[Episode 22] Understanding Ways You Can Train: Part One – Strength Training

by | Jul 3, 2020

This episode is part one of a mini series that I’m going to be bringing you. I want to take the time to explore ways that you can train and the outcomes different training styles will have on your body.

There are many ways to train but the fitness industry seems to push just a couple just a couple of them.

Their focus is on high intensity interval training HIIT usually in a group setting (for “women”) to get lean, or solo weight training (for “men”) to bulk up.

This messaging just perpetuates unhealthy gendered stereotypes.

There are other ways that you can train, that aren’t about bulking or getting lean and we’re gonna spend some time giving them the attention they deserve. We’re gonna start with my favourite training style, Strength Training.

Building a stronger body is super beneficial for us long term.

Building a stronger body is super beneficial for our bodies long term.

Our ability to stand upright is based on our postural muscles being strong. As we age, they become weaker so it’s super important that we work on this.

Not just that, it’s also helpful in our day to day lives eg from carrying our shopping bags more easily to shifting stuff around in our homes.

Gaining strength has NOTHING to do with weight lose, being lean, being bulky or looking a certain way. Strength doesn’t have one specific physique because you don’t need to have a specific physique to be strong.


Person lifting a yolk (large frame with weights on it) outside a large industrial shed. They have a smile on their face and look as though they are happy.


Strength training is not about smashing out intense sessions, doing high reps or lifting really heavy stuff.

Strength training is a way to train that focuses on lower sets and reps with a moderate to heavy weight with longer rests between sets. For example, 3 reps / 3 sets / 3 mins rest.

It’s great to start strength training in a laddered style. Start with just 3 reps / 3 sets / 3 mins rest with a weight that is around 70% of your maximum effort until you feel comfortable and confidently with that weight. Then move up to 4 reps / 3 sets / 3 mins rest.

These sets and reps can be built up all the way to 5 reps / 5 sets / 3 mins rest

What this would look like as a program is this.


Squat – 5 reps x 5 sets

3 min rest between sets


Bent Row – 5 reps x 5 sets

3 mins rest between sets


Single Leg Deadlift – 5 reps (each side) x 5 sets

3 mins rest between sets


We rest so long because don’t want lactic acid to build up in our muscles. When we exert effort it breaks down ATP (adenosine triphosphate) aka stored energy in our muscles. Lactic acid is the by-product of this energy breakdown.

Lactic acid is necessary for muscle growth, so to avoid gaining bulk from training, it’s important to allow the lactic acid to leave our muscles.

When it comes to which movements to train with, stick to the basic functional movements.

These are the squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull and carry. I touched on these movements in Episode 15. If you’re not familiar with them, I recommend going and having a listen to that episode.

Let’s say you don’t have access to weights. You can still totally strength train. You can still squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull and carry without weights.

Just start with where you’re at. Keep your movements slow. Slow movements are the key here for a couple reasons.

Slow movements are controlled movement which means more muscles are recruited to move and our body stays safe through the movement. When more muscles are working, more muscles will get stronger.



Practicing static/tension holds are great for strength development. Couple slow movements with static holds and include a least 3 mins rest and you’re gonna get stronger guaranteed.

A bodyweight strength session may look something like this:


Plank – 10 second hold x 5 sets

(Build up to 30 second hold. It may take time to get there, and that’s totally ok.)


Slow Squat – 6 reps x 5 sets : 3 second count down / 3 second count up

(start at 6 reps, building up to 10 over time)


Slow Bench Dip – 6 reps x 5 sets : 3 second count down / 3 second count up

(start at 6 reps, building up to 10 over time)


Feel good about trying out any movments that interest you.

Finally, we want to give a big hooray and thanyou to all of our listeners for helping us make it onto our very first list as one of the Top 30 Fitness Podcasts on the web to listen to right now.

We’re so proud to be representiong our Trans and Gender Diverse community in such a mainstream space.

Bowie Stover Thinking Pose

Bowie Stover

Pronouns: they/them

My passion to help others through developing an active and healthy lifestyle, along with my desire to contribute as much as I can back to our queer community, has led me to co-found Non Gendered Fitness. To be a small part of your day that makes a HUGE impact on your life would be one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences that I could hope to have.

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You can also find me (Bowie), Non Gendered Fitness (NGF) and Non Gendered Fitness (NGF) on instagram and Facebook at the links below.

Bowie: @the.no.t.enbie
NGF: @non_gendered_fitness



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Non Binary Fitness Coach Bowie Stover kneeling with two kettlebells

Bowie Stover
Kettlebell and Movement Coach

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