Most women’s choice of working out consists of pure cardio. Ask any woman you know “What does your fitness routine consist of?” Literally stop what you are doing and go ask them! You will either here “I don’t workout” or “cardio”. You can find us on the elliptical machine, running on the treadmill, using the stair climber, or dancing away at Zumba class. But if you look over at the weight training area, you will see a sea of men and that’s not right! The National Center for Health Statistics shows that only two out of ten women strength train two or more times a week. You maybe wondering why…
Here are a few reasons why:
- Women think they are going to get muscular and bulky and don’t want to look like men. I hate the burst your bubble but the chances of that happening is very unlikely. Women produce 10-30 times less testosterone than men, the chances of that happening is very unlikely. Instead you will have more definition and tone.
- Women are intimidated when they see men flexing, dropping weights on the floor after some serious lifting and walking around as if they dominate the space. I get you on that, when I started I was intimated but I would go with a plan and focused on executing. Other alternatives are going to the gym at a time when it less crowded, using an empty room or join a women’s gym. That way you are more comfortable and likely to complete your your strength training workout.
- Women may not know the proper form and don’t really know where to start. That is fine too; we all need some guidance when we first start out. Many personal trainers are willing to offer assistance for free, you could sign up for a trainer, get a DVD or self-teach from books.
Now that we got that out of the way….
Let me tell you the benefits of strength training:
- Revs Your Metabolism. When you begin to incorporate strength training into your routines, your after burn is greater. Who doesn’t want to burn extra calories by doing nothing! The higher your metabolism, the more weight you keep off .
- Lose Body Fat. Resistance training will help burn intramuscular fat and create lean muscle tissue The average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. I don’t know about you, but I’m running to my weight set now!
- Prevent Osteoporosis. As we age our bones and muscle mass begin to decrease. Studies show that strength training increases bone and muscle mass thus preventing the occurrence of osteoporosis. This is further proof that strength training has benefits beyond the aesthetic realm. You reap the benefits of a higher quality life and great health.
- Feel Stronger. I’m not going to lie, after I do strength training workout I’m definitely feeling myself and flexing my mini muscles J. I feel a great sense of joy and accomplishment. When you begin to see your strength increase by doing things you’ve never done before, it’s the greatest feeling. One week you may do five pushups and the next you are doing ten, you can see and feel your body getting stronger!
I could go on and on about the benefits but I hope you get the point. I ask that you continue doing your cardio and getting your groove on BUT also begin to incorporate strength training exercises into your routines. Of course, don’t forget to eat clean, 70% of your results is based on your nutrition.
Here are a few ways to get started:
- Get a personal trainer to show you the right form and different types of strength training exercises.
- For the self-teachers, buy some weights and check out this book.
- For the DVD lovers, check out this DVD.
I’d love to hear from you, feel free to comment and ask me questions. Feel free to share the knowledge by sharing, tweeting and liking my blog post. Sharing is caring 🙂
Vanessa Cunningham is a health & lifestyle coach and dynamic speaker based in New York City. She mentors women and children in how to move from “I can’t” to a place of enthusiastic action so they can become healthier, more confident and able to take charge of their health and wellness. Trained in over 100 dietary theories, Vanessa creates customized plans for all her clients that are fun, sustainable and empower them to meet their goals.
If you are ready and willing to take the step to live a healthier and more fulfilling life, apply for a health consultation with me.