There is a quote that’s often tossed around in the fitness industry – “Lifting weights doesn’t make women huge. Eating cupcakes makes women huge.”
While amusing, this quote is true. It’s often thought that strength training (aka weight training) is a man’s domain and that women will get muscle-bound and manly if they did weight training. That’s why you often see most women hitting the cardio machines in the gym while the men grunt away at the free weights corner. Or it may even be misconstrued that for weight loss, cardio is best.
The truth of the matter is that strength is not only for men. Weight training has many benefits for women too. It won’t make you big or manly. The woman’s physique and lack of testosterone prevents her from packing on massive muscle mass. It just doesn’t happen without performance enhancing drugs.
Now that we’ve cleared up this misconception, let’s see why, as a female, you absolutely must start weight training as soon as you can. The benefits are just too good not to.
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Benefits Of Strength Training For Women
Prevents muscle atrophy
Strength training prevents muscle atrophy. Both women and men lose lean muscle once they reach their thirties. Every year muscle mass decreases. Weight training will prevent this from occurring and may even reverse the process. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
Slows the aging process
Weight training retards the aging process. As mentioned earlier, you’ll lose less muscle, be stronger and healthier. A healthy body is more capable of handling the ravages of time. Women who engage in weight training often tend to look younger than their years.
Reduces subcutaneous fat
Strength training increases blood flow to the muscles that are being worked. If you have thighs that are fatty or a belly that’s flabby, just place your palm on these areas. You’ll notice that they’re generally colder than other parts of your body that are leaner.
The reason for this is blood circulation. Areas that have excess fat have lower blood circulation. Weight training will recruit the different muscle groups and your body will be forced to draw blood into these areas. Your blood circulation will improve and this indirectly leads to a loss of subcutaneous fat.
What is subcutaneous fat? It’s the fat that’s just under your skin. Women usually have more subcutaneous fat on their buttocks, thighs and hips. Another reason why you should get rid of this fat is because it causes the appearance of cellulite.
Don’t be fooled by “magic lotions”. No lotion or brushing can get rid of cellulite. Only a clean diet and weight training can help burn off the excess fat and diminish the appearance of cellulite. (Read up on my experience with cellulite here.)
Reduces visceral fat
Visceral fat is a very dangerous type of fat that covers your internal organs. There are a lot of toxins in visceral fat and it’s an easy type of fat to gain. Dieting will not remove visceral fat. You MUST engage in weight training and cardio activity. Over time, with strength training and cardio, your body will burn off the visceral fat.
It boosts your metabolism so that you burn more calories while at rest. You’ll be less likely to gain weight easily.
As women age, they’re more prone to osteoporosis. Strength training will prevent this because it stresses the bones and this will force the body to deposit more bone which in turn fights osteoporosis. Isn’t weight training amazing?
Importance of Weight Training
By now you should know just how fantastic this form of training is. Besides the points mentioned above, working with weights will also prevent diabetes, lower your cholesterol, boost your heart health, improve your posture and balance and prevent back pain.
While all of this is well and good, the one benefit of strength training that most women will love is that it will transform your body into a picture of health. (See my transformation post here.) Your body will become more feminine because of the tone and any curves will look better. You’ll look great and when you’re at the beach, you’ll really rock that bikini. Also, you’ll not only look great, but you’ll feel great too!
Strength training is the answer you’ve been looking for.