Women and the benefits of weight lifting...
Busting Myths - Women and the benefits of weight lifting
Going down the gym and lifting weights has many preconceptions that just aren’t true. I’m writing this as a personal trainer to try and shed a little light on the myths and hopefully encourage more females to lift weights by making you aware of some of the huge advantages. It’s definitely not just a man’s thing.
Firstly, probably the most popular misunderstanding is that females don’t want to lift weights because they’re afraid the results will lead to “bulking up” or “looking like a bodybuilder”. I can tell you for a fact that this simply is not true and not something women should worry about. Most women produce 5-10% testosterone compared to the level of men, so lifting weights will simply not have the same effect. If, however a bodybuilder’s physique is your target, then this is achievable through intense training and a strict diet regime. A famous quote I once read is very relevant to this article; “not lifting weight because you’re afraid you might look like a bodybuilder is like saying I don’t want to learn to drive because I’m afraid I’ll become an F1 driver”.
With that myth out of the way I’d like to let you know some of the facts and why I believe more women should lift.
When you stand on your scales every week to see how much you have lost, that reading needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Cardio is a good way to stay healthy, it’s good for your heart, lungs and general fitness. If however cardio is all you are doing, be it running, cycling etc. then yes you are burning fat but you are also burning muscle. Lifting weights will torch fat, build muscular strength and provide a great cardio work out, so long as you are using the right training methods. As a female your body does not have high levels of testosterone so you will achieve a “toned” look. You will be stronger and feel healthier. Having a strong core, arms and legs will improve your overall fitness levels. This means that women can LOSE A DRESS SIZE and much more but also can become slightly heavier on the bathroom scales due to muscle density.
Here's another interesting fact. The more muscle you have, the more energy your body expends. In other words, if you weight train and you develop more muscular strength then your body will burn more calories at rest. Even sitting at your computer reading this your body is burning energy, this is your metabolic rate and weight training can increase it.
Along with strong muscles, come strong bones. Weight training makes your bones stronger and denser. It can dramatically reduce the risk of Osteoporosis (brittle bones). A lot of joint pain can be helped or fixed with lifting, particularly knee problems which is usually because of weak or underdeveloped muscles in the legs.
In general exercise has a massive influence on our health and wellbeing. A recent study has shown that just 45 minutes of moderate exercise can reduce blood pressure by 20% which is more than prescription pills. These are just a few of the advantages of lifting for women and men alike.
So, if you have taken the time to read this and learned something new then please contact me. We can have a chat and discuss how you can benefit from personal training. Or maybe you’re really into fitness and know all of this but have reached a block, or lack motivation and need help to progress. Whatever your situation I would love to hear from you.
Sam Hilton, personal trainer at Grip N Ripped. www.gripnripped.co.uk