The Psychology and Physiology of Training Women

Mel Young

Mel Young is the founder and owner of Amazon24 Fitness, a Personal Training and Athlete Performance Facility in Gillingham, Kent and has been in the fitness industry just short of 20 years.

The facility is a community based centre ranging from 1-1 and small group personal training sessions, various group fitness classes and a successful ladies only strength programme.  The Ladies Only Programme promotes strength of the body and mind and has seen a community of ladies support and encourage each other as well as learn techniques and a strong skill set which has seen mass development of confidence and self-esteem as well as changing body shape and mental attitude towards lifestyle.

Mel is also a Strength & Conditioning Coach including Youth S&C, working with athletes from various disciplines including British Para-Cycling, UK Athletics (High Jump, Pentathlon), Duathlon, Sitting Volleyball & Para-Discus (Warrior Games, Invictus and Help 4 Heroes), Rugby Union and has worked with athletes from GB Judo, Kickboxing/Boxing and Para-Bobsleigh.  She is a tutor and assessor for Brendan Chaplin’s Strength & Conditioning Education Level 4 programme.

For 10 years, Mel worked as a Sport & Exercise Science lecturer at Lowestoft College in Suffolk and MidKent College Kent before launching Amazon24 Fitness but now freelance teaches and assesses Gym Instruction and Personal Training students at the University of Kent.

Mel also contributes to KWIB magazine (Key Women in Business) and now has her own sport and fitness section interviewing coaches and athletes but also reports on how her own clients have benefited from various forms of training.

To see Mel speak at the PTing from and for Women event on Sunday 20th May at London South Bank Uni click here.

The Psychology and Physiology of Training Women

After many years working in various gyms and running classes, I had trained 100’s of clients through personal training and in group fitness. I eventually built my own business and secured a place to run my own training facility.

As Personal Training was developing and so were classes, a group of ladies were interested in trying out some weight training.  They wouldn’t dream of trying it in a commercial gym as they felt too self-conscious and worried of making fools of themselves.  This wasn’t news to me.  In my whole fitness career working in various gyms, I’d hear the same thing over and over and it was disheartening to think women didn’t feel comfortable in that environment as I loved it.  It was my safe place, my calm and a place where throwing some heavy weights around really relaxed me.

This is where I started the Ladies Only Strength Programme.  An exclusive workout programme designed for women only.  I wanted to break the stigma and show how amazing you can look and feel by working with weights.  It was a great success and now after 2 years, those women still train with me now.

I have now delivered many of these programmes, working with 100’s of different women, all with the same worries about how they look.  Without trying, Amazon24 Fitness has predominately female members.  Whether its personal training, strength programmes or classes, more and more women are coming along and joining my small fitness centre that is basically a converted village hall.

Why go along to a beaten-up building when there are modern, fully equipped gyms surrounding me.  The responses were pretty much the same.  Intimidation, lack of motivation, fear of failure, fear of making fools of themselves, didn’t think weights were for them, too old, too many mirrors and they got bored.  Some were even worse, some of my amazing ladies actually used the word hate.  They hated the way they looked, they hated the way they felt, they hated looking in a mirror, hated their reflection, hated themselves for losing their identity, even to the point where one woman said she felt lost, lost of her own purpose and didn’t see who she was supposed to be when she looked in the mirror.  I didn’t understand why women especially could be so negative about their appearance, their self-worth and their belonging in society.  I felt a deep urge to help these women believe in themselves again.  To understand that they were flipping amazing.  This is where the Ladies Only Strength Programme really grew as women came together.  Even though there were different ages, abilities, shapes, sizes, background, careers, stay at home mums or retired, they all had one goal and that was to feel amazing again.

Not only did I see physical changes but attitudes changed, confidence grew, friendships formed, a family was created and even counselling was given.  They could turn up so angry but after shifting some heavy weights and have a rant, they walked away with a smile.  It was and is a safe haven, their time, a break away and they hated missing a session.  The results came in and ultimately, they started liking themselves again.  Finding who they were and appreciating their body, their mind.  Learning new techniques, setting new PB’s.  The main goal of losing weight was now stored as a secondary goal.  These ladies now wanted to lift heavy and learn some fab techniques.

Some that have attended these sessions have changed in many ways from wearing a bikini for the first time, fitting in to clothes that have been in their wardrobe for years, going for a new job and being offered it, talking more, laughing more and sticking two fingers up at society where once they felt they didn’t fit in.  It’s the most amazing and empowering scene to watch unfold and I’ll never stop running these programmes as I can see the positive effects it has.

These women inspire me every day.  I have goals of my own and pursuing them to get where I want to be.  I’m studying hard, learning and upping my game to be the best.  I have researched to understand the differences psychologically as well and physiologically to ensure their training is tailored for their needs.

When training women, their psychological welfare has to be taken in to consideration.  Planning, tracking, goal setting and reward are paramount to encourage consistent participation and an understanding of monthly menstrual cycles and clever nutrition are important phases to take in to account when programming.

I hope to give an insight on the way you interact, create trust and deliver challenging yet empowering sessions which not only allow success but also gives you a sound business model and great retention.

 

Book your tickets now to come see me talk on Sunday 20th May at LSBU, along with some more amazing people covering intense topics! Click here to book.

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