Let’s just debunk the most common myth in exercise right now …women WILL NOT bulk up if they strength train!! In order to build lots of big muscle you would need huge amounts of testosterone which women do not have in their bodies naturally. Another common myth is that your fat will turn to hard muscle if you lift weights. That will not happen! Muscle and fat are two different things in our body. Our muscle sits under our fat. When we lose fat we allow our muscle definition to show through. Muscle also takes up a lot less space on our bodies than fat because it is much more compact. So if you build muscle while you work to burn fat, you will achieve the lean “toned” look you are looking for.
Here are some other reasons women should strength train…
1. Muscle is a highly active tissue in our bodies which means it increases our basal metabolic rate ( meaning it burns a ton of calories even when we are at rest! Which fat does not)
2. We lose more than one half pound of muscle every year after the age of 25 if we don’t strength train. One of the major reasons our BMR decreases so drastically as we age.
3. Strength training can help decrease belly fat! Which will not only make you look awesome but will decrease your risk for diabetes and cancer!
4. It helps reduce blood pressure
5. It strengthens your joints and helps prevent osteoarthritis
6. It makes you feel fabulous! Strength training makes you feel as if you really accomplish something! Over time, you see the results and can progressively increase the difficulty of your workouts so they are always challenging and fun!.
The ACSM recommends starting out at 1 set of 8-10 exercises that work all of the different muscles in your body, 2-3 times a week. Always allow at least a day in between work outs to let your muscles recover and grow. I prefer free weights because every exercise engages your core. Machines also are a one size fits all approach, where as free weights are perfect for every body size and fitness level. If you have never strength trained before, it might be helpful to set up a session with a personal trainer to assess what your starting level is. They can also show you different exercises you can do to achieve your individual goals and the proper form to use so you don’t get hurt.
*Always, consult your doctor before starting any exercise program to make sure it is safe for you to do.
Have you ever wanted to strength train before but never tried it? Let me know what your experiences have been…