Strength training for women – Debunking 10 weight lifting myths

by Lululemon Athletica
Front Squats, like Prisoner Squats, ensure that you keep your torso upright. Photo by Lululemon.

Many women think that weight training is an exercise activity for men only. However this simply is not true. Weight training is not only a great way to get in shape, it also boosts metabolism to help lose weight.

Being stronger makes everyday tasks easier for you, whether it is carrying a baby around on your hip, doing house work, shopping, or working in an office or factory. Being stronger just makes things easier.

If you have been coming up with excuses to keep from starting an exercise program, or you are just wary of the idea of a lifting heavy weights, here is myths we’d like to debunk regarding weight training for women.

1. Lifting Weights Will Cause You to Bulk Up.

False. Women lack the testosterone necessary to build big muscles, so do not worry that you will look like some sort of freak if you lift for 30 minutes three times a week.

Women bodybuilders are an exception; they have a special diet, lift for many hours every day, and take chemical substances to look like that. The average woman will lose weight and develop shapely curves with a proper training program.

2. It is Hard to Get Started in Strength Training.

Women are advised to work with a professional trainer for a few sessions to learn the correct way to perform lifts, presses, rows and so on. A fitness expert will also set up an effective workout schedule including a cardio program, discuss nutrition, and give you safety tips on how to avoid injury.

3. You are Too Old to Begin a Program.

More nonsense. It doesn’t matter if you are 20 or 90, every person benefits from some type of strength training at any age. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends weight training for women and men over the age of 50.

Muscles deteriorate over time if they are not used yet the condition is reversible. Studies done on older adults found that they can improve muscles strength significantly and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, even after years of a static lifestyle.

4. If you do Cardio, you do not have to Strength Train

If you walk, run, dance, swim, or take a spinning class, you should still lift weights. You need load-bearing workouts to build strong bones, joints, as well as muscle.

Being stronger not only helps you perform daily tasks more easily, you’ll be able to walk stairs better, your bone mass in the hips and spine will improve, and you’ll feel better physically and mentally.

5. You are Lethargic and do not have the Energy to Lift Weights.

If you are tired and sluggish, then this is an area where strength training for women can really help. Working out will give you an overall mood lift due to increased levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Not only will you have more energy, less depression, and better concentration, you can even sleep better at night.

6. It is Intimidating to Lift Weights at a Public Gym Surrounded by Guys

Have you been to a health club or recreation center lately? Half of the participants are women and the men there are used to having them around. There is no reason to be shy by working out in public.

7. Strength Training is Not Feminine

Ah, but lifting weights helps you lose weight as well as develop a toned, trim body. With the right nutrition program, weekly weight training workouts will keep you looking terrific in a skirt, shorts, jeans, or a bikini.

8. Lifting Weights Takes Too Much Time

Then consider this: one of the biggest advantages of strength training for women is that you will see and feel changes in your body within a few weeks, and that’s a great motivation to keep going. Studies show you can stimulate growth in muscles by doing 30-minute sessions just two or three times per week.

9. Weight Training is Too Expensive

This is one of the worst myths of all. Building a home gym is easy as it is inexpensive, or can be, depending on your budget. For example, you can find resistance bands and kettlebells for under $50.

If you want a set of free weights they will cost a little more, about $300 to $500, but they last forever. A multi-station home gym or a functional trainer can cost $500 to $2000, and you can perform dozens of compound exercises to achieve overall conditioning.

10. Weight Training is Not Fun.

And it will hurt! Hey, if you do not like crunches and lunges, then do not do them! There are plenty of other exercises on machines or using bands or kettlebells that well keep you more interested if you don’t like the idea of mat work. Forget the “No pain, no gain” slogan. Lifting can actually alleviate some maladies such as chronic back pain and arthritis.

Working out just a few sessions a week provides remarkable results in overall body conditioning. In addition, strength training for women will also have a profound impact on your mental and emotional health.

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