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Despite the many benefits of strength training with weights, there seems to be widespread misunderstanding and stigma against women using them. Many women avoid incorporating weight training into their workouts, and even women who already use weights often under-utilize them by picking weights that are too light or exercises that are not challenging enough.
We’d like to smash the misconceptions and set the record straight!
First of all: weightlifting is not just for men. Weight lifting is a great fitness activity for women of all ages.
Next, let’s reframe weight lifting: it’s just another form of resistance exercise. Instead of using only your own body weight, you’re using an external device to help you in your workout.
Some women will say that they don’t want to “bulk up”; they worry that they will look too masculine or muscular if they start doing weights. The myth about bulking up from doing weights is simply untrue. Even if you did want to become more bulky-muscular looking – and it is possible if you want to! – women’s bodies don’t accidentally end up looking like body builders. Simply put, women’s hormonal makeup is quite different from men’s, and the way women’s muscles shape up is a slower and different process.
Other women may not use weights out of intimidation or unfamiliarity with the equipment. So instead, they’ll stay in the realm of activities they’re already familiar with end up doing lots of cardio. Consequently, tons of women are missing out on the vital strength building exercises that weight training has to offer.
If you’re not already using weights in your workouts, now is the time to start! We’ve compiled some great reasons as to why every woman should seriously consider adding weights to her workouts.
Burn more calories & build muscle
Many women struggle with their weight and with losing fat on the road to their fitness goals. Incorporating weight training into your routine is one of the most efficient ways to blast stubborn fat, and you can see results in just 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times a week.
One of the major reasons to incorporate weight training in your workouts is to build muscle… but did you know that it is also an effective way to help burn more calories According the Mayo Clinic, muscle will burn more calories throughout the day than fat does. You’ll also continue to burn calories for up to an hour after your workout. So by building your muscle mass, you’ll end up not only losing body fat but also inches!
Increased strength and flexibility
When you build muscle with weight lighting, you also build strength, which leads to improved stamina and energy level, reduced risk of personal injury and stronger bones (which naturally lose density as women age). All of these factors will help with day-to-day activities as well as in meeting your fitness goals.
Strength training with weights also improves your flexibility and balance. In turn, this will lead to a greater range of motion and overall physical fitness. Try to think of weightlifting as a vital part of your fitness plan; it will complement all of your other physical activities.
Wide-reaching health benefits
As with many of the other types of exercise we’ve discussed on this blog recently, using weights in your workouts has far reaching health benefits.
For example, people who do weight training have a significantly reduced likelihood of developing serious ailments like heart disease and diabetes. Moderate amounts of strength training can also offer arthritis pain relief.
Just like cardio exercises, lifting weights has been found to equally effective for promoting improved mental health, such as the alleviation of depression.
For women who are still in their reproductive years, strength training (such as exercises performed with weights) has also been linked to reduced pain with PMS symptoms. In postmenopausal women, strength training is associated with gains and maintenance of bone density in the spine and hips.
So what are you waiting for? If you don’t already use weights in your workout, it’s time to add some into your balanced routine.
Remember: you can always book sessions with one of our personal trainers who will show you how to properly use weight equipment. Our trainers will also teach you how to incorporate them into routine. Fill out our online form or call us to book your consultation today.