Overspeed Training
The Influence of Weightlifting on the Woman's Body - Part IV

by Prof. Angel Spassov, Ph.D., D.Sc.


Considering all of the above, we can make the following statements and recommendations concerning women's special weight training methods:


1. Weight training is quite necessary. It favorably influences the general functional condition of a woman's body, provided a progressive beforehand preparation has been executed in conformity with all peculiarities (morphological, functional, psychical) of a woman's body.


2. The prolonged loadings connected with large concussions of the internal organs are to be avoided. The exercises of this nature must be of short duration followed by longer breaks.


3. The weight training is to be preceded a prolonged preparation of the supporting and motory apparatus.


4. Weight training has a favorable, influence in the postmenstruation period, when the exercises with a barbell can reach 60-70% of all the strength exercises. In this period most often maximum weight is achieved.


5. When we have a goal to develop women's maximum strength we must give preference to work up to refusal or 2-3:repetitions of 90-95% of the maximum weight.


6. Special attention is to be paid to squats with barbell at the back of the neck. The main thing to be taken into consideration is the connection between the pectoral girdle (that maintains the weight) and the legs (that perform yielding and overcoming work). We recommend about 50% of the leg exercises be other than a squat with a barbell at the back of the neck.


7. After the execution of weight training women athletes have to spend not less than 20-30 minutes for relaxation. Bathing after the weight training is to be done with hot water for a prolonged time and be finished with contrast bath (alternating hot and cool water).


Advantages women possess

Besides the above mentioned smaller strength capabilities than men, women have several advantages that have to be taken into consideration.

1. In general women are more flexible. Flexibility helps them in the technical performance of the movements. Our experience showed that women execute easily and more correctly the classical heavy athletics exercises - the snatch and the clean and jerk.


2. Women benefit of their greater flexibility since owing to it they are less likely to be injured in sports related activities.


3. Weight training is welcome and arouses the interest of sportswomen not only for the possible benefit with regard to the discipline they train. It also enables them to satisfy their natural striving for emancipation and equality, suppressed in them in the course of thousands of years. Entering an area of strength that until recently has been of interest only to men - they are very careful and concentrated, what makes work with them pleasant and fruitful.


4. Generally women are more diligent and disciplined. This is particularly important to meeting the main requirement of weight training progress - the regular workouts.


In conclusion


I do not doubt that, in spite of the aforementioned, most people perceive women's weightlifting as a rather dangerous job. It is important for the parts of the body under power strain to work in a most convenient position, favorable from a biomechanical point of view. At the same time, power strain in a number of sports involves unfavorable position of body parts, twisting of the joints and an unfavorable impact on woman's internal organs.


Certainly, the results achieved by women weightlifters will grow higher from now on with the application of correctly designed methods, however, weightlifting is not dangerous. Furthermore, it can become a very good vehicle to obtain physical and health strengthening of women.


This determines the great merits of, and respect to, those who have already begun and of whom we speak of as pioneers; those who have turned over a new page in the development of our sport.