Ever since my friend Amy started lifting seriously, her lady lumps have gone up by 2 sizes.
Imagine if more women knew this all-natural beauty benefit of the weight room. The biggest concerns I encounter when introducing my female clients to weightlifting are:
- Fear of becoming “bulky” and unfeminine.
- Fear of getting hurt when lifting heavy weight.
So ladies, what happens when you actually start lifting?
At first, nothing. You won't bulk up over night and as long as you lift with proper technique you won't get hurt. In fact you may not even feel sore because you won't be doing as much volume as you are now (sets x reps = volume).
There are many benefits to strength training, but it takes time before you start to experience the rewards. If you can stay consistent for at least 3 months with a real strength-training program you will experience the following changes in your body:
More muscle mass, which is great because:
Increased Metabolism. Increased muscle mass exponentially increases your metabolic rate. Muscle tissue is alive and requires a lot of energy to perform. All other things equal, if you had an additional 5 lbs. of muscle you would burn exponentially more calories throughout your day and workout than you do today.
Longer, better quality of life. Increasing muscle mass boosts the immune system and slows aging.
More strength! Improving strength is the most efficient training goal for seeing results across the
board. If you want to do anything you enjoy now at a higher level you need to get stronger. Period.
A sense of empowerment. Strength is empowering. Something about picking heavy objects off the floor and putting it over your head makes other challenges in your life not so daunting.
Improved posture. Strength training is the best form of training to improve posture. That's right! The reason Amy is enjoying the benefits of perky boobs is because she's done strength training for the pectoral muscles which has increased muscle tone (tension). The added muscular tension in Amy's pecs are actually lifting her boobs up and away! If you add lots of scapular retraction and depression training with exercises like rows and farmer's walks, the increase in muscle tone will improve your posture by pulling your shoulders back into their proper position. Good shoulder posture is the best showcase for your lady lumps.
Hormone Balance - This topic could cover several blogs. For now, know that strength training lowers blood sugar, increases insulin sensitivity, increases human growth hormone, improves testosterone to estrogen ratio (good for men and women), and has positive affects on the hormones that control hunger, satiety, and fat mobilization for energy.
These are only some of the benefits of strength training. Remember that strength training is relative to the person. What's heavy for one person is different for the next. However, there are a few rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Real strength training focuses on big compound movements like squats, deadlifts, lunges, Olympic lifts, pull-ups, and overhead/bench pressing. Anything else is considered an assistance exercise.
- Pick weights that are challenging for 5 reps or less per set. When you start doing more than 5 reps you're no longer focusing on strength, but instead developing other qualities like hypertrophy and work capacity.
- Don't train to failure. Always stop when you think you have one more good rep left.
- Form is more important than weight. Higher weight will come with time.
- Seek out and hire the help of a serious professional if you've never been properly coached on the foundational strength lifts. Even if you have experience I still recommend hiring someone to critique your technique and look over your programming from time to time. I've been training hard for two decades and I still seek out coaches to help me. We are all students.
In our blog library you'll find an article on the 5 Foundation Lifts that you might find helpful.
Be strong and move beautifully,