There are still lots of myths out there about women and weight lifting or strength training. For example, women shouldn’t lift weights because they will get bulky and look “manly”, or that cardio is the best way to burn calories and fat. These are simply not true. Here is the truth: women who want to be healthy in a variety of ways should incorporate weight lifting into their fitness program today.
I Don’t Want to Get Bulky
Women shouldn’t worry about “bulking” up. This will not happen unless you eat, train and take supplements to look like that. Do not be afraid to lift heavy weights. To start out, choose weights heavy enough so you can do three set of 10 to 12 reps, and by your last rep, you can barely eke it out without sacrificing proper form. Just two weight lifting sessions a week can reduce overall body fat by three percentage points in just 10 weeks, even if you don’t reduce your caloric intake.
But I Worship at the Cardio Altar
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with running, walking, doing the elliptical or any other kind of aerobic exercise, especially if you enjoy it. But many women spend hours at the gym doing loads of cardio in an effort to lose weight and much to their surprise, the number on the scale doesn’t budge or their clothes do not get any looser. To get that layer of fat to go away and reveal those beautiful muscles, you need to start strength training. Lifting weights burns the fat that sits on top of your muscles. According to a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who completed an hour long strength training session burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterwards than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights.
No More Brittle Bones
Another great benefit of lifting weights is that it can protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures. Studies have shown that postmenopausal women who lifted weights “preserved bone density while improving muscle mass, strength and balance.”
Now that you know the facts about strength training, get out there and start lifting today! Just be careful when beginning a new fitness program. If you do injure yourself while working out, come by Neighbors Emergency Center. We provide 24 hour emergency care in Houston and Austin, so you can get back to the gym as soon as possible.