It’s about time I started spreading the word that just about any woman of any age can benefit from training with weights.
It’s about time we started seeing more women in the weights room! It’s about time I started spreading the word that just about any woman of any age can benefit from training with weights, and you won’t end up looking like a female bodybuilder!!!
Here’s what I’m going to do. First, I’ll debunk some of the myths about womens weight training, then I’ll list all the reasons why women SHOULD train with weights on a regular basis. So here we go…
The popular myth about weight training for women:
Let’s get the big thing out of the way first, weight training will not “bulk you up” or make you look like a woman bodybuilder! Women just don’t have the natural testosterone production to build muscle like men, it’s as simple as that. Female bodybuilders NEED to take a wide variety of testosterone products to increase their testosterone production. This is what leaves them looking (and often sounding) like men! Not only that,but I’d hedge bets that almost every single woman competing at a professional level (excluding natural bodybuilders) are taking a variety of pharmaceuticals including injectable testosterone, steroids and human growth hormone.
Not only that, the way bodybuilders train is very different to way I’d recommend most women to train. Bodybuilders concentrate on lower reps and higher weight, whereas for the toned look many women are after requires high reps and lower weights.
If you train in the 12-20 rep range with moderate weights, there’s absolutely no way you’ll get big. None.
Why all women should pick up the weights:
Increasing muscle mass means increasing your metabolism. Increasing your metabolism means you will burn more calories, all the time – no matter what you’re doing. Muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat, thus your body has to expend more calories if you have more muscle. Studies have shown that even a small increase of the amount of muscle mass in women can have a large impact on metabolic rates.
Weight training can help tone those parts of a woman’s body that tend to sag with age. The main parts I am talking about here is upper arms, thighs, butts and stomachs. A survey of over 500 women over at Real Womens Fitness showed that most women want to work on these key areas. There are literally hundreds of exercises you can do to work on these areas.
Weight training can be used in conjunction with cardio to burn fat more effectively. I recommend this method for both men and women. Weight training depletes glycogen levels in muscle tissue. Glycogen is a fast converting energy which is the body’s primary fuel source. Once glycogen levels have been depleted, the body is forced to look for the next fastest converting energy to power the body, this is fat. Studies have indicated that doing 30 mins of weight training followed by 30 mins of cardio burns up to 50% more fat than 45 mins of straight cardio.
Get that toned look. Regular weight training in conjunction with low body fat percentages will give you that toned look you’re after. Contrary to popular belief, women do not have to spend hours in the gym to get toned. Even 3 x 20 minute weight training sessions combined with some cardio training training should be enough to show a visual difference. How far you want to take it is up to you.
Joint health. Working in the 12-20 rep range (recommended women’s training) with moderate weights is a great way to improve joint strength and joint health. This will lessen the chance of injury, and may help prevent joint and tendon related illness later in life.
Increase your athletic performance. Over and over research concludes that strength training improves athletic ability in all athletes . Golfers can significantly increase their driving power. Cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue. Skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.
Fight depression and feel good. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression.
By the time you leave high school, you have established all the bone mineral density you’ll ever have-unless you strength train. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. So strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis.
You’re feel stronger. Not just when you’re training, but all the time. Ask any woman that regularly uses weights and she’ll tell you!
There you have it girls, no more excuses! If you have any questions about women’s weight training post in the comments below. Also, if you have any other reasons/benefits for women to weight train post them too!