About Strength Training

May 2, 2023

A strong body is better and healthier than a weak body – strength helps us everyday in everything we do.

As we age, we absolutely need to keep our bodies strong. While it’s nice for aesthetics, it is essential for a good quality of life.

When I first stepped foot into a gym 35 years ago in Florence, Italy, to rehab after a ski accident, I was the only girl in the gym.

Fast forward to 2023, so many people now are working out – women, men, young, older – it’s such a beautiful thing to see.

Most of us know now the importance of training. We are familiar with the word “cardio” and understand why aerobic activity is indispensable for a healthy body – doctors, magazines and all kinds of tracking devices remind us all the time.

Strength too is now a more familiar concept and people are beginning to really understand the importance of having a strong body. 

Compared to years ago, a lot more women nowadays include strength training into their weekly workout routine.

This is so great and it makes me so happy, since one of the biggest goals in my career has been to educate people – women especially – to better understand the importance of strength training, and to motivate them to do it.

However there’s still quite a bit of work to be done.

The main issues I see is that strength is often improperly showcased with dumbed down silly exercises and inadequate weights, or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, it is strictly associated with the bodybuilding look and the fear of getting “bulky”.

To get strong we do need to work against resistance (weights) but it doesn’t mean we will get bulky or end up looking like a bodybuilder – that requires years of dedicated practice, coupled with targeted nutrition and a mind set to achieve that particular goal. 

I think we all understand this is an extreme and represents only one aspect of working on strength, but the lingering fear of getting “too big” is powerful and it detracts people (mostly women) from using adequate programs and proper weights.

Which brings us to the other issue I see with educating and motivating people to strength train correctly: a lot of so-called “experts” – influencers, mainstream magazines and unfortunately some fitness instructors – teach and promote watered-down versions of strength exercises which are done for endless repetitions with weights not heavy enough to make anyone strong, which is basically like doing cardio with a little extra weight.

This is one of the worst messages I see over and over, which in addition to being completely incorrect, discourages women, by promoting the fear of getting bulky, from approaching strength training correctly and effectively.

It infuriates me.

Working on strength should be simple, approachable and accessible to everyone. Most exercises should revolve around:

– Strengthening legs, our foundation, with squats, deadlifts and lunges. 

– A strong back with different pulling exercises, strong shoulders and chest with various pushing exercises.

– Of course the core, which is a little more than just crunches for good looking abs.

The weights need to be challenging enough so generally after 10-15 repetitions, the exercise is hard to complete.

We need to understand strength training for what it is: lifting/moving around heavy objects with basic exercises (bodyweight exercises can be included, especially for the upper body). Programs don’t need to be convoluted and everyone should be able to do them. 

This way, strength training and therefore the quality of your life will improve.

In Health,




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