5 Strength Training Myth’s Busted

As women, we are constantly bombarded with false information and body images that are most likely unreachable.   We are blasted with images of bodies that have been specifically fueled and trained to look a certain way… whether a bodybuilder in a non-functional bikini or some celebrity comes to mind, the principle is the same.  We are led to believe that if we only worked harder or ate less or paid more, that body would appear. As if that’s why we should be exercising anyway. It’s ALL about how we look. Articles and programs and supplements and everything we see pushes us toward either buying something or committing to something in order to LOOK like the cover of whatever fitness mag is most prominently displayed or whatever online group paid to get their stuff to the top of your Google search results.  Look, I realize that everyone has a to make a living, and the industry has it figured out. Make people feel inferior and tell them you can bring them up to your level of useless shapely strength and they’ll be worth something! Just sign here. Gross.


I’m sick of the lies women are fed and the frustration and lack of confidence especially girls have with respect to fitness.  Guess what?! You are already strong. You are so important. You have so much to show this world. Do you want to be even stronger?  Super. Let’s just set some things straight. I’ll try not to swear too much. Just assume eye roll emoji is present throughout as I list these, punctuated by a punch and a red mad face here and there.


First, not really a myth but an important point:  You have, if you’ve read this far, what my buddy and world-renowned strength coach Jason Glass calls a solid “gym IQ.”  You have been in a gym and know a few things about getting stronger or fitter. All of us have things to learn, and you’re just looking for more.  Those with low gym IQ are just beginners or haven’t had the training yet, and unfortunately, we can all fall victim to these lies. The more we learn and the more we do, the gym IQ develops.  


So buckle up, let’s get real.  


1. IF I LIFT, I’ll GET BIG.  

Sure, if you want to, and if you specifically train for size, and you eat a ton of specific macronutrients and take a ton of certain supplements, you will get big.  That’s called bodybuilding.

But, if you go into the gym with a smart training program (which just means it’s designed with what you can do now and what you want to accomplish in mind, and your gym IQ is appropriate for what you’re doing) you will get stronger, but not “bulky” or “big,” since the truth is, in order to develop that size, you need lots of training and lots of time in the gym.  Again, like everything else, it won’t happen unless you’re training for it. Women should NOT be limited to lightweight on isolated machines like knee extensions and hamstring curls (more on that later) and should ABSOLUTELY pick up heavy stuff.


Let’s get nerdy for a second.  The force a muscle can produce is related to its cross-sectional area and the density of proteins within it that cause it to contract.  So, when you strength train, the proteins become packed more densely, and when you continue to train, they multiply to meet the demand. This does not mean that suddenly your muscles bulge unattractively, this means you can hustle and play tag on a play structure, you can save a scared kid who climbed too high in a tree, you can get your cooler into your car for your camping trip, and you can hold your head high while you type and drive and change diapers and fix sprinklers.  If you kept it to light resistance band and 3# dumbbells, you’d miss all that.



GONE are the days of girls showing up to the gym to lean onto to the Stairmaster or hang on the elliptical trainer for an hour reading garbage magazines and listening to garbage music.  Ok, maybe they were reading quality stuff and listening to intellectual podcasts, but still.

The above recipe will make you sweat, for sure.  And you’ll burn calories. But WHY?!?! Why do you want to burn calories?  What is that doing to move you toward your goals? Many women come to fitness systems to lose weight, and calorie balance is therefore important.  BUT, an hour on these machines is A WASTE of your valuable time. There is so much more you can get out of your time in the gym if you mix it up! And if you must hop on the machines to “warm up,” please do not hang on there, or lean into the bars.  Have good posture and hold up that gorgeous face.

Resistance training has been shown to have an afterburner effect (my pilot friends know this is a loosely applied term here) – which means that once you’re done, you continue to burn energy (calories) at a higher rate than prior to the workout.  Nerds like me call this Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), and the volume and duration of that excess depend on the intensity of the exercise and on the “volume of exercising skeletal mass” (J Stren Cond Res May 92).   Specifically, in women, both trained and untrained, resistance training increases the metabolic activity of lean tissue.  (J Stren Con Res Mar 2016).  More lean tissue (muscles), more calories burned.  And muscles are kind of high maintenance: they require more energy just to rest than fat, so a body with higher lean mass (less fat mass) requires more energy just to survive.  So, strength training that improves muscle protein density and force production capacity, also increases the fuel burning capacity of the entire system (you), during, following, and over the long term.  



First of all, what’s toning? Sculpting?  Is this really just making the body look leaner?  Getting more muscle definition?  Ok, we just went over this.  Strength training will make muscles denser and stronger, meanwhile burning more calories to strip down any fat tissue covering those guns.  High reps, while nice for endurance, also adds a repetitive stress concern – 3 sets of 20 rather than 4 sets of 6 means extra loaded joint movement which may lead to joint issues.  So again, resistance training, with good form and appropriate load, is better for “toning,” and strength, and wellness.



Again, an idea that I think comes from the bodybuilding world and/or those looking to bring in customers with low gym IQ.  Isolating muscles with single joint movement (think seated knee extension machine for the quads) does indeed target a muscle and indeed that muscle will get stronger.  SO WHAT?!?! If I do hundred knee extensions with a hundred pounds slapped on that machine, what will I get? Bigger quads? Maybe. Sore kneecaps? Probably. Better running speed or vertical jump?  Nope. The thing is, just like raising kids, moving a body takes a village. A whole staff of muscle support shows up for you all the time, even to hold up the device you’re reading this on. So our training should mimic life and require some coordination of our moving parts.  That is, while appropriate for some, sometimes, chest press or bench press will do less for you (given comparable load) than a push-up, since to execute a push-up, the whole anterior chain (front side of the body) has to work together to support you through the movement. A strong muscle does us no good unless it knows how to show up with its buddies and work as a team.  



Ok, this is a myth, that we’ll get to in a second, but I have to say that WOMEN ARE NOT MEN.  Your cycle matters. Right before you start your period, there’s a dip in hormone levels that cause fatigue and inflammation, which can increase injury risk, so be careful.  Don’t skip workouts, just adjust them! Then, as you move out of menses, energy is up and training can reflect that. Mid-cycle (ovulation) estrogen is peaking and progesterone is low, increasing ligamentous laxity, again elevating injury risk.  After that, things settle out a bit for a few days and we can push hard again. Everyone is different, so variations in symptoms with cycle may be harsh for some, mild for others, but all menstruating women have these fluctuations. Exercise can control some of the nasty effects of PMS and at other phases of the cycle, but the same workout every day will not work.  That is, there is a physiologic reason you have a hard time pushing yourself some days or feel unsteady on others. Not only is it not fair to expect you to just buck up and do it, it can be dangerous. Track your cycle and follow Janet Alexander and Kaitlyn Pimentel who are pushing to make this topic part of our smart wellness routine.


You can and should pick up heavy stuff and free weights and you can and should outlift the men at times.  You can teach them a thing or two. Side note, that badass athlete between your ears can benefit from this too.  Do not sell yourself short and stick to light resistance. Life is not light resistance (said the mom with the 85-lb son who gets hurt and needs to be picked up off the field, or maybe runs off the mound after striking out the last batter and jumps to hug her in celebration).  Move well first, then load it up and move strong. Not strong for a girl. Just strong.


Pay attention.  Set some goals, get smart, and crush it.  


See you at the gym (you’ll be the girl moving beautifully and getting strong for life in the free weight room),

Coach Carina

You can find more information from Carina Abrams over on her on Instagram @drivesportslab or on her YouTube Channel Drive Sports Lab!



7 Day Reset

We’ve incorporated inspiration and motivation to help you rock all 7 days. In the next 7 days you will make shifts in your mind and body that will boost your metabolism, improve sleep and increase energy.


This is a self paced reset, so you can start when you are ready but we recommend to continue with the reset each day once you begin to see the maximum results.

All it takes is 7 DAYS. What are you waiting for?

Kaia Tri is a ten-week triathlon training program with workouts three times a week, which is an optional extra during our spring and summer CORE sessions. We swim, bike, and run, with some cross-training classes too. By being able to set a personal pace, our triathlon training program is suited to beginners tackling their first race and intermediate athletes looking to improve their finish time.

Our mock triathlons run several times to familiarize women with the course route. We finish the season with a Triathlon Training Camp which includes paddle boarding and power workouts. The next day is our exhilarating and fun Triathlon race day for all Kaia Tri women to enjoy working out in a beautiful location. Friends are welcome too!


Kaia Sandbag combines traditional fitness with unconventional training methods. With sandbags, the weight shifts and moves in an unpredictable fashion. This piece of equipment is integrated into our conditioning & strength building workouts to simultaneously develop strength, power, endurance, mobility, and balance – with an additional emphasis on developing overall core strength and stability.

New to sandbag training? No problem! Beginners are always welcome.


TRX® Suspension Training® body-weight exercise simultaneously develops strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility, and core stability. Whether you’re younger or older, out of shape or a pro athlete, injured or at the top of your game, TRX Suspension Training meets you where you are and takes you where you want to go. TRX Suspension Training leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal. The easily-scalable nature of TRX Suspension Training makes it a practical solution wherever you are on the fitness continuum.

Need a little extra boost to keep your body guessing? Our TRX/Cardio class is an excellent complement to any Kaia FIT session. TRX workouts, which can be used by anyone at any level, builds true functional strength and improves flexibility, balance and core stability all at once. Mixed with cardio, the classes give every member the perfect balance of challenge and success.

*TRX classes not available in all areas. Please contact us your local studio.


Our trademark Kaia Cross-Training™ classes are a unique mix of cardio, functional movement, and both weighted and non-weighted exercises.

Cross-Training benefits:

Each day brings a new workout. We have an elite group of advanced coaches who infuse each workout with their own flair and focus, meaning you’re never going to repeat a workout, avoid burn-out, and fitness plateaus.

Keeping the body guessing is key to sculpting lean muscle mass. We also have a 3-part modification foundation: Balance (non-impact); Strength (mid-impact) and Kaia (high impact). Each exercise has its own progression so that everyone can feel successful.

As a part of our program, we also offer nutritional guidance to help you make healthy food choices and keep your fitness on track.

What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Our barre-based class is a unique combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates and Kaia. Using the barre as a prop to balance, you’ll complete a series of isometric holds combined with high reps of small range movements to elongate and tone your major muscle groups.

In addition to the barre, classes incorporate pilates balls, yoga blocks, and/or resistance bands for increased endurance, challenge and focus. Following each set of holds, you’ll rest and recovery with a short series of stretches and poses to increase flexibility prior to advancing.
Kaia Barre is a low-impact class that perfectly complements our program offerings. Meet us at the barre and try your first class for free!

Participating locations may vary. See the schedule page for more details.


Our dance fitness class is rooted in traditional dance. We use those foundational moves and offer a class that is easy enough for beginners yet challenging enough for the more seasoned dancer. The simplicity of the routines allows you to keep moving with ease. Although this is a workout, it feels more like a dance party with your girlfriends.


Improve your speed, skill, endurance, stamina, and strength with our Kaia running program. The program works on developing running skills that can increase speed, endurance, and overall fitness. The program is designed for you to run at your pace and and help you see improvements every step of the way.

The Kaia training is a simple, progressive program designed for women of all ages and all fitness levels. Whether you are a walker, jogger, or runner, you will be able to join this program and move at your own pace. Research has shown that even 20 to 30 minutes of running (two to three times per week) is enough to help you lose or maintain weight and improve many other important health markers, i.e. your cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin response.

Don’t be intimidated by the Kaia Run program name, each class will have walkers, joggers and runners. Keep in mind that the first mile is the hardest mile you will ever run. Once you get off the starting block, things only get easier. All you have to do is be patient and disciplined in your training, and that is where Kaia


Kaia Yoga combines mind and body with a power yoga and core-strengthening weekly workout with Pilates-style techniques. We focus on balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness through stretching, strength training and dynamic movement to improve overall fitness levels.

By creating long, lean muscles, Yoga promotes improved coordination, greater flexibility and a fuller range of motion, with a strong body that’s less prone to injury. Yoga keeps the mind centered and reduces stress through positive thoughts and a sense of mindfulness, which also inspires mental strength and confidence.

Yin Yoga, or restorative yoga, is a quiet contemplative practice. It targets the deepest tissues of the body, our connective tissues – ligaments, joints, bones, and the deep fascia networks of the body. Poses are held for 1 minute or more and transitions between poses are gentle and slow. This class is an excellent compliment to our other classes, provides dedicated stretching, and is known to reduce stress and anxiety.


Our BRIK Bootcamp sessions are offered three times a year and are designed to help you reach your health and fitness potential, and you’re welcome to start anytime!

Our BRIK Bootcamps are six weeks long and feature classes daily.* This programming fits in seamlessly with our regularly scheduled classes, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Register for BRIK Bootcamp HERE (included for Platinum & Gold Memberships)
  2. Book your classes through our branded app and Show Up
  3. Let our expert coaches do the rest!

These sessions offer great results in weight and body fat loss and an increase in strength and cardiovascular endurance. Our nutritional support will boost energy, help you de-bloat, increase sleep quality, and enhance your overall glow.

BRIK Bootcamp includes:

In between BRIK Bootcamp, we offer a variety of classes to meet you at your level! We also have nutrition and fitness challenges, in addition to fun opportunities to spice up your routine. What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Cardio based, calorie torching workout with certified spin instructors. It’s a party on a bike!

Try a Week Free