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Weight Training For Women? Stop Saying No To It – Here’s Why!

Posted: March 19, 2019

“Weight training and women! Nah, these two don’t go well together.” Is that what you think, just like many women out there? Weight training for women is not a problem, and in fact – much needed!

Do you feel weight training isn’t meant for women and is to be undertaken by men ‘ONLY’? Is cardio your favourite spot in the gym?

If you feel weight training or strength training is not for women then think again. Most of us run away from weight training thinking that we would end up looking bulky just like men do once they start working out with weights. However, how true is it ? Can we really bulk up like men do? Not really!

Want to know the truth behind it? Let’s bust the myths firsts! Let’s dive deep into science in order to understand what weight training can actually do to the body of a woman.

Myth – Weight training makes women bulky and muscular like men.

Fact – Weight training makes women strong, densifies the muscles and tones up the physique.

  • The primary driver of muscle growth is the presence of testosterone. Testosterone is primarily a male hormone which is why most men look like they do.The beard, moustache and development of the male reproductive organs in short depends on the male sex hormone, testosterone.
  • But, but, but…a woman does possess lower levels of testosterone in her body just like men have lower levels of estrogen.
  • The normal levels of testosterone in a female body ranges from 15-70 ng/dl whereas men have about 200-700 ng/dl (depending on age) of testosterone in their body. In short, women usually have about 1/10th of the testosterone that men have. In order to build a really muscular body a woman would need close to 200-700 ng/dl of testosterone.

So can women weight train? Absolutely!

Hence proved, that weight/strength training makes a woman strong and not bulky!

Now you would ask, since weight training doesn’t make a woman bulky, what does it actually do ? Why must women work out with weights and not head to the cardio section straight?

Here are some of the benefits of weight training for women.

  1. Lose body fat – When you weight train your body builds lean muscle and you would end up losing the excess fat stored in the body.
  2. Gain strength without bulking – As stated above, women cannot bulk up like men due to lower levels of testosterone. Hence once you start strength training rest assured that you would gain strength and muscle definition without size.
  3. Decreases the risk of osteoporosis – Weight training can increase your muscle strength but it can also increase your bone density. Post the age of 30 years, women begin to lose bone mineral density which is where weight training can come to our rescue.
  4. Reduces the risk of injuries – Strength training has the capability of strengthening your connective tissues and joints. In short strong joints, ligaments, tendons can decrease the risk of injuries and boost your sports performance.
  5. Helps in burning calories – Weight training has proven to increase ones metabolism, so the more intense the workout the more calories you are more likely to burn. All the more since after an intense workout there is increased oxygen consumption also known as excess post exercise oxygen consumption which helps in breaking down more fat cells.
  6. It improves your posture and reduces back pain – Strength training can strengthen your back, shoulders and core which means you can sit straight, upright and stand taller with your shoulders and core aligned. A strong back and core prevents the back pain many women suffer from day in and day out, not to forget on ‘those days of the month’.
  7. It can enhance your mood and reduce stress – Exercise or weight training can release endorphins or good hormones in your body. Endorphins being neurotransmitters are capable of improving the mood, fighting depression and preventing pain. So all in all, it will alleviate your mood, keep stress at bay and transform your bad day at work in to a good one.

In the end strength training can be your best friend, so do not fear…just do it! Stop flocking only to the cardio section, do a mix of both. However you must exercise in the presence of a fitness trainer or an expert, because weight training requires proper form. Start slow and steady, and keep at it!

 

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A Nutritionist,Clinical Dietitian,Speaker,health/fitness blogger who runs a nutrition website named NutriBond

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