Strength training hasn’t always been the most popular aspect of fitness training amongst females.
Despite the fact that this attitude is slowly changing, many women still tend to believe the old myth that heavy lifting is going to make them gain weight and look “bulky”. For that reason, they usually avoid the heavy weights part of the gym or do countless repetitions of lighter weights instead of maximising their workout and enjoying the great range of benefits that strength training has to offer.
Ok, so why should women lift weights?
Benefits of resistance training for women:
1. It improves endurance and helps avoid injury.
Weight lifting strengthens not only your muscles but also bones and connective tissues, significantly reducing a risk of injury. If you make resistance training a part of your fitness routine, you will very quickly notice that all of your day-today activities (whatever they may be) seem to become much easier. Your muscles are going to get stronger, keeping body fat at bay and making you much less likely to get an injury.
2. It helps enhance your physique.
It is not true that heavy lifting will make you gain an awful lot of muscle mass and therefore look like one of those ‘hulky girls’ on the cover of some women bodybuilding magazines . It won’t. In fact, all it will do is define your muscles and make you look healthier and leaner, adding all those curves and definition to your arms, legs and abs. It is physiologically much harder for women to build as much muscle mass as quickly as it is for their male counterparts as they haven’t got as high muscle building testosterone hormone levels, which facilitates that. In fact, you will be surprised how quickly it takes you drop a dress size! To read more about how resistance training can help with weight loss, follow the link to Obesity. The research journal.
3. Delays ageing
As we age, we tend to lose about 7% muscle mass every ten years after we turn 20. We all know that strong and big muscles burn more fat so it is no wonder that we usually gain weight as we get older in addition to being more prone to injury and frailty. Well, the good news is that lifting heavy weights can greatly delay that process by making your muscles and bones much stronger, contributing to maintenance of good quality of life for longer.
4. Burns more calories.
As if burning loads of calories during your heavy lifting session was not great enough, resistance training makes you keep burning fat even after you left the gym. This is called the “after burn” effect. During exercise your metabolism rate goes up and your body needs to get more oxygen. It is also called excess post exercise oxygen consumption ( EPOC ) which, in simple terms, means you burn calories up to 24 hours after you stopped exercising. Now, that has to be good, right?
5. Improves cognitive function.
Yes! Heavy lifting will not only make you stronger but also smarter! There was a study carried out, where people who were showing early signs of dementia were asked to perform strength training exercises and the completed research showed a link between increased strength and brain function. To read more about this study, via The Independent, click here.
6. Improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Your heart is going to thank you! Regular lifting weights, even for less than an hour per week can, according to ScienceDaily, reduce your risk of a heart attack or a stroke by 40 to 70 %. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym as even a short regular resistance workout can make such a difference to the quality and length of your life. Strong muscles move bones and joints, burn fat and help you enjoy your life for longer.
So, if you are still not quite sure if heavy lifting is for you or where to start, contact us at Bodyline Fitness for a consultation and a personalised training plan that would best suit your individual needs and goals!