GYM & TONEIC

Ladies lift: benefits of resistance training

Break the stereotype

Women that lift are… manly, masculine, bulky, strong! 

Following on from my previous post ‘5 tips to overcome gym fear‘, I wanted to bust the BS and dispel fears around resistance training (lifting weights, heavy weights!). Lots of women (and many men) give weights the wide berth in the gym, fearing that lifting will make them ‘bulky’. I’ve been working as an instructor for 5 minutes and I’ve heard this a hundred times… with images of the incredible hulk in their head, it’s all the stereotyping that puts people off.

What lifting weights will do is help you to live in a healthier, stronger body. There are so many benefits of strength training, and it most definitely should be included as part of your fitness regime! Here’s a few reasons why…

It’s more effective for fat loss. Weight training increases your metabolism, it’s more effective than cardiovascular exercise for burning calories both during and after exercise. Also as you increase strength and lean muscle mass your body uses calories more efficiently; the more muscle contractions you have in a day, the more calories you burn.

Creates killer curves. As you build muscle your body composition (shape) changes. Muscle takes up less room in the body than fat, strength training helps create killer curves and definition.

It’s so important for bone health. As the skeleton ages it loses calcium and bone mass, which increases the risk of osteoporosis (increasing risk of fractures). This happens earlier for women. Weight training increases bone density and reduces risk of osteoporosis.

The term ‘bulky’ should also be considered, what does bulky actually mean?

It means different things to different people… it’s subjective. One mans bulky is another mans buff! When it comes to our bodies, desired muscularity is personal preference. I appreciate muscle definition; I want to put on a good gun show, improve strength and increase muscle size. What I consider desirable may be considered ‘too big’ to someone else.

Everyone has different goals and aspirations. When it comes to resistance training it should be specific to the individual; whether it be for endurance, hypertrophy (increasing muscle size) or strength.

There’s literally hundreds of people and publications that have written about the benefits of resistance training and busting the many myths surrounding it. Do a Google search to read and find out more, and speak to a fitness professional about your fitness goals and incorporating weight training into your workouts.

Act like a lady. Lift like a boss.

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