Many women are still apprehensive about lifting heavy for fear of becoming ‘too bulky’.
In this article, I’ll highlight some of the many benefits women can expect from strength training and reassure you that you won’t wake up looking like Popeye!
You’ll gain strength without bulk
As a woman, it’s almost impossible to bulk up like a bodybuilder without a strict diet, supplements and a gruelling workout regime. Testosterone is the hormone primarily responsible for muscle gain (hypertrophy) and men naturally have up to thirty times more testosterone than women.
You will, however, develop better muscle tone and definition.
You’ll burn more calories
Strength training builds muscle density. Because muscle is more metabolically active than fat, your body burns more calories throughout the day to maintain it. Simply put, the stronger you are the more calories you’ll burn at rest, in addition to the calories you’ll burn in the workout itself. Double whammy!
You’ll prevent osteoporosis
The National Osteoporosis Society says ‘one in two women over fifty will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis’. That’s a staggering fact. Their advice is to exercise five times a week for at least thirty minutes and to include two days of strength training to prevent this condition. For more information go to http://www.nos.org.uk
You’re less likely to be injured
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, people with better posture, balance, and greater muscle power are less likely to fall and injure themselves. Furthermore, strength training builds stronger muscles and bones, better connective tissues and increases joint stability resulting in less back pain and arthritis.
Your mood will be improved
Studies have shown that exercise, including high-intensity strength training, can raise levels of feel-good hormones called endorphins. Raised levels of endorphins can help combat depression and increase a person’s confidence.
You’ll be stronger in life
Getting stronger will benefit your life outside the gym. Everyday activities such as shopping and gardening or messing around with your kids or grandkids will feel easier, and more challenging tasks such as changing a wheel will feel more manageable.
You’ll improve your athletic ability
Over and over, research concludes that strength training improves overall athleticism. For example, golfers can significantly increase their driving power, cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue and skiers can improve technique and reduce injuries. Ben Greenfield goes into this subject in some depth in his book Beyond Training.
If you’re a member at UR and you want to start strength training, we’ve got you covered. With classes like Kettlebells, F&C, Mace, or semi-private or one-to-one training with one of our awesome trainers, you’ll be in safe hands.
Here’s to strong women,
May we know them,
May we be them,
May we raise them