Should women lift weights? Are you interested in strength training for women? You’ll be surprised how much misinformation there is on this subject.
If you read just about any women’s fitness magazine you will see workout plans for women that promise crazy results in just minutes a day with crazy exercise routines or ridiculous fitness gadgets. Most of these focus on doing cardio or using very light weights and none of them work! Lifting weights for women is rarely ever discussed because it is a “guy” activity.
The truth is that weight training exercises for women bring the same benefits as they do for men. Namely a stronger, healthier body that is more efficient at fat burning. The fear of getting big muscles and looking like Arnold is totally unfounded and prevents many women from ever getting started.
Is it safe for a woman to participate in strength training?
Some misconceptions associated with weight training are that women would produce bulging muscles and/or they would seriously injure themselves lifting weights. It is very difficult for a woman to produce large muscles due to the fact that women generally have high levels of the hormone estrogen. The fact is improvements are made in muscle tone, strength and endurance and not necessarily in size. As muscles become toned, the body begins to lose fat tissue and becomes more firm. When it comes to strength training, anything that is considered a healthy practice for men is also healthy for women. http://www.womensheart.org/content/exercise/strength_training.asp
Busting The Myths About Strength Training For Women
Lifting Heavy Weights Will Give You Big Muscles – Lifting heavy weights will not give you big muscles, but it will make you strong. As a woman you want to be strong. You need to carry kids, groceries or a briefcase around and you are lifting and bending throughout the day.
When you lift heavy weights and eat healthy food you will find your muscles getting stronger and denser but not necessarily bigger. You will start the fat burning process and burn off some of the fat covering your muscles and this will give you that lean toned look you want.
If you are afraid you will look like Arnold, don’t be. Very few men have the genetics to look like him even with their higher testosterone levels. If you feel like your muscles are getting too big all you have to do is start using lighter weights. You are in total control and your body will respond to your training.
Women Need Lots Of Cardio And Light Weights – Cardio will do little to help you lose weight and look good because it targets your slow twitch muscles. You need to target fast twitch muscle fibers because they burn more energy. These are the muscle fibers most targeted by weight training. Using light weights and doing a lot of repetitions will do little to change your body.
Treadmills will actually make you age faster. If you train properly you can get the benefit of cardio along with that of weight training at the same time. Read my Old School New Body Review to find out more about an easy to follow dumbbell training workout for women or men that is geared towards those over 40. Under 40? The F4X Training System still works great no matter what your age.
Men And Women Need To Train Differently – I hope by now you have read enough to realize this is totally untrue. Despite our different hormone profiles we have basically the same muscle and skeletal structure. So why would a woman lifting weights do it any differently than a guy?
Just Eat Less – This is really bad advice and although you will lose weight by eating less you will lose muscle which is the last thing you want to do. Muscle burns calories even when you are at rest. More muscle means you can eat more without getting fat.
Many of the fad diets women go on just result in a smaller “you”, but your body is still out of shape and with less muscle now than before. Restricted calories tell your body to go into starvation mode which causes you to gain all your weight back and more when you go off that diet.
But strength training for women along with a healthy balanced diet, and not with a starvation diet, is the real key to a healthy body. Building muscle requires protein and most Americans don’t get near enough. Instead they load up on high glycemic refined carbs which cause your body to release insulin, which is a storage hormone. Weight training along with a healthy diet can get you sleek and lean and keep you staying that way.
Spot Weight Loss – Probably the biggest myth perpetrated by the diet and fitness industry is that you can spot reduce fat. It is physically impossible to do this. Everyone stores fat differently too. The best thing you can do to lose fat is use weight training with compound exercises that work large groups of muscle simultaneously.
Gym machines simply wont get the job done. The best workout comes from using dumbbells because they involve more of your body in any exercise. You will lower your body fat levels over your entire body this way.
Strength Training For Women Over 50
Maybe you think you are too old to start weight training. You are never too old and particularly if you have been inactive, the older you are , the more muscle you have lost. The sooner you start replacing lost muscle, the better you will look and feel.
Physical activity may help tame some of the symptoms of menopause — hot flashes, joint pain, and sleep problems. Exercise also lowers your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Plus, it helps control weight and melts belly fat. The effects of exercise are so potent that it influences every physiological system in the body for the better. http://www.webmd.com/women/guide/women-over-50-fitness-tips
Want Weight Training Exercises For Women? Here’s All You Need!
Old School New Body was created for those over 40 but is a great workout program for women or men of any age. It is easy to follow and you only need a set of dumbbells to do it. It doesn’t take a lot of time either. You will weight train 3 times per week but your sessions will only last 20 to 30 minutes. You have to eat clean and avoid junk during the week but on the weekends you are allowed to eat whatever you want. You wont be starving yourself or go hungry either.
The heart of this program is the F4X training and it is exactly the same for men and women. The only difference will be the amount of weight. If you do want larger muscles all you will need to do is lift progressively heavier weights.
By combining the right diet and the right exercises you can turn your body into a mean lean fat burning machine. You won’t be spending hours on a treadmill to do it either. For most people the exercises you do will provide all the cardio you need. If you want to speed things up a few minutes on an upright exercise bike right after your workout will do the trick.