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Why Women Too Can Do Weight Training

Bodybuilding

Why Women Too Can Do Weight Training

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A girl doing chin-ups as part of weight trainingThe first time I joined the gym, around 8 years back, I was naive. I did not know what was best for my body and all I believed was that if I did my cardios religiously and followed the right diet then I would have the toned body I saw women in magazines had.It never occurred to me that my body needed more than cardios to meet my goals until I met my trainer. At first when he told me that I would have to add weight training to my routine I was in a dilemma.

My mind lost the image of the perfect bikini body and created the illusion of a muscle bulky me. Weren’t weights supposed to be for men who wanted to make robust muscles? I mean men and muscles looked good too. But women and robust muscles?

The second question that came up in my mind was how on earth was I was supposed to pick up weights. I mean, not that I could not, but I was just freaking out thinking about all the men in the weight room. Somehow, I was scared I would not fit in at all.

And the third of all I did not think any normal woman as I, could pick up weights even though I had seen many women do it during the Olympics and the bodybuilding arena. For me they were superwomen.

I obviously put my fears forward to my trainer, who laughed at my innocence at first and then put a hand on my shoulder and led me to the weight room where I did not see only men. Yes! there were women there too who were working out on weights, both barbells and dumbbells, and they had the exact toned body I always wanted.

That was the day my doubts cleared out. We, women tend to stick to our cardios thinking that it is the best way to shed pounds and to keep our weight maintained. Well what I learned 8 years back from my trainer totally defies whatever any women scared of doing weight believes in today.

Let me give you 5 more pointers as to why I think and know that any women is capable to do weight training as any man would. If you thought you never could, then this article will only prove that you have underestimated yourself.

Why Women Can Weight Train Too

5 pointers why Strong is the new Skinny for ladies

I am going to break every myth you might have heard about women doing weights with these pointers so that you have no more doubts left to question. Here they come.

Pointer 1- “Weight training will make me look bulky and masculine.” What?

That is a myth we ladies have to get over with. Weight training will not make you look bulky or masculine untill and unless you actually aim for that because women do not produce as much testosterone as men. [1]

So if you have had this belief because of the various women who are in the bodybuilding arena. Then let me inform you how they made it- anabolic steroids aka synthetic testosterone. Isn’t it refreshing news?

Your trainer will only help you attain what you ask for and weight training helps you attain that faster while you also carry out your cardios. This way we also ensure to build muscles instead of losing them.

Pointer 2- “What if my chest size increases.” How you’d wish

This something that is not going to happen. Let me tell you why?

A Woman’s breasts consists mostly of fatty tissue and so it is quite impossible to increase the size of a woman’s chest through weight training. According to John J. Edney, MD, Plastic Surgeon, Omaha

“Weight lifting should be expected to increase the volume of the underlying chest wall muscle. Weight lifting by itself should not be expected to have any change in the appearance of the breast itself. Regular weight lifting can lead to a decrease in percent of body fat. This can lead to a diminished breast size. In general, moderate weight lifting intending to tone the chest wall muscles would very likely lead to an enhancement of one’s overall chest appearance. If breast volume diminishes secondary to decrease in body fat, then a breast augmentation can be performed to improve the appearance.”

High intensity weight training tones the back, increases the back muscles, and thus increases back size too. So most of us confuse this with an increase in cup size. [2]

Pointer 3 – “I heard that weight training makes us stiff and musclebound.” Really? 

Any type of exercise that you perform only increases your flexibility. Have you ever heard of a person who does not exercise at all being flexible? I have not. Practice always makes perfect and the same theory applies in case of exercise too.

When you carry out weight lifting exercises through their full range of motion, flexibility is bound to develop in your body. [3] There are many weight lifting exercises like stiff-legged deadlifts, dumbbell presses, and chin-ups which increases your stretching abilities .

Pointer 4 – “I can burn same amount of fat by doing cardio.”  Not true.

Did you know that the amount of calories that you burn on the treadmill in 30 minutes can be burned in half the time when you combine it with weights. Let me state one simple fact which will put you in awe-

“Cardio workouts alone, do not help when it comes to toning the body or weight loss. It instead causes loss of muscles and decreases the metabolic rate.”

I am sure you can see the evidence when you compare the body of a marathon runner to that of of an athlete who combines his running to other exercises as well. If the image is not clear in your head maybe this image will show you how. [4]

Pointer 5 – “Weight training is not for women.”  Why?

Women shy away from the very mention of strength training after the age of 40 for the fear of hurting themselves or any bone injury.

How ever this is just another myth about women and strength training. According to some studies it has been found that strength training in postmenopausal women maintains the bone density and also improves muscle mass, strength, and balance. [5]

I would like to say that you are as old  as you feel. You don’t need to stop strength training when you age, instead when you stop any form of exercise or being active that is when you start aging.

I hope I have been able to inspire all you ladies out there with these myth busters. Keep them in mind and start doing your workouts today and see the new you waking up everyday. Leave behind all the fears you have because the men that you see at the gym today also started from scratch. The only reason they look fit today is because they left their fears behind.

Let me hear some feedback from you guys out there. Shout out a message, leave a comment. I will be here to talk to you. Till then Sweat it out.

References
[1]Sinha-Hikim I, Artaza J, Woodhouse L, Gonzalez-Cadavid N, Singh AB, Lee MI, Storer TW, Casaburi R, Shen R, & Bhasin S (2002). Testosterone-induced increase in muscle size in healthy young men is associated with muscle fiber hypertrophy. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 283 (1) PMID: 12067856. ^Back to Top^

[2] Abe T, DeHoyos DV, Pollock ML, & Garzarella L (2000). Time course for strength and muscle thickness changes following upper and lower body resistance training in men and women. European journal of applied physiology, 81 (3), 174-80 PMID: 10638374. ^Back to Top^

[3] Seco J, Abecia LC, Echevarría E, Barbero I, Torres-Unda J, Rodriguez V, & Calvo JI (2013). A long-term physical activity training program increases strength and flexibility, and improves balance in older adults. Rehabilitation nursing : the official journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, 38 (1), 37-47 PMID: 23365004. ^Back to Top^

[4] Kraemer WJ, Mazzetti SA, Nindl BC, Gotshalk LA, Volek JS, Bush JA, Marx JO, Dohi K, Gómez AL, Miles M, Fleck SJ, Newton RU, & Häkkinen K (2001). Effect of resistance training on women's strength/power and occupational performances. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 33 (6), 1011-25 PMID: 11404668. ^Back to Top^

[5] Nelson ME, Fiatarone MA, Morganti CM, Trice I, Greenberg RA, & Evans WJ (1994). Effects of high-intensity strength training on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures. A randomized controlled trial. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 272 (24), 1909-14 PMID: 7990242. ^Back to Top^

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