One of the most debated topics among people, especially girls. Girls especially in this country are very skeptical when it comes to training with dumbbells and barbells. Leave aside the question of training heavy. I am aware of the doubts they have (because these questions were asked by a few of my female friends) and I have tried to address as many as I could remember.
If any point you think is left unaddressed, please comment.
Is cardio not enough?
If you are looking for a well-shaped and toned body apart from fat loss then NO. Cardiovascular activities are responsible only for burning fat and not building muscle, and toning my friends is nothing but muscle. Want curves? Then lift!
But lifting weights makes girls look masculine!
Result of strength/weight/resistance training is not exactly same for male and female. Guys get big because of higher ratio of testosterone in their body which is responsible for gain in muscle size. Females have more ratio of estrogen and don’t get bulky. Few girls whom you may have seen with big arms may be because of
- Steroids abuse
- Abnormally high level of testosterone in their body, the chances of which are very less and if you have this problem, you would probably know it by now.
Are women supposed to lift heavy?
Yes. There is nothing wrong with women lifting heavy. Lifting heavy increases metabolism, makes bones denser, improves hormonal regulation; your central nervous system learns how to recruit more muscle fibers to contract on demand and becomes resilient to physical stress. In addition if you want that well shaped glutes, you need to squat and dead lift heavy!
Note: – Heavy is relative here and not necessarily 100/200 kgs for everyone 🙂
My Trainer says weightlifting is for boys and running is enough for me!
Folks! People in health industry especially in this country are for making money. I have seen it all, from gyms which charge 800/- per month to ones which charge 3000/- per month. The other person will not take any special interest in you until you pay him something extra (personal training that means you will end up paying 2 x the gym fees or may be more).
It is not easy to lift weights because you need to learn right postures and forms. If he needs to teach you that he will have to do extra work for which he is not getting any extra money. But for running, all he has to do is teach you how to operate that treadmill. Sometimes using common sense is more useful then listening to someone blindly just because he is extra sweet with you, if you know what I mean 🙂
Having said that, let us see the other advantages of weight training
Advantages of weight training
- Burns calories in the gym, as well as outside: – Weight lifting has been scientifically proven to boost basal metabolic rate for up to 24 hours post workout. And more intense the workout, more calories you will burn after workout because of boosted metabolism.
Adding strength training to your workout plan will help you burn extra calories. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body burns almost 50 extra calories every day.
- Reduces lower back pain, injury and arthritis: – In addition to strong muscles, weight training also builds strong connective tissues and improves joint stability. This reinforces joints and helps prevent injury.
- Decreases the rate of adult onset diabetes: – Weight training reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life due to increased insulin sensitivity.
- Strengthens joints, ligaments and tendons: – All women out there who complain of pain in joints and tendons. Are you reading this?
- Reduces risk of osteoporosis: – With age women become more susceptible to bone loss and osteoporosis. Compared to men, women are at greater risk because of their lighter skeleton. We build bones only till the age of 35, after which comes a phase of decline. Strength training has been proven to increase bone density.
- Reduces the risk of heart disease and makes your lungs strong: – Weight training serves to increase HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers the resting heart rate. It means the heart does not have to work as hard on a day to day basis. Plus it is great for the functioning of your lungs which for that matter any exercise is 🙂
- No weight regain after you take a break from the gym: – Apart from hormonal imbalances, people regain weight quickly after they stop working out because all they do is burn calories in the gym, they do not work towards improving their resting metabolism. Weight training does this for you. You are in the gym for only an hour. You need to make sure your body is burning calories for the rest 23 hours too.
- Adds variety to your workout plan:-Doing one form of exercise every day is very monotonous. Weight training adds variety to your workout with so many exercises for each muscle and keeps you motivated.
- Every Athlete needs it: – People think only boxers and bodybuilders need it. It is not true. Everyone from runners to cyclist to swimmers, do weight training. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for you.
Having said it all, I will come back to the main question –
Why Women Must Lift Weights?
For obvious reasons, because you want to be strong, don’t want to depend on others for day to day life activities. Don’t want to get injured or pull a muscle by lifting a simple grocery bag. Don’t want to suffer problems related to bones after you have turned 40. Don’t want to regain weight after you have taken a break from gym to go on a vacation with your family. Change the way people think, that you are fragile! (bechaari ye itna sab kahaan utha paayegi).
I have a friend who is very fragile and she realised what she has been lacking so far until she tried completing 18 reps with a 2 kg dumbbell one day. Now she aims to complete those same 18 reps squatting with a 7 feet barbell loaded with multiple plates
Physical strength has always been attractive; right from the ancient times. It differentiates you from others in the flock and has its own unique significance. So what is stopping you?
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