Myth: Women who lift weights are at risk for gaining too much bulk

By September 9, 2015Fitness, Workout
soreness-after-workout

soreness-after-workout

False. How do I know? Because I have incorporated strength training with weights into my fitness routine on a consistent basis since I was in high school, and I look far from your average body builder. Well that, and the fact that there are many research studies and health recommendations that encourage women to supplement aerobic activity with strength training. The insufficient levels of testosterone (and increased levels of estrogen) in our bodies make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. Instead, strength training allows the muscles to become toned, strong, and firm – something I think most women desire! And the benefit isn’t just in building and maintaining lean muscles; it’s about maintaining overall health, too. Below I have listed the top three benefits of strength training for women.

Top 3 Benefits of Strength Training for Women

Maintain (or improve) muscle mass. Did you know that starting in our 30’s, we have the potential to lose an average of three to five percent of muscle mass per decade? That may not sound like a lot, but as we all approach our elderly years, every little bit of muscle counts. But the good news is, strength training can counteract this weakening effect.

Stronger bones. As women get older, we naturally lose bone density due to the hormonal changes experienced during menopause. A decrease in bone density can put many women at risk of developing osteoporosis. Consistent strength training slows this process and helps build stronger bones and maintain overall strength.

Increased weight loss. Not only is strength training good for building lean muscle mass, but it also increases the amount of calories you burn at rest. In other words, it revs up your metabolism to help you lose weight more efficiently. Have I gotten your attention, yet?

When strength training, it is very important to focus on form. Especially when training with weights, it is easy to compromise form while performing a certain exercise. For example, if you find yourself arching your back to compensate for the heaviness of the weight or difficulty of the exercise, you know you’ve gone to far. Try a modified version of that exercise or decrease the amount of weight used.

If you are new to strength training, I would encourage you to seek out a personal trainer either at a local gym, or find one that will come to you, to learn basic strength training exercises and familiarize yourself with correct form.

There are many ways to incorporate strength training into your fitness routine through the use of free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, and even your own body weight. Here is a simple workout using your own body weight that focuses on the major muscle groups. And the best part is, it can be done in the comfort of your own home!

Back to the Basics // A workout that can be done anywhere using only your body weight!

For a detailed description and visual demonstration of each exercise, visit acefitness.org.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate fitness into your day?

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