Exercise Myths: Women & Weights
By Kelly Farris, ACSM CPT
Owner of Ladies Workout Snellville
I have owned and operated a successful ladies gym for 20 years. In that time the social stigmas and misinformation surrounding women and weight lifting have lessened, yet the vast majority of women are still hesitant to take part in a weight lifting program.
Let’s set aside sexual stereotypes and address the facts. Women physically cannot achieve muscle hypertrophy (fancy word for enlargement) to the extent that men do. Not possible. What is possible is that you create visible muscle definition. That is good. But to truly “bulk up” like a man you would require outside help, such as anabolic steroids. This is inadvisable for both health as well as legal reasons. That is bad.
This is the thing. There are SO many important reasons women should be lifting weights beyond the subject of physical appearance. Here are a few.
Strength training over a period of time can help prevent bone loss. It has been shown to generate new bone growth. That’s right! Your 80 year old granny with osteoporosis needs to be lifting.
Muscle is more active and energy-demanding than fat, so if you have a higher percentage of muscle compared to fat, you will have a higher Basal Metabolic Rate (shapefit.com). Sadly, we lose muscle as we age. By age 70 we have potentially lost 50% of our muscle mass. Don’t take this lying down…pick up a weight!
Women need functional fitness to get through their everyday lives. Groceries. Yard work. Lifting children. Changing a tire. Having the strength for these activities helps prevent back and shoulder injuries. Muscles maintain better balance and this prevents falls as we age.
Think of weights as FUNctional training. If it is fun you are more likely to keep it going.
Remember healthy and strong is beautiful! Live long and lift heavy! First find a professional trainer and then GO FOR IT!
Kelly Farris is the owner of Ladies Workout Snellville, Time4Results Personal Training and the President of KLF Fitness.
For more information visit http://www.ladiesworkoutexpresssnellville.com.
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