In the quest for fitness, women have tended to focus on unhealthy, restricting diets, hours of cardio, and endless, boring spot targeting exercises. In addition to making a lot of people HATE working out, this has resulted in the missing component of strength as a part of women’s overall fitness and health, through weight lifting. Some myths have been perpetuated over the years and maybe you have believed some of them? If so, let us clear things up for you.
Older Women shouldn’t weight train because of possible injuries and osteoporosis.
If anything, the opposite is true. The more you train with weights and get stronger, the stronger your bones become, you develop critical muscle mass, and reduce the chances of bone breaks and other injuries. Post menopausal women who strength train, preserve their bone density, as well as overall body balance, which reduces the chance of falling. Check out this 75 year old weight lifting grandma and you will change your thoughts on older women and weight lifting.
Women should train differently than men.
Regardless of your sex, lifting weights, and heavy weights, makes you stronger. Women will not gain the bulky muscles that men do unless they are taking supplements specific to that goal and eating to gain size. Women simply do not have the testosterone to build that kind of bulk. Men will gain bulk, but women will get tight, shapely muscles. Lifting lighter weights to sets of 20 will not make you stronger or gain tone, but it will take up valuable time in the gym. Muscles need to be challenged and broken down, then rebuilt. This can only happen effectively with heavy weights. Women and men can follow the same training plan and because their bodies respond differently, the results will differ.
Lots of cardio is the best way to lose fat, not weight training
Less cardio and more time spent on strength training will result in more efficient weight loss than if you do cardio alone in that same time frame. Proper strength training with heavy weights breaks down the muscles. Over the next 24-48 hours, they are built back up. During that time, your body is using more calories and energy to build those muscles. Your metabolism ramps up even if you are sedentary after a workout. This is known as the “after-burn” in weight training.
So ignore those evil myths, and focus on the many benefits for women who strength train. Share with us some myths you had believed over the years.