HomeRunningOught to feminine runners raise heavy weights?

Ought to feminine runners raise heavy weights?

Energy coaching is essential for all runners. It will probably lower your danger of accidents, appropriate muscle imbalances resulting in enhancements in operating kind, and make you a extra environment friendly, quicker runner. However when lifting weights, how heavy do you’ll want to go? Many runners, notably feminine runners, go for lighter weights and better reps, however is that this the perfect technique? Ottawa-based physiotherapist Richelle Weeks believes lifting heavy weights is crucial for feminine runners, and gave us recommendation on how all runners can ramp up their energy coaching. 

Why raise heavy?

Weeks says that, whereas beginning with lighter weights and better reps might initially be much less intimidating, it’s essential to ultimately deal with decreasing repetitions and growing weight, to successfully construct muscle and energy. She argues lifting heavy weights is crucial for ladies, particularly as they become old, since all of us lose each muscle mass and bone density as we become old. 

woman lifting kettlebell

However what does “lifting heavy” actually imply? It varies from runner to runner and can change over time as you change into stronger by way of common energy coaching. Some like to make use of the idea of “relative energy” to information their lifting-heavy efforts. Relative energy refers back to the quantity of weight a person can raise in proportion to their physique weight. Typically, 75-85 per cent of 1’s most weight capability constitutes lifting heavy on this context, however it’s essential to do not forget that it takes time to construct as much as that degree. When you weigh 150 kilos, for instance, it’s unwise (and probably harmful) to instantly bounce into squatting with 115 kilos in your again.


However… received’t I get too cumbersome?

“The commonest false impression I see is girls fearing they are going to get huge and hulking in the event that they raise too heavy,” says Weeks. “It’s a dialog I’ve often with my sufferers.”

This worry is compounded for feminine runners, who could also be involved that getting “huge and hulking” will lower their operating efficiency. In actuality, it is extremely troublesome for ladies to develop massive, cumbersome muscle tissue, because of their decrease ranges of testosterone. Reaching a cumbersome look additionally requires a particular mixture of coaching, vitamin and genetic components. Heavy lifting alone isn’t sufficient to create cumbersome muscle tissue. 

It’s true that feminine runners might placed on a few kilos of muscle after following a daily energy coaching routine, however that enhance in muscle mass will solely assist your operating, not hinder it.

person strength training
Photograph: Unsplash/john-arano

How you can construct as much as lifting heavy

To transition to lifting heavier weights, Weeks suggests beginning with three units of 10 repetitions and steadily constructing weight till hitting two RIR (reps in reserve). “This implies once they end their tenth rep, they might do two extra in the event that they wanted to, however that’s it,” she says. “If they will proceed on and do 13+ reps, they should go heavier.” 

When you attain the “two RIR” threshold with 10 reps, Weeks suggests dropping down to 3 units of eight reps utilizing the identical idea. When you’ve hit two RIR there, you’ll be able to drop down to 5 units of 5 reps. “Doing simply 5 repetitions permits the skilled lifter to go fairly heavy,” she says. “Particularly in the event that they take a minimal of two minutes between units, which is what I like to recommend.” 


Can I exploit a Smith machine?

Some runners could also be aware of the Smith machine, which consists of a set barbell connected to vertical information rails, permitting for managed and guided actions. Weeks recommends utilizing tools that permits for difficult weights, similar to dumbbells, kettlebells, squat racks with plates, or Smith machines. After all, the kind of tools you utilize comes right down to desire and availability.

“One advantage of the Smith machine is the truth that the bar is mounted between the rails,” says Weeks. “This will enable a runner to go fairly heavy with out having to make use of stabilizers or fear about positioning.”

In case your gymnasium provides private coaching, you’d be properly suggested to join a session or two to familiarize your self with the right way to use the machines and the way to determine how a lot weight to raise.

strength training with weights for running

The underside line

All runners must be lifting heavy weights to lower their danger of harm and enhance their kind and effectivity. Feminine runners specifically shouldn’t shrink back from lifting heavy weights, and in reality, lifting heavy comes with an inventory of well being and efficiency advantages. The essential factor to recollect is to start out slowly and construct your weight up steadily, to keep away from hurting your self.

Richelle Weeks has been training as a physiotherapist for 14 years and presently works at Ottawa’s Holistic Wellness Well being. She primarily treats runners with a deal with train prescription and energy coaching. She’s additionally a marathon runner and is presently coaching for her first Boston Marathon.


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