Strength training seems to be more popular among men than women, this is not to say that women do not lift weights, many women think that strength training will just increase muscle mass, this is not true.
Strength training offers women many health benefits, so if you are considering strength training as your primary exercise you have made an excellent choice.
A few myths about women who lift weights
One of the reasons many women are reluctant to train with weights is they think that they will end up with a bulky and muscular body, this is absolutely false and a myth.
It is physiologically impossible for women to increase muscle mass like men, the women who you do see with big muscular frames are usually taking some kind anabolic steroids,(testosterone).
A woman who lifts weights can expect to achieve a sexy, toned and lean body. Unless you take steroids it is impossible to increase muscle mass like a man.
Now that you know you will not become big and bulky let us take a look at some of the awesome benefits you will reap from lifting weights.
You will eliminate body fat
There have been several studies done on strength training and fat loss in women, one particular study was performed at the YMCA in Quincy Massachusetts.
The study was done by Wayne Prescott Ph.D., what the study found was that women who trained with weights 2-3 times per week for a two month period gained almost two pounds of muscle and lost 3.5 pounds of fat.
As lean muscle mass increases so does your resting metabolic rate which translates into more calories burned per day.
On average for every pound of muscle you gain you can expect to burn between 35-50 calories per day that is an extra 1500 calories per month.
You will become stronger
In spite of the fact that you don’t gain muscle size from strength training, you do become stronger, plus you will develop more muscle tone and muscle definition.
Improve physical and athletic performance
Lifting weights not only increases strength it will also enhance your performance in other sports, skiers who lift weights reduce the risk of injury, golfers increase driving power, and bowlers can increase the power and speed when launching the ball.
Not only can it help an athlete's performance it can also help women with daily chores such as lifting kids, lifting groceries, taking out the trash and carrying the laundry basket, these simple daily household tasks that used to seem difficult and left you winded now become easy and insignificant.
Not only does lifting weights make you stronger, it also strengthens and builds connective tissue which increases joint stability and reduces injury.
Women who train even with moderate weights can expect to increase their strength anywhere between 30-50% plus you have the benefit of knowing that women increase strength at the same rate as men.
Reduce the risk of injury and increase bone density
As women age they lose bone density, this can leave you susceptible to injury because of a debilitating bone fracture, lifting weights can increase bone density which will help keep your bones strong as you get older and prevent osteoporosis.
Improve cardiovascular health
A study performed at the University of Michigan found that women who performed 3 full body workouts with weights decreased their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) by an average of 8-10 points, this makes a significant impact on lowering blood pressure enough to lower your risk of stroke by 40% and reduce heart attack risk by 15%.
You will be more productive
Studies have shown that people who lift weights become more productive, one study showed a 15% productivity increase on the days that people exercised compared to the days when the subjects did not exercise.
You may live longer
Researchers at the University of South Carolina determined that total body strength is linked to longevity. It also lowers the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Being stronger as you age leads to improved strength and is associated with “longevity” which can help you live to the age of 85 without developing any kind of severe disease.
Your clothes will fit better
1 pound of fat takes up 18% more space than a pound of muscle, most women who approach their 30’s will lose up to 10 pounds of total muscle, even worse is that muscle will be replaced by fat. Lifting weights can help you burn fat, maintain lean muscle, and let you buy the clothes that you want not just the clothes you buy because they fit.
It's never too late to start lifting weights, no matter your age starting a strength training program can offer women many health benefits, the best thing to do is start off slow and make a minimum two-month commitment, hopefully, it will become a daily habit you can't live without.