Women, Weights and the “Bulky Myth” by Laura
Most women have this idea that lifting any weights is going to make you big and bulky. Well let’s set the record straight once and for all. Lifting weights is your biggest training weapon and benefits women far beyond fat loss. Women need to realise that compared to men our testosterone levels are far lower i.e. We don’t naturally produce enough hormones it takes to grow massive muscles. The women you see that are bulked up beyond normal ranges and typically bodybuilders and have seriously strict nutrition protocols and often use steroids.
In Crossfit we blend in weight training, cardio and gymnastics. Each day the programme varies so the focus is shifted to different muscle groups to get that “constantly varied” aspect. In the context of weightlifting, it will give you that toned look you are striving for. You can’t burn off fat to see muscle tone that doesn’t exist. Most women think that crash diets with low calorie intake with a mix of lots of cardio will make you fit and healthy. This couldn’t be more far from the truth. What will happen here is the loss of precious muscle tissue and you may be temporarily left with a smaller “skinny fat” unhealthy version of yourself.
What you really want to see is a tight, toned, lean body and weightlifting is the way to go. Here are 8 other great reasons:
1. You will reduce your risk of diabetes, the more muscle you have, the more insulin receptor sites you have, and the more sensitivity they will be. Increased muscle tissue helps to prevent diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
2. You will fight heart disease. Strength training will improve your cholesterol, body fat and blood pressure.
3. You will be able to fight back pain and arthritis, A 12 year study showed that strengthening the lower back muscles had 80 percent success rate eliminating low back pain. Also weight training can ease arthritis and strengthen joints.
4. You will be a stronger woman physically. Studies have shown that lifting weights can increase your strength from 30-50 percent. Extra strength will make life easier to accomplish daily tasks.
5. It will help you mentally. Being physically stronger is clinically proven to reduce symptoms of stress, depression and will improve your self-confidence in body and mind.
6. The more lean tissue you have the longer you may live. It is far better predictor of longevity than total cholesterol or blood pressure.
7. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories a day! Compare this to a pound of fat that just burns 2 calories.
8. You will drastically decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Increasing bone density through good strength and weight training is key prevention of this problem and will significantly improve women who already have the condition.
So as you can see the benefits of lifting weights are essential to a happy, healthy, lean, toned you! So don’t fear weights ladies and always remember proper technique is key to avoid any unwanted injuries.