Lifting weights, or strength training, means bodybuilding to so many, but it doesn’t have to be. Many women shy away from the free weight area due to feeling unsure, insecure, and even a little fearful. Women lift weights!
But won’t I bulk up?
The answer is no, absolutely not. When women lift weights, the changes to their muscles are generally related to tone, strength, and endurance- not size. This results in firm feminine toning, and not big bulky masculine muscles. According to the Women’s Heart Foundation, high levels of estrogen are the reason that it is very difficult for women to bulk up like their male counterparts.
Strength training isn’t just for the guys; there are many benefits when women incorporate strength training into their workout routine.
According to The Mayo Clinic, there are many benefits when women lift weights. Here are a few!
You’ll Burn More Fat
A regular strength training program helps you reduce body fat. After a session of strength training, you continue to consume additional oxygen in the hours and even days to follow. This is known as post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. In other words, when your body uses more oxygen, it requires more calorie expenditure and an increased metabolic rate. This is a huge advantage of weight training–your body’s ability to burn fat during and after exercise.
You’ll Burn More Calories
The increase of lean muscle mass leads to your body using calories more efficiently. If you have more lean muscle mass, you’ll have more muscles contractions, which burn more calories. The more muscle contractions you experience during the day, the more calories you’ll burn. Sitting burns fewer calories than standing, standing burns fewer calories than walking, walking burns fewer calories than lifting.
You’ll Strengthen Your Bones
Strength training helps preserve and enhance your muscle mass and bone mass. Routinely lifting weights slows down bone deterioration. As women get older, they naturally lose bone density which puts them at risk for developing osteoporosis. Strength training is an excellent way to combat the loss of bone mass as well as decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
When you sit down to list your fitness goals, you may be surprised to learn that strength training will not only help you to reach them, but may indeed help you to reach them faster.