Strength training is something that can benefit every woman with every body type, yet many women who work out in gyms tend to shy away from strength training. Strength training with 70 to 85 percent of a one rep maximum is not only beneficial, but necessary for the female species. Most females have a lower strength to body weight ratio than males. Females also put on more lower body fat as they mature than males, not to mention the high-risk of osteoporosis as they get older. A full body strength workout accompanied by a short metabolic workout can not only make a woman leaner, but help her to move better too.
So why don't more women strength train with weights? The answer lies in numerous myths. Here are a few:
Myth: Women should lift light weights for high reps in order to slim down and not get bulky.
Fact: Muscle bulk comes from a high volume of work. High-volume results in muscle damage, which in turn results in hypertrophy. More weight/less reps, contrary to popular belief, is better for losing body fat and increasing muscle tone.
Myth: Women who lift heavier weights will get bulky.
Fact: Women do not have nearly as much testosterone, a muscle building hormone, as men. As a matter of fact, women have 15 to 20 times lower testosterone levels than men.
Myth: Doing steadystate cardio will make you skinny.
Fact: Doing lots of steady-state cardio work might make some people skinny, but it will also make you flabby and eventually injured. Steady-state cardio eats away at muscle mass eventually slowing down your metabolism, resulting in fewer calories burned per activity
Below are five good reasons why women should strength train with weights:
1. Reduce risk of injury. Weight training strengthens not only muscles but connective tissues and promotes joint stability. When body strength is increased, daily tasks and routines will be far less likely to cause injury.
2. Lower percentage of body fat. Increasing muscle mass turns the body into a fat burning machine. Each pound of muscle gained burns up to 50 to 75 extra calories per day. This adds up over time.
3. Shape the body proportionately. Full body weight training also trains muscles in proportion to the demands of functional movement. A body in appropriate proportion is always more attractive. Physical appearance is determined more by overall shape, not by the size of individual muscles.
4. Helps improve posture. By strengthening muscles and connective tissues and promoting joint stability, strength training helps improve postural distortions, thus improving posture while giving the appearance of long, lean muscles.
5. Increases bone density. This is an extremely important factor for women over the age of 40. A decrease in bone density is the number one cause of osteoporosis in females.
A good starting point is to strength train with weights 2 to 3 times per week. This would include full-body, multi-joint exercises with no more than 10 reps per set. Complete the workout with 5 to 10 minutes of high intensity metabolic work such as sprints, bike sprints or the stair mill. Women who follow these guidelines will love the way they look and feel.
Nunzio Signore is the owner of Rockland Peak Performance located at 174 Rt. 17 in Sloatsburg. For more information, call 712-5415 or visit RocklandPeakPerformance.com.