually boost your metabolism, sculpt your body shape, and that’s just a few benefits! The reality is you’d have to take your diet and exercise schedule to the extreme in order to look like a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and even that would take years.
When you embark upon your fitness journey, don’t be put off by the male dominated weights section. Most people are actually quite friendly and can help with your form or spot you. Bring along a gym partner for an added sense of comfort. But remember, your best source of advice for form and targeted exercises would come from an exercise professional.
Guys, don’t be afraid to indulge in yoga and pilates. It’s often heavily marketed toward women, but the benefits offered are equally valuable to both genders. Core strength and flexibility can also extend into boosting up your performance in strength training.
Not convinced? Multitudes of male athletes and sports professionals have benefited from pilates and yoga, including Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, and a bunch of NRL teams!
Next time you’re heading to the weights section of the gym, or to a pilates class, brush away the negative thoughts stemming from stereotypes and instead focus on how this will improve your physical (and subsequently mental) health.