Women & Strength Training
For decades, women have been told that if they want to lose weight and look good they need to do a lot of cardio. Women run marathons, ride bikes, hike, and endure endless hours of spin and aerobics classes. Rather than lose weight, they often lose interest. Many women find themselves burned out, bored, tired of the pain, and faced with overuse and/or stress injuries – all with little more than mediocre results to show for it.
There is a better way to train. Every day, more and more women are moving from the cardio room to the weight room, getting stronger and seeing their bodies change! Getting stronger improves self-esteem and confidence while giving you the body you want.
A few benefits of strength/resistance training and lifting weights include:
- Burning more calories and fat than cardio alone, ultimately increasing lean body mass. This means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day and night. This is especially noticeable in reducing belly fat. You’ll look more defined and toned.
- Strengthening your bones and preventing osteoporosis. Women typically start losing bone density around age 30. Strength training slows bone loss, which is particularly beneficial for those who are at risk of developing osteoporosis after menopause.
- Strengthening your heart, which is arguably the most important muscle in the human body.
- Helping to prevent and treat metabolic syndrome and related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high unhealthy cholesterol, inflammation, heart disease, etc.
- Improving mental health. Aside from boosting confidence and feeling great after a good workout, strength training has been shown to decrease symptoms of depression.
- Decreasing injuries. Strengthening the muscles around your joints and core helps prevent injuries and greatly improves chronic pain in various parts of the body (low back pain being one of the most common).
- Improving performance in everything else you do – running, playing sports, and normal daily activities like lifting children, carrying groceries, and more all become easier as one’s strength improves.
- Helps you feel empowered! Being strong is AWESOME!
“Strength has a funny way of bleeding into all areas of your life, in the gym and out,” says Jen Sinkler, an Olympic lifting coach and author of Lift Weights Faster. She further states, “weight lifting empowers you.” By challenging yourself to do things you never thought possible, your confidence grows.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Start by lifting lighter weights at high repetitions to fatigue. Lifting lighter weights for more reps is a great way to build muscle endurance. To progress and truly increase your strength, increase the weight load little by little.
- Gradually start adding compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and rows to your heavy weight training. (Consult a personal trainer to learn proper form and technique before you attempt heavy lifting.)
You will be amazed at how fast your body changes as you become stronger.