“I don’t do weights, I don’t want to get bulky”
Before Betty persuades you to get on the cross-trainer for another hour, hear a brother out!
The lingering myth of weights causing females to ‘bulk up’ has long held back the progress of many women aiming to achieve their fitness and physique-related goals. As has been disproven by many experts, the chunky female athlete is not the consequence of picking up and putting down a few dumbbells.
It is often the female bodybuilder, whose muscular and lean frame, dissuades many women from heaving around a bit of iron. These athletes take supplements, like testosterone boosters, to change their hormonal make-up to mirror that of a male. This greatly increases their capacity to add muscle and meatiness to their frame.
The non-enhanced female possesses genetics which are vastly different when compared to that of a male. As a consequence, regardless of their training program and diet, a woman is physically unable to develop the same level of muscularity.
Here are some reasons to pick up that barbell…
- Improved ability to burn fat – Weight training sessions burn more calories than cardio-based sessions, plus they’re not as boring! Furthermore, over time, the added muscle places a higher metabolic stress on the body. This means, muscle requires much more energy to maintain, so even at rest you will be churning through a greater number of calories.
- Improved bone health – The loading which resistance training places on the body stimulates bone growth. This is particularly important in women as they age. The reduction in oestrogen (a hormone which protects bone density) due to menopause, means that females lose bone mass with age. However, consistent weight training not only builds up these ‘bone stores’, but it also greatly decreases the reduction in density, as the load stimulates the bone creating cells. Improved bone density lessens the chances of developing osteoporosis as well as fractures in one’s twilight years.
- Improved muscle health – As with bone, muscle is also lost in the aging process. In the elderly population, it has been shown that getting out of a chair is a great indicator of an individual’s ability to maintain their independence in coming years. By building up lean mass stores as well as strength, autonomy will be maintained. Similarly, continued stimulation of muscles via resistance training will lessen the steady decline in muscle.
- Increased strength – Weight training provides a stimulus which causes the body to adapt, resulting in increases in strength, power and endurance. This means improved athletic and sporting performance.
- Improved tone – Weight training increases resting muscular tone thanks to changes in neural drive. This will rid you of those dreaded ‘tuckshop arms’!
Resistance training is also believed to benefit; confidence, sleep, prevention of chronic conditions and injury as well as mobility and balance.
So get off that boring-ass treadmill and incorporate regular weight-based training into your day-to-day life!
“Lifting weights makes women huge? False. Cupcakes make women huge”
By Andrew Cammarano