By: Jessica Walters

Hi, everyone! I’m Jessica Walters, and I’m a trainer here at Old Town Athletic Campus. I have been a personal trainer for about 5 years now. Over the years, a concern I’ve heard over and over again from women in fitness is “bulking up” from lifting weights. Oftentimes, they reference women who are professional bodybuilders, but the truth of the matter is those women look that way on purpose.

For a professional bodybuilder to achieve the optimal figure, she must consume a much larger-than-average amount of calories/protein AND commit many hours a day to working out. The hard truth is that sometimes those women are actually supplementing with steroids, which isn’t legal or healthy. Each calorie, supplement and workout is carefully calculated in order to achieve that body type. And let’s face it–most of us only can commit about 3 hours a week to exercise, we are not consuming thousands of calories a day, and the simple matter of fact is that we, as women, do not produce enough testosterone naturally to ever reach a “bulky, manly” physique!

If you’re a woman who has stayed away from the “boys’” part of fitness centers and skip the weights, you are truly missing out on being in the best shape of your life! I feel it is one of my responsibilities to help women fight this myth and make weights part of our domain, too.

And I can tell you from personal experience. When I was 18, I wanted to get into shape and lose weight after retiring from softball. I thought the only way to do this was to run. I’d spend hours and hours a week running. I became exhausted, my joints ached, I felt weak, and on top of that, I looked unhealthy. I mean, I was only 18 and I already had joint pain! I knew deep down this wasn’t right, so I started to study a different realm of fitness: weightlifting. And since then, I have not looked back. When I learned how to lift weights correctly, my body completely changed. I felt stronger, happier, and had way more energy. In fact, lifting weights helped my running improve as well. AND I didn’t have to spend hours in the fitness center!

The moral of the story is, don’t ever let the fear of “bulking up” discourage you from lifting weights. Here’s what you’re really doing when you lift weights: tightening, toning, preventing bone deterioration, reducing joint pain, improving your sleep, burning more calories and increasing your energy!

And if you don’t know where to start, COME SEE ME!

Women vs. Weightlifting

Trainer's Tip

By Matt Davenport

Over the course of the summer every year, the 3 major professional sports (football, basketball, and baseball) hold their amateur drafts.  These days, those drafts are aired on primetime tv with weeks and weeks of hype and analysis which make you want to glue your eyes to the main event…the first round.  In the aftermath of these drafts, it is a guarantee that every parent of a youth athlete will hear one stat that stands out, and it goes something like this: “91% OF ALL FIRST ROUNDERS WERE MULTI-SPORT ATHLETES IN HIGH SCHOOL!” But what does this really mean?

To start, lets differentiate correlation and cause because they play a pivotal role in how this information is interpreted.  The correlation in the statement above is between being a high-level professional athlete and being a multisport youth athlete.  The common interpretation of the information above is that being a multisport youth athlete causes you to be a high-level professional athlete which means that specializing in one sport is bad.

It should be noted that the overall level of athleticism required to be a professional in a sport is incredibly high.  At any level of sport, from youth to high school to college to professional, the higher-level athletes are the most sought after by coaches.  The higher-level athletes in youth sports play on better teams, get more playing time, and acquire more skills than those lesser-level athletes. Then the chain continues to high school, then to college, and then to professional sports.  So, while “91% OF ALL FIRST ROUNDERS WERE MULTISPORT ATHLETES IN HIGH SCHOOL!” may be true; it is not necessarily true that being multisport athletes caused them to be first rounders. Being the highest-level athletes caused them to be first rounders.

Sport specialization is not a youth athletes’ enemy.  In fact, most youth athletes end up specializing simply because they LOVE one sport more than any other.  That should be rewarded. Let them engage in their passion and learn to work hard for something they enjoy.  However, overspecialization IS a youth athletes’ enemy because it can lead to an increased risk of injury. This is not because they are playing just one sport; this is because they are playing too much of one sport and over-using certain athletic patterns.  Using baseball as an example, there is a huge difference between playing just the 20-30 competitive games in the spring and summer and playing baseball year-round with 60+ competitive games a year. The former is more likely to get hurt because they are playing too much not because they are playing just one sport.

The moral of the story is this; Don’t force a youth athlete to play multiple sports just for the sake of playing multiple sports.  They may not be good at some sports. Then, they will not play competitively in those sports which is counterproductive to the reason they are playing multiple sports. Let them play what they love and want to work at, but control how much they are playing.  Playing just baseball, basketball, or football is perfectly fine, but playing too much baseball, basketball, or football can lead to an increased risk of injury. The true cause of getting to a high-level of any sport is being a high-level athlete. Take a break from a specific sport and teach your youth athlete to simply be a better athlete. That is where true success lies.

The Misconception of the Multi-Sport Athlete and Sport Specialization

Trainer's Tip

by Shawn V. Pittington
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist


Whether you’re playing sports, traveling or even just sitting in the sun during these dog days of summer, getting enough to drink is vital!

Why is hydration important?

Dehydration is no joke! It can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day is a big favor to your heart, which needs hydration to help it pump blood through your blood vessels to your muscles so they work efficiently.

How much water does a person need?

I tell clients all the time, “If you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.” But thirst isn’t necessarily the best indicator of dehydration. The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn, and exercise intensity and duration.

Hydration needs also vary depending on these body/health conditions:

  • A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may mean you need to drink more water than other people.
  • People with cystic fibrosis have high concentrations of sodium in their sweat, and need to use caution to avoid dehydration.
  • Some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.
  • People who have a heart condition, are older than 50, or are overweight may have to take extra precautions.

Want to know exactly how much fluid YOU need? Try weighing yourself before and after exercise to see how much you’ve lost through perspiration. Every pound of sweat you lose is a pint of water you’ll need to replenish.

This is a particularly good method for athletes who train in the hot summer months. It’s not unusual for a high school football player wearing pads and doing drills to lose five pounds or more of sweat during a summer practice!

How do I know if I’m hydrated?
Luckily, there’s a quick way to determine if you’re hydrated enough. Pay attention to the color of your urine! Pale or clear pee means you’re well-hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.

Which drink(s) hydrate best?
For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. There are even foods you can eat that contain high percentages of water, like fruits and vegetables.

What about sports drinks?
Sports drinks with electrolytes may be useful for people doing vigorous, high intensity exercise in very hot weather, but they tend to be high in added sugars and calories.

When is it most important to hydrate?
Hydration isn’t just important during physical activity. Sitting in the sun on a hot or humid day, even if you are not exercising, can also cause your body to need more fluids.

You should also keep tabs on your hydration when you travel–you might sweat differently when you’re in a different climate!

Stay hydrated and stay healthy, everyone!

Stay Hydrated. Stay Healthy.

Trainer's Tip

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