When it comes to exercise, women are often apprehensive about doing resistance training. This is due to a pervasive myth that if a woman practices resistance training and lifts weights, she is going to bulk up and become all muscle. The truth is actually quite different! Given the hormonal differences between men and women, it isn't possible for a woman to become as muscular as a man. Additionally, female bodies produce more (healthy) fat and preserve that fat readily. To bulk up as a woman, you would have to eat far more than you are eating right now and train for around three hours a day, every day, for years.
Let’s take a look at what resistance training is and how it benefits women. You will quickly realize that, like men, women should do resistance training.
Resistance Training Benefits for Women
Resistance training makes use of exercises and equipment that will contract muscles using outside resistance. When done properly, it will make you stronger and leaner, no matter how old you are. It’s a great way to stay healthy and fit, especially if you are a woman.
The following are the main reasons why women should do resistance training:
Reduce Body Fat
Resistance training is well-known for its ability to reduce body fat, including for women. This is due to your muscles contracting repeatedly, burning fat in the process. After the fat gets burned off, lean muscles will be visible. When this happens, your resting metabolism climbs up, helping you burn calories throughout your day.
Past studies have found that when women practice resistance training 2-3 times every week for eight weeks, they will usually gain two pounds of muscle and lose three pounds of fat. Women who don't do any weightlifting do not see any increase in muscle mass and lose minimal weight. The key to losing weight with resistance training is the fact that your metabolism stays high, even on days when you aren't training, 24/7. This leads to you burning more fat.
Increase Muscles and Improve Bone and Joint Health
When you practice resistance training, you are going to be increasing the strength of your muscles while also improving the health of your bones and joints. The stronger your muscles get, the less your joints and bones need to work to hold up the rest of your body. You will also begin to notice that your strong muscles are giving you better balance and flexibility. This becomes especially helpful for women as they get older.
By practicing resistance training, women can also help connective tissues form and increase, while also raising their joint stability. The lower back is an area that delivers pain to a lot of women, especially as they get older. Thankfully, regular resistance training will strengthen back muscles and eliminate any sort of pain previously experienced there.
Increase Physical Endurance and Performance
Everyday tasks, such as doing the laundry, going grocery shopping, and everything else gets easier when you are resistance training. It has been found that women who increase their strength drop their chances of getting injured when they perform daily tasks. The results are actually quite dramatic. You will likely see a 30-50% improvement in how strong you feel and how much endurance you have when compared with practicing lighter forms of training.
Preventing injuries is something everyone can benefit from, especially older women who are at risk of developing arthritis. Resistance training will help reduce pain and increase mobility when you do it consistently. This is because lifting weights improves your stability, especially when it comes to your joints. Your tendons and ligaments increase in their strength as well, which provides a lot of help in preventing injuries.
Prevent Heart Disease
There are 7.6 million people in the UK living with heart and circulatory diseases. A number of studies have found a link between resistance training and a reduction in heart disease risk. This could be due to this type of training increasing blood flow throughout the body. Resistance training can also reduce your LDL, which is the so-called “bad” type of cholesterol. Conversely, it will boost your LDL, meaning your good cholesterol. Additionally, practicing resistance training regularly will reduce your blood pressure.
Resistance training has been found to shoot up the levels of the "happy" chemicals produced naturally by your body. Women who regularly train with weights and machines notice that they can prevent depression from creeping in. Increased levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine all have a hand in you feeling better after resistance training.
If you want to become more confident, have a more stable positive mood, and increase your energy, then resistance training is what you’ll want to start doing.
Should Women Do Resistance Training? Yes!
Resistance training is not solely for men who want to bulk up. As you can now see, there are numerous benefits for women as well. Now that you know why women should do resistance training, you can stop feeling apprehensive about picking up some weights. You stand to gain a lot, while only losing some fat you didn’t want anyway.
With a number of different ways to do it, resistance training is something you can match up to your unique goals and desires. Whichever one you choose, you are getting a dynamic range of exercises that will be activating specific muscle groups. The best part is that you do not need to use a tremendous amount of resistance.
Once you get into a routine and are practicing resistance training regularly, you will see general health improvements. Even if you do not have the best diet in the world, you will see your metabolism burning at an elevated rate for upwards of 24 hours since working out.
Whether you’re looking to lose some fat, increase lean muscle, or see your endurance improve, you can practice resistance training to see these results. You will also lower your risk of heart disease, keep depression away, and improve the functioning of your joints. Stop by Delta Fitness today and start enjoying all of these benefits and more!