Weight Lifting For Women – Yes You Can!
Strength Training, AKA weight lifting or body building, is the key training element missing in most women’s health and fitness regimes. Strength training comes in at a close second place in an individual’s complete fitness program right after nutrition. After an individual has a solid grasp on a sound nutritional program then strength training should be introduced next.
When you think of lifting weights are you immediately turned off? Many women have preconceived notions of weight lifting. They think of a dark, dank cinder blocked room in the back of the gym with no A/C, sweaty guys walking around with huge delts and small heads kissing their biceps after each set. Other women are afraid that the “muscle heads” will be checking them out the whole time making it a very uncomfortable situation. I have spent ample time in the weight room. Neither of the before mentioned scenarios are true.
In fact, most of the guys there are more interested in their own reflections than you. Many of them will even hold some admiration for you because you are making the step from cardio queen to a higher more evolved fitness connoisseur. You see these guys know and respect the secret benefits of strength training that many women avoid.
All jokes aside, lifting weights has far too many physical and mental advantages than to be pushed to the wayside. Cardio definitely has an important place in any fitness program. Heart health and fat loss are two major advantages of participating in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis. But please, do not put cardio in the place of an efficient weight training regimen. Weight training is the key element to reshaping your body. You can in essence, create the body of your dreams through lifting weights or body building.
One of the foremost advantages of lifting weights is the positive effect it has on one’s self-concept. Self-concept is a term used to describe what a person perceives and/or feels about themselves. Now, when you begin a fitness program or try to take steps to be healthier you; you must believe that you are worth the time that this process takes. Lifting weights will make you feel stronger. Feeling stronger will lend itself to more feelings of empowerment. When a person feels empowered, they will continue to do the activity that produces these feelings: improving how they feel about themselves; creating a higher sense of self-worth. When a person feels that what they do matters and they think well of themselves; they can create happy outcomes in their lives. So, and improved self-concept not only helps that individual but, everyone that individual is in contact with.
Now, you will not only feel stronger but, you will be stronger. Weight lifting breaks down the muscle fibers and during the recovery phase is when the muscle builds and repairs, increasing the size and strength of your muscle fibers. More muscle fiber means more shapely body. Muscles are the engines of our bodies. More muscles fibers also means your body burns more calories per day or activity than before as refereed to as and increased resting metabolic rate. So, strength training turns you body into a fat zapping super hero.
Not only will you be stronger; you will improve your overall physical appearance. More muscle and less fat on your frame will give you more energy and longevity to get through your day efficiently. Non training adults will experience a 5 percent reduction in their metabolic rate every decade of their life. ( ACE personal training Manual 2002) This natural decrease in a person’s metabolism is why their body fat percentage increases. Weight training can help delay their increase in body fat by preserving and/or increasing that person’s muscle mass keeping their metabolic rate high.
Other benefits of weight training are increased bone density, increased ability of the body to metabolize glucose, decreasing the amount of time food is digested, decreases resting blood pressure, improves blood lipid levels, and eases arthritis pain. Hence, you are never too old to start a sensible weight training program. As with any program you start, start slowly. Research the topic thoroughly. Find out who you need to go to and what you need to do to maximize your time in the gym. Make sure your goals are realistic and fit into your schedule. Start small. But, once you start I suspect you will fall in love with this sport as I have.
Keep smiling and lifting,