Actually Getting A Girl To Train
It isn’t easy to get women to start training when their entire lives they’ve been given bad advice and false hopes (don’t believe me? see this). Throughout this series the readers have said, “That’s great, but…how do I get my wife/girlfriend/sister/friend to actually do it?” This post will provide a step-by-step suggestion guide on getting your friend to actually begin.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that the goal of this process is to help a girl train better and smarter while getting better results. You’re supposed to be helping and teaching instead of belittling her current methods, “mainstream fitness, or “society” (we can bitch about this stuff another time). Subtly reply to her doubts and skepticism in a proper, non-confrontational tone. In other words, we aren’t hysterically trying to convert anyone, but instead aim to help.
First, Present the Facts
In order to move onto the “how”, you need to first present the “why”. If possible, suggest that your lady friend read this amiable, friendly letter I wrote (I may re-write it soon to improve it since I wrote it a year ago — I’ll post it here when I do). I originally wrote it for a friend who coaches at CrossFits so that she could show her clients why lifting would be beneficial. Allow me to summarize:
A Summary of Strength Training Benefits for Women
All women go to the gym and workout in order to “tone up”, yet this term actually means getting “lean and strong”. More exercise and less food is not the key to getting “lean and strong”; instead, better and more efficient exercise is key. Strength and high intensity endurance training require an active metabolism to recover from and adapt. The higher levels of metabolism will help eradicate fat. The increases in muscle will augment that metabolism, but don’t worry, with less than 10% of the testosterone that a guy has and makes it IMPOSSIBLE to grow excessive muscle or get bulky. Strength training also produces the sexy, womanly shape that every gal aims for.
Getting stronger and eating a better, protein-filled diet will heighten metabolism, improve the immune system, prevent sickness, eliminate fatigue, and increase bone density. Not to mention it will result in being strong and conditioned to better enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle. Oh, and did I mention getting strong? I know many girls who are stronger than most men, and they are no longer simply “average”.
Notice how that summary didn’t even criticize conventional methods? It may be necessary to explain why not to do cardio for 45 minutes and eat granola for breakfast or elaborate on why protein and squats would help, but let’s keep it simple. Start with the minimum and avoid sensory overload. The above is a pretty convincing claim.
Second, Inspire and Motivate
No, I’m not suggesting you put on a Matt Foley performance, but a little inspiration can go a long way. After explaining the benefits of proper training, your friend may need convincing. Luckily, there are thousands of pictures and videos of great looking women — amateur or professional — who can inspire your friend. By now you’ll have a good idea of what she may aspire to look like, so start with women who fit that type. Obviously I’ve used pictures of Erin Stern recently because she isn’t grossly striated, is incredibly athletic, regularly strength trains (with lots of squats), and even does some versions of the Olympic lifts. I’ve even shown this pictureto a few girls and they are immediately motivated to buckle down and train hard.