In the past, women have been repelled by the idea of lifting weights for fear that they will get “too big.” This old way of thinking has been proven wrong, and it’s out with the old and in with the new!
Here at GameChanger, we work with a wide variety of women, all different in age and level of fitness, and they all have one thing in common… they all love working out! It’s because they all understand the importance of strength training.
Physical activity – particularly strength training – can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
More importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life.
Here are some of the female strength training myths you should ignore, and some examples how strength training can benefit you.
Myth #1 – Women shouldn’t lift heavy because they’ll get too bulky.
When you lift heavy weights, your muscles get stronger and denser, not bigger.
To achieve an increase in muscular size, one must lift weights for an exhausting amount of time (e.g., 2-hour-plus workouts done 5 or more times a week), eat a ton of calories, have perfect sleep, and have the correct hormonal profile.
In short, a woman can only get bulky if she adopts the lifestyle of a bodybuilder and starts taking anabolic steroids. Last time I checked, most women aren’t chugging half-a-dozen raw eggs in a sitting and using illegal drugs.
The Truth: Lifting heavy weights will not make you bulky.
Myth #2 – You need cardio to lose weight.
It’s commonly believed that cardio is king for fat loss. Of course, cardio can help, but strength training is so much more important for fat loss.
When you strength train, your muscles break down, and then they rebuild over the next 48 hours. This process requires a lot of calories to accomplish. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who did weight training burned an average of 100 more calories during the 24 hours after their training session ended. This is worth noting, because the more calories you burn, the more fat you burn.
Additionally, strength training forces your body to hold onto its muscle in the long-run, even when you’re losing weight. This is especially important because muscle, at rest, burns calories too, while fat doesn’t. Doing only cardio, on the other hand, encourages muscle loss.
The Truth: Cardio can burn more calories than strength training can in a single workout, but it doesn’t have all the other fat-loss-related benefits that strength training has.
Myth #3 – Older women shouldn’t strength train or they may hurt themselves.
The older we are, the more at-risk we are for osteoporosis, the disease of bone density loss. The less dense your bones are, the more easily they can break.
What’s worse is that women are at an even higher risk for this disease than men are.
It’s a no-brainer. Strength training should be a part of every women’s anti-aging plan.
The Truth: Strength training will not hurt you, no matter your age. It will only make you more resilient to injury and bone loss.
Another Benefit of Female Strength Training
Lifting heavy weights and building strength also improve something else that’s just as important as health & fitness: self-esteem.
Strength is a requirement for daily living. Picking up your child, carrying bags, performing household chores, participating in recreational sports, as well as doing many other daily activities require strength
When you know your body is capable of handling everyday tasks, you will simply feel more confident in yourself. And confidence is just as important as good health & fitness.
All in all, women should not stray away strength training – it has too many benefits to pass up on!
It’s time to put strength training in your fitness plan, so you can finally become stronger, healthier, and more confident!
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