Fact is that everyone that wants healthy and fit body, should include to their activities training with weights. This kind of training can be quite simple and basic. There is no need for weight exaggeration, but it is crucial that you add extra load (for squat, lunges, deadlift,…), so that you can build and maintain certain muscle tone. We all have to be aware that our body starts loosing muscle mass after we hit 30 years of age and if we are not paying attention on this fact then loosen skin, buttocks, belly, chin, arms,… will be the least of our problems.
I think that for women, training with weights is still some kind of taboo topic, despite undisputed evidences of their advantages. . I would say that you are afraid to become too muscular. Am I right? Let me stop you here. Majority of men who are training in gym, wants muscular and buffed body but most of them don’t get it. Despite the fact that men body produce a lot more testosterone, a hormone that drives muscle growth, than women. To get muscular body you need to train 5 to 6 times per week with heavy weights and have 6 to 8 balanced meals per day, with calories surplus, so odds that you will get muscular body is practically null and your fear here is totally unnecessary.
And the second major problem, as per my opinion, with women is obsession with weight scale. Women still judge their figure and looks by the number on the scale. I agree, sometimes those are connected (lover the weight, nicer the body) but most of the times this is not the case. I know couple of ladies that were weighing less and looked worse than after they added training with weights to their activities. The fact is that fat is lighter than muscle, that means that lean woman with balanced nutrition and with regular weight training can weigh more than her bigger friend with “normal” nutrition and no weight training. So please STOP comparing your body with the number on the scale as they are not linked.
You can still train for marathon, yoga or Pilates but this is only one side. Everything in this universe has counterbalance and strength is counterbalance to everything you already do.
Here are 6 reasons why you should start lifting weights.
Burns more calories and melt fat
You can try losing weigh and fat with strict diet (with caloric deficit) and cardio exercise, which you will succeed but at the same time you will also lose muscle. With age and muscle loss your metabolism will also slowdown, which will then reflect on gaining weight. Every muscle have mitochondria which concert glucose to energy and with muscle loss there is less mitochondria and result is slower metabolism. Ergo gaining weight. So you are trapped in some king of loop.
Training with weights will result in only loosing fat and burning more calories comparing to cardio, as your body stays in fat burning mode longer after you have finished with workout. Similar to and engine which remains warm after being turned off. This physiological effect is called excess post exercise oxygen consumption (in short EPOC). You will build nice lean muscle, so mitochondria will not decrease, and your metabolism will stay perfect.
Lowers the risk of injuries and pain
I have already cover this in dept in my post Why you need to squat but will try to summarize it here.
When using weights our muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones are strengthened as our body starts to produce human growth hormones (here and after HGH). HGT is responsible to repair your muscles damaged with exercise. You do know that in order to build muscle we have to tear them, right? And at the same time HGT also stimulate bone density.
With increased muscle and ligaments strength, your bones will stay in place (preventing wear and tear with excessive friction) reflected on healthier joints and lowering the risk of injuries.
Lowers the risk of illnesses
Let’s start with heart. Heart is a muscle, right? So why can’t we train it like all other muscles. It was proven that with lifting weights people can protect and improver their heart. Especially beneficial is for people with coronary artery disease as cardio exercise is not an option for them. But with lifting weight they can improve their heart rate variability, meaning heart strength and endurance.
Diabetes is also one of those new age illnesses with all that industry, pre-prepared food and lifestyle which “prevent” us from moving to much. It was proven with study that people who include weight training in their activity showed increased insulin sensitivity, bigger glucose tolerance, reduced inflammations and improved lipid profile.
With time you will learn how to focus only on your muscle, exercise and to be present. You mind will not drift off and think about work, kids, husband,… this will be YOUR time, anxiety and stress will be lowered, depression alleviated and you will be full of energy ready for new challenges.
We all know sleeping is important especially if you can’t. We need our sleep, so the body can rebuild and rejuvenate themselves. Benefits of good night sleep can also be seen on improved brain functionality, stronger immune system, longer life span and in hormone balance. I can guaranty you that after weight workout, you will sleep like a baby. Do you remember times when you were partying all night and when you came home you fell asleep in the minute? This will be the same just without hangover the next day. Oh, the joy.
Now to the goodies. I am sure that this is the best “side effect” for all women. You can’t get curves like with weight training. You will be able to reduce fat, build lean muscle and add toned curves to the areas you want. You can use resistance bands, barbells, dumbbells or your body weight, important is that you train and build whole body and don’t get carried away by training only specific part of your body. Representing men population here I can honestly say that obsessively training only one specific part of your body is not the proper way to go. Result is the same as with men who are skipping legs, they look like meat on the drum sticks. Thy to build symmetric body.
As you can see lifting weights has beneficial influence on your mind and body on all areas. Don’t fall on stereotype thinking that lifting is not for your because you are woman. The fact is that you will be better on all levels. How go and hit the gym.
Oh, and one more think. Don’t try to reach your goal in one week, be patient and consistent. Body transformation is marathon and not a sprint. Try to include weight workout 2 to 3 times per weak and give your muscles time to recover, so every other day would be perfect.
And remember, it will not get easier, you will get stronger and fit!