Women lifting weights are a rare occurrence in the gym. But why actually? Just because women don’t strive for enormous biceps girth or brutal abdominal muscles, that doesn’t mean that women can’t or shouldn’t lift weights. Classic weightlifting also offers many advantages for women, from the loss of belly fat and stress reduction to health and motor benefits. Even so, only a fraction of the women who go to the gym do weight training. Here are a few reasons why women should start doing it today.
But first we want to dispel a few prejudices:
One reads again and again that women don’t want to look like the Hulk and that is why they rarely do strength training. It does not matter whether this fear really exists or is only written about. The fact is, women who do strength training have a very difficult time actually gaining mass; instead, the muscles become tighter. The reason for this is that women are low in testosterone.
The fear of injury is often a reason why women shy away from classic strength training with weights. It must be said very clearly: as long as you don’t overdo it with the weights, the risk of injury is relatively low if the exercise is performed correctly. In order to perform the exercises correctly, however, it is especially good to get professional advice at the beginning. Then you are on the safe side as long as you slowly approach higher and higher weights.
The fear of not making it also often plays a role. The same applies here as with the fear of injury. The nice thing about strength training is that you can adjust the weights to suit your personal needs. So you can always do it.
Good reasons for weights
Strength Training Burns More Fat
Often you hear that if you want to lose fat, you should start endurance sports. But that’s only partially true. If you only do endurance training, you lose weight. But only 75% of the weight lost is fat and the rest is muscle. Since muscle mass also affects metabolism (more muscles need more calories), the chance of gaining weight increases with every gram of muscle mass that you lose.
You burn more calories
Strength training increases muscle mass, which at the same time increases the basal metabolic rate. When women lift weights, they burn more calories even if they just sit in front of the TV. Studies have shown that the metabolism is increased up to 39 hours after strength training because the body needs energy to repair or adjust the muscle fibers.
Clothes fit better
Between the ages of 30 and 50, the body loses around 10 percent of its muscle mass; this loss of muscle is mostly made up for with fat. This of course increases the hip and waist circumference, because one gram of fat has 18% more mass than one gram of muscle.
Women who do strength training regularly get better figures over time. If you only do cardio, you lose weight, but then you are thin. Defined muscles, on the other hand, emphasize the natural body shape.
Better stress management
The bodies of fit people release fewer stress hormones compared to untrained people. In addition, the blood pressure drops back to the average level more quickly in people with more muscle mass after stressful situations. So the more muscles a woman has, the less stress she has.
Older women are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis. This can be prevented with a simple means. Just four months of weight training leads to an increase in bone density. (Of course, further training then makes sense so that it does not decrease again.)
Resistance training reduces diastolic blood pressure, resulting in a 40% lower risk of stroke and reducing the risk of heart attack by up to 15%.
The University of South Carolina found that whole body strength is linked to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. The muscle mass also reduces the chances of developing a serious illness.
The best comes at the end: Weight training is simply fun because it is varied and motivated. So you can always try something new and that is always more varied than staying on a treadmill. You can also see your own progress (if you keep records) because you are constantly improving. This is extremely motivating and it is a pleasure when suddenly a weight can be moved that previously seemed impossible.