By: Paulina Prazmo
You walk into the Pulse and head straight up to the cardio section of the gym. That’s where all the other girls are anyways, running on the treadmills or ellipticals. You think to yourself, “Well, cardio is important; I’ll just run on the treadmill for 30mins!” Now, since I’m no fitness guru, I took the time to talk to the amazing and very helpful personal trainers on campus here at the Pulse. Imagine my surprise to find out that a successful workout doesn’t just consist of running and focusing on one body part. (This must be what most MAC girls believe – just take a glance up on the cardio deck.) Here’s what four McMaster trainers had to say about what women’s workouts are really missing.
Brandon Sferrazza, a personal trainer director at the Pulse says that the importance of achieving that well rounded workout actually consists of weight training. That’s right ladies, time to step off that treadmill and head on downstairs to the weight area. Sferrazza encourages female students to come down onto the main floor despite how intimidating it might seem. There is a common misconception that women are going to turn into a female version of the hulk if they include weight training in their workouts. However, all the personal trainers informed me that this is not the case.
“Women are afraid they’re going to get big and bulky and it just doesn’t happen. One percent of women fit that description and they’re all on the national bobsled team so there’s not much to worry about. Spending hours and hours on cardio isn’t really going to help much because you won’t have that muscle mass to burn the calories,” said Sferrazza.
The personal trainers at the Pulse are constantly trying to encourage the female student population that there is nothing scary about lifting some weights. And if you are unsure and need some assistance there is always a trainer on-call, ready and eager to answer any questions and help you get that workout you strive for.
Even a female personal trainer like Eni Kadar was once afraid of lifting weights. She tells me that many girls are guilty of missing out on weights. “They stick to cardio because that is the easiest way to workout and are too focused on achieving one specific body type,” she said. Other areas that are missed in the workouts of girls are core trainings, along with flexibility, stability and full body weight exercises.
Keith Medeiros, a former Pulse trainer says that the best way to start working out is by doing push-ups, chin-ups, bridges, planks, squats and lunges. In his opinion, these exercises require little weight but train the muscles and work on the target areas for fat loss. The workout of a female differs from a male workout at the Pulse because of that split between the two floors.
“I don’t think you are working out if you can read a book at the same time. The structure of a girl’s workout is misguided. If they can push themselves and get out of the cardio deck into the weights or even in the aerobic studio to do other things, it would be more beneficial,” said strength and conditioning trainer Rob Morton.
Pulse trainers recommend getting yourself familiarized and educated with the machines. If there are machines that you haven’t got a clue how to use, ask the trainer on duty to give you a hand. Group classes are also highly recommended. “It’s something that gets you motivated with a good atmosphere and everyone is very supportive. It’s also great when you’re not keen on making your own workout,” Kadar explained.
Or, you can grab your girlfriend and head down to the weight area together where both of you are able to influence one another and not worry about everyone staring at you. “Chances are the guys in the weight area don’t even know what they’re doing and are just surprised to see a girl lifting weights,” Kadar said with a laugh.
All trainers agreed that a typical workout should last no more than an hour and a half and that it is crucial to make time to head down to the Pulse. Whether it’s two days a week for beginners, or four to five times a week for the experienced, it is very important to schedule the workout time. So in the future when I head down to the Pulse for my weekly workout I’ll be looking for all of you MAC girls pumping that iron. Because the last time I checked, girl power should still be alive – especially in the gym.