Monday, May 24, 2021

Weight Training: Not Just for Women :

When you enter a gym and walk over to the free weights section, you will mostly see more men than women. In my personal opinion, I feel this is unfortunate because women can benefit as much from weight and resistance training as men.

The reasons behind why women often stay away from resistance training can be very diverse. A few could be:

intimidation by men working out with weights
don't know how to train with weights correctly
afraid of hurting themselves
think they will become bulky and masculine

In this article, I would like to specifically dig deeper into the last reason. Many women mistakenly think they will become bulky and overly muscular because of weight training. These images of female professional bodybuilders linger through our heads and have caused a dramatic fear of resistance training for women.

The fact is, the female body will not allow you to become that muscular and the only difference in weight training between men and women will be the weights used. Men naturally produce more testosterone and build more muscles than women. This will cause more natural strength. However, even with this in mind, studies have shown that, during the first 16 weeks, the short term gains in power are very similar between men and women (although much of this is caused by an improved neuromuscular function). After, the long term gains in strength are higher for men.

This is not an issue since most women do not wish to become powerlifters or bulky anyway. Most women's goals are to tone up and gain more definition, which is exactly what weight training will do for you.

As a woman, you will use the same methods, rests, techniques etc. You will simply use less weight and you will see different results. Will you gain muscle? Yes you will, that is what weight training does but that does not mean you will become bulky. The female body will not build anywhere as much muscle as a man's body does but the quality of muscle will be the same for both sexes. It has been shown that women have 10 to 30 times less the amount of anabolic hormones as men do. You will gain definition and tone up if you combine weight training with cardio.

Other advantages of resistance training for women:

Increased bone density (important to prevent osteoporosis)
You will burn a good amount of calories and benefit from the afterburn once the workout is over
It will make you stronger so every day activities will not be as intense as they used to be
Decrease your risk of diabetes
Strengthen your core muscles, which will prevent back pains and injuries
Improve your mental health
Become a more diverse athlete

 Weight Training: Not Just for Women Weight Training: Not Just for Women Weight Training: Not Just for Women Weight Training: Not Just for Women Weight Training: Not Just for Women

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