Women and weight training – revisited

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The days of women (and men) pounding continuously on a treadmill, spending hours spinning or standing on a vibrating plate in the hope shedding fat and getting a lean toned body are over. Don’t get me wrong there is a place in the fitness world for these, well maybe not the vibrating plates! But for the best way of getting the body you always wanted, maximising strength, increasing the amount of energy your body uses throughout the day as well as in the gym. Combined with a healthy balance of nutrition and sleep – resistance training is the way to go.

One of the main reasons women fear resistance training is getting too “bulky” or getting a big set of guns (I have been trying for years to get a set of these!)

For most women this is genetically impossible due to the smaller amount of testosterone and other hormones which women produce less of. Below is a number of studies that prove resistance is an important part of being healthy and looking great .

1 YOU WILL LOSE BODY FAT

Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat.

As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day. That can really add up.

2 WOMEN DON’T GAIN SIZE FROM STRENGTH TRAINING.

Researchers also found that unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy. You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition. This is a bonus.

3 YOU DECREASE YOUR RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS

Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium & Vitamin D3, can be a women’s best defense against osteoporosis.

4 YOU WILL IMPROVE YOUR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Over and over research concludes that strength training improves overall athletic ability. For example golfers can significantly increase their driving power.

Cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue and skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.

5 YOU WILL BE PHYSICALLY STRONGER

Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others for assistance in daily living. Chores such as getting the groceries, playing with the kids, doing laundry and other household things will no longer be an issue as they will become far easier to do as strength levels go up.

If your maximum strength is increased, daily tasks and routine exercise will be far less likely to cause injury. Research studies conclude that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows that women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

6 REDUCE YOUR RISK OF INJURY, BACK PAIN & ARTHRITIS

Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury.

A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.

7 YOU WILL REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE

According to Dr. Barry A. Franklin, of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.

8 YOU WILL REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DIABETES

In addition, Dr. Franklin noted that weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for men and women. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

9 IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BENEFIT

Women in their 50s and 60s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age.

10 YOU WILL IMPROVE YOUR ATTITUDE AND FIGHT DEPRESSION

A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression.

Here at cre8 our training methods primarily focus on resistance based exercise interspersed with high energy circuit training. This is one of reasons we have such good results with our clients . If you would like any more info please don’t hesitate in speaking to one of the team.

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