Because there are so many benefits to doing weights, both men AND women should include weight training as part of their regular workout program. While men usually will, still too many women avoid doing weights. Unfortunately, there are many myths about weight training, which often keep women from including them in their workout program. So let’s demystify some of the myths and facts about weight training.
1. The Big and Bulky Muscles Myth
Many women believe that weight training will make them big and bulky. But because women have a much lower level of testosterone than men, a hormone directly linked to muscle growth, they build muscles in a completely different way than men do. The truth is that, even in men who have much higher level of testosterone, building muscles and bulking up is not an easy task. Training alone will not give you bulky muscles and there are many other factors involved, which I will discuss in later chapters. Also, it is important to remember that getting stronger doesn’t always correlate with muscle hypertrophy (increase in volume). Indeed, strength can be increased through a better use of the already existing muscles rather than muscles hypertrophy. As a matter of fact, many studies have shown that this is even more true in women!
2. Gain Muscle Mass and Lose The Fat
Will weight training increase your muscle mass? Yes it will, BUT in the same time, it will reduce your body fat, which means toner arms and trunk and an overall leaner look.
3. Gaining Weight by Looking Smaller
Many women swear only by their weight. Don’t be alarmed if you gain some weight from weight training. As a matter of fact, you may gain a few pounds after a few months of weight training, this is normal. But you will also probably notice that, on the other hand, your clothes fit better, and that your body looks smaller. This is simply because muscles weigh more than fat. By increasing your muscle mass and reducing your body fat, you could gain a few pounds while going down a few pant sizes.
4. Your Body Will Burn More Calories At All Times
Luckily for you, this is not a myth, but a fact. Each time you put on an extra pound of muscle, you will burn a few extra calories daily. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that weight training can boost the metabolic rate (the number of calories your body uses when you are doing nothing) by almost 15%. This is because muscles, even when not being used, burn much more calories than any other tissue in the body. Therefore, that extra pound of muscles you just put on will burn an extra 35-50 calories per day. Replace that extra 10 pounds of fat with muscles, and now you are burning an extra 350-500 calories daily by doing absolutely nothing!
Although I think these 3 reasons alone should convince you to start you weight training regimen, there are so many other benefits to weight training: reducing your level of stress, get stronger (you won’t need to wait until your husband gets home to move the furniture around!), reducing the risks of osteoporosis by increasing the bone density, reducing the risks of heart diseases (just like any physical activity) and of course, feeling so much better about yourself.
Find a great list of weight training workouts on Nat Personal Training.