Women and Resistance Training

There are many myths and misconceptions regarding women and resistance training. All reputable medical, health and fitness professionals endorse resistance training for women for a variety of reasons:
Increased Strength: Regular resistance training will improve your functional strength. When you translate ‘gym’ strength into real life applications, it will make it easier for you to pick up the children, finish general chores and be less dependent on others. Especially for the elderly, this can preserve independence.
Increased Metabolism: This is a simple physiological fact – if your muscles are bigger, it takes more energy to move them. It’s a little like comparing a little 4 cylinder engine vs a big V8 – the bigger the engine, the more fuel it burns. This will effectively help you to burn even more bodyfat.
Increased Strength without Bulk: This is one of the biggest myths. Females simply cannot bulk up during resistance training. Females have 10 – 30 times less testosterone than men, therefore cannot increase muscle bulk like a man. This means that women can train as hard as they like with weights, and they will only ever tone up and get stronger. – Most men struggle as it is to build muscle!
Improved Athletic Performance: Almost every sport requires an element of strength. Improving strength generally will always improve performance and minimise the risk of injury.
Improved bone density/minimise risk of Osteoporosis: Regular resistance training will increase bone density in both men and women by up to. Coupled with adequate calcium and vitamin D levels, regular resistance training is an excellent preventative for osteoporosis.
Decreased risk of Diabetes: Increasing your lean muscle mass will help regulate blood sugar levels in the body, and in doing so, minimise the risk of diabetes.
The Cons – There aren’t any!! There is absolutely no reason (and I’ve heard them all!) for women not to train with weights. There are so many great benefits, so get lifting!
A word of warning! – Don’t be fooled by measuring your results simply by the scales. Especially when you first start resistance training, you may actually gain some ‘weight’ on the scales. YOU ARE NOT BULKING UP OR GETTING FATTER! This is your body re-adjusting to a new routine, shifting fluid and you may be gaining a bit of muscle. A month or two of persistence and your metabolism will be firing and those dress sizes will topple!!

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