There is information all over the media at the moment about how important it is for women in midlife to do strength training so that when muscle mass starts to decline, we don’t immediately go all floppy! However gym weights rooms are not always the most friendly spaces for women and so it was a huge “hell, yes!” from me when I saw that the Bingley Belles were going to arrange coached sessions at Bingley Barbell Club.
It’s a proper weights gym and Chris is incredibly highly qualified and experienced, having worked with sportsmen and women at the very highest levels, so I felt very lucky to be involved. From the first day when we had to do an assessment of our mobility through various interesting jumping and bending activities, Chris made us feel comfortable and was really understanding of our various wonkinesses (in my case, a dodgy shoulder I hadn’t been aware of!)
He’s made a detailed plan for us to follow with adaptations for those of us who have injuries or preferences that require a bit of bespoke attention. All doing the same programme means we can support each other with those all-important questions like “What are RDLs again?” and “Which hand does the weight go in for Bulgarian split squats?”
The camaraderie has been wonderful, with people cheerleading and applauding each other’s successes like going up a weight on the squat rack or managing to jump onto a higher box. Many Belles have mentioned the difference they have noticed in their strength and the way their muscles feel now that we’re a good while into the course, and it’s very likely that we’ll notice it when the summer comes and more frequent and longer bike rides are possible too – we’ll be zooming up the hills!
A huge thank you to Lisa, Sarah and Chris for making this happen – it’s a truly remarkable partnership and long may it continue.