Over the years it has always been widely believed that women who use weights on a regular basis will ‘bulk’ up and in the very areas that they’re tying to lose weight. However, I must let you know that this belief is completely false and is one of the major contributors to holding women back from achieving the transformation and ‘toned’ look that many women crave.
Consequently many will stick to the treadmill and cross-trainer out of this fear. Some also believe that a well-rounded exercise programme consists of yoga and going for a jog, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
To create this so called ‘toned’ look weight training has to be an essential part of any training programme to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of muscle on your body to emphasise the curves and shape of the body. Building muscle is therefore important in women due to the natural process of aging, in which muscle naturally wastes away.
Importantly though is that this will never be a huge slab of muscle, since compared to a male, women have a much lower potential for muscle building due to a low level of the potent muscle building hormone called testosterone.
Now we have dismissed the fear of weight training leading to women bulking up and looking manly, let’s look at some of the other benefits of weight training for women.
- Weight training increases insulin sensitivity. When ingested, food is either stored as glycogen in the liver and muscle cells or stored in fat cells making them even fatter. However, if you lift HEAVY weights often enough the blood sugar gets shuffled into the muscle cells for recovery from hard training, rather than the fat cells. In other words, see you later belly fat.
- Closest thing to reversing the aging process is through weight training. As a result of weight training at an appropriate intensity can generate massive amounts of growth hormone that tells the body to just ‘burn fat like crazy’. It also helps to preserve and build on the lean tissue (muscle), thus helping older people who lift weights to maintain their toned and defined physique and also look years younger. Jogging, yoga and pilates however produces 0% of this hormone.
- Serious confidence boosts. Testosterone secretion is significantly boosted following weight training. Furthermore, testosterone is the hormone of confidence and self-belief and so following weight training the levels of confidence and belief in yourself to accomplish anything will sky rocket.
Such benefits really emphasise that weight training needs to be a vital and important part of any exercise programme that can bring about developing strength and power, as well as positive hormonal benefits. This will ensure that you feel great on the inside, whilst also looking great on the outside. In fact, weight training may be even more beneficial for women than men. So give it a try and I am sure you will rapidly see both health and fitness benefits.
Side note: We do not suggest that you totally give up jogging, yoga, pilates or even things like Zumba if you get enjoyment from them and they help in other ways like flexibiity. But just don’t do them at the expense of weight training.