Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women and Weights

When women exclaim that weight training will make them bulky and manly, I facepalm so hard. It's not only an infuriating thing to hear but it's also in some ways, insulting. People spend hours in the gym a week, busting their ass for months and years on end to achieve muscles and people have the audacity to say that they're afraid they'll achieve that almost by accident by merely touching some weightsUnfortunately, this is one of the biggest myths in fitness and it's clingier than your overprotective mother. 

There is such a huge hesitation on women's part to try out weights so I hope I can clear up some of the myths surrounding them and maybe persuade some of you to try them out!

Firstly, women are getting heavier and heavier, but also simultaneously weaker. Women strive to be skinny, not strong. So to get the thin body they desire, women usually opt to spend hours on cardio machines burning calories to get rid of fat. Too much attention is placed on dieting and cardio, and not enough on weight training. Don't get me wrong, cardio is great for us obviously but it is usually the sole thing women do in the gym and therein lies the problem. Regardless of whether or not a woman manages to lose a lot of fat by just using cardio machines, which is a miracle within itself, the worrying result of the exclusive use of cardio machines is weak women with no muscle strength. 

Secondly, what most women don't seem to understand is that to get the body they desire strength training will get them there. The representation of women in the media is a whole other kettle of fish but the fact is strong, toned women are rarely shown on the front of magazines, instead there are weedy, thin women who barely have the muscle strength to lift a cigarette plastered everywhere. Women don't seem to understand how unrealistic it is to achieve this level of skinniness, let alone maintain it. So the primary objective for many women is to eat less and burn fat, resulting in little to no muscles. It's this lack of muscle that is detrimental to a women's health. Women simply aren't aware of the relationship between strength training and fat loss. From my observations there seems to be three categories that women fall into regarding weight training: 

  1. They don't know anything about weights and the benefits they can gain from their use. 
  2. They know a little about weights but have no idea how to use them properly.
  3. They know about weights but are too afraid to use them in case they get bulky and look maculine (ugh...)

The images women conjure up in their heads when they think of weights is that of women bodybuilders. Achieving such a high level of muscularity requires a huge commitment; hours in a gym everyday, huge supplement intake and sometimes the use of synthetic testosterone. The fact of the matter is that it is nearly impossible for an average women to get bulky from using weights. We simply lack the sufficient amount of testosterone that is needed to create the large and bulky muscles that men can grow. Testosterone is one of the main factors in the development of muscles and women only have a low level of this hormone, meaning our muscles develop differently and recreational weight training will not lead to us looking like She-Hulk. 

The Benefits of Weight Training

Weight training will tone the whole body resulting in a lean, strong body that burns fat, increases metabolism, helps posture, flexibility and balance, all while maintaining and improving bone and strength development. When you stop cardio, you stop burning calories. When you weight train you are increasing the amount of lean muscle on your body. Lean muscle not only makes you look toned, it also maximizes the amount of calories your body burns and increases your metabolism which results in fat loss because lean muscle is an active tissue that requires your body to continue burning calories long after you've hit the weights. Not only will you look better but you will feel better, weight training reduces your risk of injury and decreases your chances of getting osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes by increasing joint flexibility and stability. In order to achieve a complete and comprehensive workout weight training is a must, the benefits really are exponential! For me, the biggest benefit I gain from weight training is confidence and an overall feeling of health and well-being. I understand that undertaking a weight training routine may seem like a daunting challenge to undertake if you've never done it before so what I recommend is doing your research, figuring out what type of training you enjoy and most importantly making sure you use the weights properly. Weight lifting will transform your body, your health and your life. 
What you think you'll look like if you weight train
What you'll actually look like if you weight train


1 comment:

  1. Very interesting information you have shared,.
    Keep sharing more on weight lifting.
    weight Lifting For Women