The sad truth is that the vast majority of women, including those who regularly workout, avoid weight training because of an irrational fear that they will “bulk up”.
So let’s put that one to rest right now. Bulky muscles are largely the result of testosterone. Without it, you’ll have a tough time building muscle. Men have 15 to 20 times more testosterone than women. Without the same levels of testosterone, women will not “bulk up”, or look like a man, if they start a weightlifting program.
The myth surrounding women bulking up is unfortunate because it robs so many of the benefits of weightlifting. Women tend to gravitate only towards aerobic activities, including pilates and jogging, when trying to get into better shape.
But aerobics carry you only part of the way towards a healthier body and lifestyle. It’s interesting to note that when women are asked what kind of body they would like, they often refer to images of other women who have been bodybuilding.
Here are just some of the benefits of weightlifting for women:
This is not usually the first benefit of weightlifting that comes to mind, but confidence is often touted as one of the most significant benefits for women. Higher self-esteem and emotional strength are reported by many women after they begin weight training.
Weight training increases your metabolism, which helps you burn fat. And the higher metabolic rate lasts for hours after your workout.
When your bones bear more weight, they automatically fortify themselves to do it, just like your muscles. That helps to maintain bone mass and reduce the incidence of osteoporosis.
Stronger bones and muscles contribute to improving flexibility and balance, which helps you withstand stresses that would otherwise cause injury.
Weight lifting increases your good cholesterol, decreases your bad cholesterol and lowers your blood pressure. It’s estimated that 30 minutes of weekly strength training reduces your chance of heart disease by 23%.
There are many more benefits of strength training for women. But no one can enjoy those benefits until they start lifting some weights. No matter what exercise program you decide to use, make sure you talk to your doctor and a professional trainer or physiotherapist before you begin.