“Oh no, strength training is not for me; I only exercise for my health!”
I was talking to a lady recently about one of my favorite topics, which is; the incredible benefits of strength training for women’s health. To my conversation, she abruptly responded: “Oh no, strength training is not for me; I only exercise for my health. I do Yoga and hiking!” Believe it or not, these types of comments are widespread. A stigma exists around this sport. Many people frequently still envision overdeveloped, bulky individuals. Ladies! Strength training isn’t just for Arnold Schwarzenegger anymore!
Did you know that weight lifting has become the #1 scientifically proven anti-aging sport?
Those who are training with weights are reaping many benefits and will tell you that it makes them more energized, happier, along with reducing stress. When you are stronger, indeed everything in life becomes more comfortable. Imagine being able to enjoy all the beauty life has to offer with ease!
Here are three of the most common misconceptions about weight lifting for women:
If I lift weights, I will get bulky?
Medically speaking this is not a concern, since women do not have enough of the male hormone testosterone to create the kind of muscular bulk associated with weight lifters.
Aerobics and cardio are a must to lose weight.
Not so, ladies! Weight lifting builds a leaner more muscular body, which in turn increases your calorie-burning abilities at rest to lose weight more efficiently.
Yoga will give me a long, lean body.
Contrary to popular belief, Yoga is not a muscle-building activity; this is a myth. The body is composed of two distinctive types of muscle fibers that have specific and individual purposes:
- Fast-twitch muscle fibers develop lean muscle mass by using concentric contractions
- Slow-twitch muscles fibers promote endurance and use isometric contractions
Yoga mainly uses slow-twitch muscle fibers and isometric contractions that promote endurance, not muscle building. Working both muscle fiber types is essential to build and sculpt a healthy, lean body.
Incorporating strength training in your exercise plan two to three times per week will enable you to slow down the aging process and optimize your health. Or else you will lose too much muscle mass. An example of this would be loose tangling skin under the arms, aka batwings.
Muscles have a direct impact on internal organs and overall health.
- Muscle loss syndrome starts as early as age thirty at an average rate of 10% muscle mass loss per decade depending on your lifestyle. Muscle loss syndrome can lead to many health conditions:
- Muscles hold the spine and the body together, allowing you to perform daily tasks with ease.
- Women who have fewer red blood cells than men will produce more red blood cells by developing lean muscle mass through weight lifting.
- Leads to bone loss aka osteoporosis
- Causes the metabolism to slow down thus promoting weight gain
- Causes the posture to shift creating back and neck problems potentially leading to injuries
- Creates hormonal imbalances
- Accelerates the aging process
- Diminishes the quality of your life
Some of the natural health benefits of strength training include:
- Boost metabolism
- Regulate hormonal imbalances
- Builds bone density mass preventing or potentially reversing osteoporosis
- Improves glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity
- Reduces the risk of diabetes
- Fights heart disease, cholesterol, and blood pressure
- Relieves arthritis and back pain
- Reduces visceral fat around internal organs, which produces inflammation
- Optimizes the proper functioning of internal organs
- Reduces the appearance of cellulite
- Stabilizes mood behavior and fights depression
Developing a balanced physique
Women who have been actively doing aerobic exercises for a long time often have great legs, while the upper body remains essentially unchanged. The net result is that their physique lacks uniformity: the lower body is that of an athlete while the upper body is that of an ordinary person.
Working out on your own or with a personal trainer can also result in an unbalanced physique if the workout is only targeting specific areas. Training muscle-to-muscle does not take into account the overall design. Only the large muscle groups are developed, leaving the interconnecting muscles untouched, potentially causing muscular imbalances and spinal misalignments.
Strength training two or three times a week is especially recommended for women and men over forty, to optimize health and looks. Doing so under the supervision of a qualified mentor may enable you to acquire a beautifully sculpted physique while developing charismatic posture.
Even more importantly, though, it will allow you to mature through the ages more gracefully, stronger, and potentially become pain-free.
Written by Batista Gremaud
Co-founder @ DrFitnessUSA.com
Batista Gremaud is an International Body Designer, No1 Best Selling author, co-creator of the Feminine Body Design online strength training coaching system, co-host of the Esoteric Principles of Bodybuilding and producer of the Dr. Fitness USA’s show.