Gym apps target women who want to strength train

Posted at 10:16 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 07:02:32-05
After Leah Kendrick had her second child, she knew she wanted to get back in shape. but she was also hesitant to walk into a gym.
"Seeing the majority of guys, you know, weight training. you're going to feel like you don't belong or that you're going to get these looks like what is this girl doing here?" Kendrick said.
So she decided to try something new: A strength training app called Spitfire Athlete created by two women, who were unhappy with what was currently on the market when it came to women's fitness apps.
"They take something that was designed for men, make it pink and make it slightly worse and now it's for women. These apps would often feature a lot of aesthetic training, physique training, weight loss. They really wouldn't mention anything about athletic goals or performance related goals," she said.      
Spitfire Athlete, and other women-specific strength training apps, feature actual female athletes demonstrating the movements, instead of models, teaching everything from strength training basics to advanced techniques, allowing users to build to a harder workout as they go.
"We actually wanted to infuse this sense of female strength and power from the very beginning. knowing which exercises you're going to do, how you're going to do them, how you're gong to set up the equipment. Using an app that shows you how to do these things can be a huge confidence booster."     
Fitness apps are popular with millennials, with one study showing 24 percent download them to their phones.  
Dixie Stanforth, a professor of health education at the University of Texas, believes these apps can make a real difference in getting women in the weight room.
"For many women resistance training is a key part of their overall health that is totally lacking. The apps give them the confidence to add resistance training into their training regimen," she said. 
Which is vital, she said, to a woman's overall health, more than just outer appearance.
"I'm going to have a reduced risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease. They become stronger even just mentally, not just physically. They feel better to be able to handle anything that comes their way in their life," Stanforth said. 
Kendrick said it's certainly done that for her. Since finding the app, she's fallen in love with lifting and now feels confident to step into a gym.
"I became like the girl I always wanted to be.  Now I have the confidence. My body image has definitely improved," she said. 
Ladies, if you're afraid of lifting weights thinking you're going to bulk up like a body builder, Stanforth says those fears are unfounded.  Lifting weights will give you definition, but it's the testosterone that causes men to put on mass amounts of muscle.