Women and Weights

Three reasons why women should train with weights. Like most people who try to keep their body fat low, I used to run, a lot , and it worked. Running helped keep my body fat levels very low indeed, but I wasn’t healthy. Running hundreds of kilometres a month wasn’t good for me. My knees and back ached, I slept badly, I was tired and irritable, and I looked gaunt. My life changed for the better when I started to lift weights.

Here are three reasons why…

One: Lifting weights makes it easier to manage your body composition lifting weights makes it easier to keep my body fat levels down. Think about it: most people in their late 30s and 40s would do anything to have the figure they had when they were in their 20s. The reason they looked better at that age was because they had more muscle. And yes, this applies to women as much as to men. From the age of about 30, we start to lose muscle. This is a natural part of the ageing process known as sarcopenia. As we approach 40, this process speeds up. The problem is, muscle burns energy. The more muscle you have, the more food you can eat without gaining fat. And as you shed the muscle as you age, your body no longer needs those higher calories. If you continue to eat like you did in your 20s, you will put on fat because you don’t have the muscle mass to burn the food off. So, the lesson is: if you want the body you had in your 20s, you need to put muscle on. And weight training is the best way to do it.
Two: Lifting weights is essential to cardiovascular health. Endurance training on the treadmill or stationery bike is stressful. When we are subject to stress, whether stuck in traffic or jogging, our adrenal glands secrete a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is used by the body to obtain emergency supplies of sugar. Unfortunately it does so by breaking down muscle. When you spend more than 45 to 60 minutes on the treadmill, cortisol levels rise, and your body begins to break down muscle. This is also known as a catabolic response to exercise. This is why top long distance runners do weight training in the off-season: to replace the muscle they have lost as a result of running. And think about it: the heart is a muscle. If you have too much stress, your cortisol levels break down the heart’s muscular walls too. A well-designed weight training programme should never take longer than 45 minutes (after warm-up and corrective work). In fact, weight training for this amount of time has been shown to be the best way to maximise your body’s anabolic (i.e. positive hormonal) response. Three: Weight training lays the foundation for independence in later life. We’ve already mentioned muscle loss after 30. Well, by the time you’re in your 50s and 60s, this process is very advanced. Again, studies have shown that the people with the most strength and muscle mass are the ones who live longest. If you start now, you can retain more strength as you age. If your partner dies, that means you can still carry the shopping, and get up and down those stairs. My mother is a single mum. So I encourage her to do split squats with weights and overhead dumbbell work because I want her to be able to put things in her cupboard when she’s 80.

By Caroll Kerner

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Tara Henry


I grew up quite active and I had a passion for running. I used to run for miles in parks and believed that this was the only way to make me toned. While this passion was important to me, it wasn’t until I met Caroll who helped change my perspective on exercise. Caroll first showed me the ropes back in January 2022 down Muscleworks Gym, in the vibrant Bethnal Green, which has since turned a love of fitness into a lifestyle.

Caroll helped revaluate my training, removing a lot of cardio from my routine and educating me on how to build muscle. With Caroll’s knowledge and expertise, I gradually realised that without lifting weights I would never have a toned and muscular physique. Using weights has helped me create more muscle definition and beautiful tone.

Caroll’s style of teaching is healthy and realistic, she reminds you to start light and listen to your body throughout the workout. She stresses that bodybuilding/body sculpting is an individual sport and what might work for one person, might be too stressful for another. She also reminds you not to expect change overnight, the importance of being consistent with your training and being kind to your body.

Weight training down Muscleworks gym is now such and enjoyable and big part of my lifestyle, with leg day being my favourite routine. Thanks to Caroll I am able to:

– Hit the gym more and create more muscle;
– Appreciate and be kinder to my body;
– Have a better understanding of nutrition and supplements – have a healthier relationship with food and realising that you can eat complex carbs and still lose weight;
– Have the determination to perform at my best routine;
– Have drive, self-confidence and discipline;
– Understand the importance of being consistent through hard work, helping see the results and be able to get in good condition;
– Always being ready to adapt my workout and to my needs

Caroll is such an important idol and influence to me, somebody I will forever be grateful to. She has helped me understand that we can “hold muscle but still look beautiful and feminine.”

Ruth Blunt


Caroll worked with me on developing my core body stability. This was a particular concern of mine as my mother, who had recently died, suffered from severe osteoporosis. I was keen to avoid this. Caroll therefore concentrated on a combination of aerobic exercise, pulleys and exercises using the stability balls. 

The second period was triggered when, after a long break from personal training, I met Caroll at my gym. She noticed that I was hobbling and asked what the problem was. I booked a session with her and that was a springboard for my improved mobility! At that first session, Caroll immediately diagnosed that I had excessive pronation in my right ankle. She identified my footwear as exacerbating the problem and advised me on a suitable running shop at which to buy a new and more supportive pair of trainers. By the very next day, I was already walking more easily.

From there, Caroll went on to devise a programme of exercise specific to my personal needs. We worked on strengthening my lower leg and ankle muscles, firming up my abdominals and worked further on my core body muscles. We did a lot of work with free weights and pulleys, as well as floor exercises. This complemented the treatment I was having with my podiatrist.

I really enjoy training sessions with Caroll. I find her style very engaging and motivating. She builds up my confidence and stretches me to do my best. On top of that, she is a very warm and friendly person. The time flies by when we are training together!

Caroll Kerner is professional, proficient and personable. I have no hesitation in recommending her as a personal trainer.

R. Scott


When I met Caroll my weight was increasing and fitness plateaued despite various attempts at diet and exercise. I had become very demotivated with trying to improve either. Caroll took me in hand! She was realistic, measured and totally evidence based in her approach. She didn’t promise instant changes and didn’t say it would be easy. However with her skill and knowledge, she made it very enjoyable and a lot faster that I would have thought possible!

Caroll also made significant efforts to tailor her advice and session to what would work sustainably around my work and other key commitments: it’s all very well when people say “If you want it you will prioritise it”, but Caroll understands that these sorts of statements are pretty empty when parents need visiting and work needs doing! She personally tailored our programme to allow me to view fitness activities with her as a joy rather than another obligation. 

Her dietary advice was absolutely spot on and I have kept with it, losing weight, getting stronger, less ill and not feeling hungry or having food fomo! Caroll does not peddle pseudoscience and hollow motivational statements – she is the solid real deal with a wealth of knowledge, experience and practical, useable know how. Just ask her adventures around the world! I would recommend Caroll whole heartedly.

Anna Schoeffler


Training with Caroll changed my life. She really understands fitness and is passionate about helping people like me. I started putting on weight in my thirties and couldn’t figure out how to lose it. I had given up on ever being slim again when I met Caroll. She told me I was not doing the right type of exercise and needed to do weight training. At first I was a bit intimidated by training in a gym of bodybuilders but Caroll made me feel completely at ease and taught me how to lift weights correctly and safely.

I started seeing results within weeks and lost all the weight I had gained over the years, nearly two stone or 12kg, within couple of months. I continue to train with her to maintain my body shape and keep progressing, and at nearly 40 now I am fitter than ever and I look younger than I did before!

S. Lohia


I have been using Caroll for a number of years now on a personal basis and can highly recommend her.
Caroll is extremely friendly and always makes me feel comfortable and at ease. My safety with the use of an effective posture is always prioritised. She is highly knowledgeable and with her experience and professional demeanour , I could not recommend her enough!

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