According to the National Center for Health Statistics less than a quarter of women regularly strength train. That my friends, is a distressing number!
Now more than ever women should step up at the gym, grab the weights and leave the cardio machines behind. Women are becoming more empowered, making their presence known in the work place, politics and media.
The weight room should be part of this movement.
I’ve never met a female who lifts regularly that is not confident in her own skin and isn’t encouraging others to jump into a program. Instead of comparing their bodies to others and pointing out their own flaws, women who lift inspire others and encourage them to improve themselves. It’s pretty simple, you have to do the work to look a certain way but it’s worth it.
Here are three things to look at: what you’ll get out of it, the hesitations you have and how to actually get started.
First lets go over a few of the MANY health benefits to lifting, strength training or “clanging weights” whatever you want to call it:
- Boost your metabolism: Burn more calories long after your workout with the muscle that you build
- Improved Libido & Sleep: don’t we all want that?
- Reduce Cancer Risk: Less oxidative stress = less ability for those cancer cells to thrive
- Increase Confidence: Lifting is a physical & mental beautifier!
- You Feel Strong & Yes, Sexy:
Second let us debunk the many myths that may be holding you back from starting a strength workout program:
- You’re afraid you’ll bulk up - Ladies our bodies have up to 30 times less the amount of testosterone – the hormone that increases muscle mass – that men do, we’re simply not built to have bulk. Your muscles will get more defined and beautiful, dare we say they will be “toned” and tight.
- Cardio will burn more fat – The more muscles you have the more energy you expend (metabolism!) so strength training should be the priority because the elliptical machine will never give you that rapid fat loss.
- You need to lose weight before you start lifting – I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this one! You will see quicker results after a month of lifting then you will after a year of cardio.
Lastly, lets go over how to get you started:
- Hire a trainer – If you are new to strength training or don’t really know how then this is the most efficient way to see results and know you’re getting the most out of your workouts. They are professionals that will teach you proper form, which is essential to executing a strength-training plan properly.
- Attend a small group class – I emphasize the small group class so that you don’t just become a number. Classes are a little more budget-friendly then a trainer but you always want to make sure you are doing the exercises properly; a smaller group will encourage that.
Ladies, lifting weights will benefit your health long term and the added bonus is you’ll look damn good too!