Weight Training for Women: The Key to The Kingdom
Strong is the new skinny! Women are now tapping into the immense potential of weight training and the effects that it has on not only muscle definition but also bone strength, immune function, and metabolism. The misguided stereotypes that women will get “too big” from weightlifting are now becoming a thing of the past. The belief that a female will get overly muscular like a bodybuilder from simply weight training is comparable to the idea that by driving a car a person will become a Formula 1 racecar driver. The reality of it all is that when women train with weights, they change their body composition in a much more efficient way, while also making a long-term investment in their metabolism. A fit woman who works out with barbells, dumbbells, machines, etc. looks her best - plain and simple. She will not look like a professional stage-ready female bodybuilder. She will look the way she has always wanted - tight, toned features with confidence and strength to accompany it all. Weight training is for both men and women of all ages; however, the big challenge for the fitness world to overcome presently is to help bring awareness to women of the many benefits of working out with weights to better their quality of life.
It is so important for any fitness-minded person to be aware of one of the most fundamental aspects of weight training, which is how muscle and metabolism are related. Metabolism is defined as the process by which the human body gets the energy it needs from food sources. It all breaks down to energy within the body. Muscle and metabolism are directly related. Lifting weights leads to more muscle, more muscle increases metabolism, increased metabolism leads to more weight loss.
The difference between weight loss as a result of cardiovascular exercise as opposed to weight loss as a result of weight training is the permanence of the results. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming, walking, etc. are great methods to burn calories, increase heart rate and breathing capacity. The only downside to strictly cardiovascular exercise is that once the body cools down, the calorie burning is over until the next workout. With weight training, the body burns calories during the workout as well as after, during the recovery period. Weight training is the first step in a process of muscle fibers being broken down, repaired and rebuilt bigger and stronger, then metabolism increasing as a direct result of muscle composition increasing.
For many years, women exclusively stayed in the realm of cardiovascular fitness. Aerobics classes, running and dancing were the most common types of fitness for ladies. Cardiovascular exercise will always be very important to everyone’s overall health and wellness, but weight training is the other half of essential fitness for a balanced body and life. Now, more than ever women worldwide are seeing the incredible difference that weight training has on the female form. Curves become tighter and stay tighter. The muscle definition helps to bulletproof the metabolism from fat increase and keeps the body burning calories 24/7. On average, the body will burn 50 more calories each day for every pound of muscle gained from weight training. As long as the muscle is maintained with consistent workouts, the calorie burning rate will remain.
The next level of dispelling the myths and stereotypes of weight training for females is to convince senior citizen women that weights are absolutely appropriate for their fitness routine. Aging is quite a challenge for senior females to face, but thanks to weight training there is so much that women can do to take control and combat the inevitable, natural decline in muscle mass, bone density and strength. By the age of 70 most women have only about 50-55% of their original muscle mass left. It is so important to maintain strong muscles to help improve balance and coordination so that there is less risk of falling and injury.
Weight-bearing exercise builds bone density and strength. This is due to the pressure that weights put on the bones and joints. In moderation, this pressure causes the bones and connective tissue to adapt each day and over time become stronger and less likely to be injured. With so many cases of osteoporosis among women, it is so important for females of all ages to take all measures to ensure that their bone strength is remaining intact. Studies have shown that postmenopausal women, who engaged in a weight training routine for a year, achieved an increase in their bone density in the areas most affected by osteoporosis, primarily the spine and hips.
Improved Sleep and Energy
The rhythm of life is heavily dependent on getting a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, women are more likely to experience sleep problems mainly due to hormonal changes. When hormonal levels increase and decrease such as during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy or menopause, women are much more vulnerable to experiencing sleep issues. Once the bad cycle of sleep begins, every aspect of each day is affected. It is so important for overall health and wellness for females to have very structured sleep schedules. Training with weights consistently is one of the best tactics for women in overcoming these challenges that result in poor quality of sleep. In addition to the muscle-building and bone-densifying effects of resistance training, an increase in quality of sleep and energy is another positive result of working out with weights. Exercising with weights helps the body lock into a structured sleep schedule in a variety of ways. The muscles expend so much energy during weight training that they are able to relax more efficiently when it is time for bed at night. Also, when the body is weight training, the brain releases endorphins which give a greater sense of well-being that helps to reduce anxiety, depression and stress levels, thus resulting in a better night of sleep. With enhanced quality of sleep comes an improved energy level throughout the day for better concentration, focus and productivity.
Self-confidence is priceless. It cannot be bought, sold or measured. It can only be earned. Weight training is built upon a foundation of self-confidence that grows each day. Every single workout is a challenge to accept and an opportunity to rise to the occasion in pursuit of success. Training with weights is especially effective for increasing self-confidence in women because it is a way that a female can become stronger physically and mentally. This will translate to every area of a woman’s life. Pushing harder each day in the gym will increase a woman’s self-awareness and self-confidence. There are always new goals to set and achieve. Through weight training, a female can strengthen her competitive spirit and unleash the best version of who she is. It is a journey that will last a lifetime and make life so much more fulfilling and rewarding.
Weight training is becoming more and more mainstream among women of all ages now that females are becoming much better informed of the facts and separating them from the fiction associated with working out with weights. For so long, women were missing out on so many incredible benefits of weight training mainly due to stereotypes that were extremely exaggerated and inaccurate. Women simply do not possess the body chemistry for getting naturally bulky with weight training. Men produce more testosterone than women and consequently gain muscle much faster. Many females fear that if they start working out with weights that they will “look like a man”. In reality, a woman who works out with weights will ultimately enhance all of her feminine features to their full potential. Weight training is the key that will unlock the kingdom of health and wellness for all women!