“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” –Rikki Rogers
Last week we debunked some common myths pertaining to women and strength training, as we learned to get over our fear of weights. We established that lifting does not make women look masculine, it doesn’t necessarily add on size, unused muscle cannot turn into fat, etc. This week we are going to explore the countless benefits of strength training and I will demonstrate why you should begin working with weights.
Pumping iron isn’t just for those meat heads in the gym trying to grow their biceps and squatting double their body weight. Resistance training comes with amazing advantages, helping to burn more fat, tone the physique, and providing a healthy and ageless body.
Burn Calories and Body Fat
Lifting weights is one of the best ways to burn off that unwanted body fat. As more lean muscle is built up in the body, the metabolism becomes faster as the body has to use a lot of energy to maintain that muscle. This increase in metabolism helps to burn more calories, not only during exercise, but while at rest as well. Once the body burns off more calories than the person is consuming on a given day, either fat tissue or muscle tissue will become the body’s new source of energy. With strength training, you are ensuring that the body is using up fat rather than muscle.
Gain Strength…Without the Bulk
Pumping iron doesn’t cause size in women like it does in men…unless women are trying to put on weight and follow a specific strength training and nutrition regimen for the sole purpose of weight gain. Women have much less testosterone than men which allows for a lean, feminine, and toned look rather than a muscular, bulky look.
Improve Bone Health
Women are at a higher risk than men for developing osteoporosis, as we not only start with a lower bone density than men, but we also lose bone mass faster as we age. Strength training has been shown to slow down this process. Bone health is so important for the adult woman, and weight training combined with dietary calcium might just be the best preventative method!
Hitting the weights will not only help you to build confidence in the way your body looks, but also in your abilities in general. The gym is all about stepping out of your comfort zone, setting goals, and accomplishing what you never thought you could do. The gym brings out your true strengths, and this will shine through every aspect of your life.
Improve Cardiovascular Performance
Whether you are a runner, a cyclist, a sports enthusiast, or simply someone trying to improve their cardiovascular health, resistance training can significantly improve your performance. You can add weights into your cardio routine, separate the two type of exercises completely, or a mix of both. Strength training has been shown to improve speed, length of time one can perform an exercise, and reduce the risk of injury.
Strength training provides so many wonderful benefits and it a great way to add balance and intensity to your fitness regimen. While cardio is great for health and fitness, strength training can be that extra push you need to burn that last bit of fat, improve your body composition, and become an even healthier version of you.