When we think of women and weight lifting, we can easily conjure up images of oiled, honed bodies, holding poses to highlight muscle groups. Yes, this is certainly something you can aim for, but there’s a lot more to lifting weights to improve women’s health.
Here, we’ll bust the myths and dig into the benefits of this valuable training.
Myth#1 - “Lifting weights will bulk me up and make me look less feminine”
Due to women naturally producing less testosterone than men, it’s much harder to create bulk. Yes, lifting weights can help to form bulk if that’s the intention, but it won’t achieve this on its own.
Bulking also requires extra calorie intake and increased resistance and strength training. It is a very specific way to approach lifting weights and won’t happen unless that’s the aim.
Myth#2 - “I need to do cardio to lose weight”
Following a program suited to you will help to reduce body fat, resulting in weight loss. Often, high levels of cardio activity are touted as the only way to burn fat, but lifting weights has the effect of increasing the amount of calories burnt by our bodies, even at rest. This is because lifting weights causes more muscle to be built, raising muscle mass.
Muscles – and we have many – do a lot of work during the average day and each contraction of a muscle needs energy. The more muscle mass we have, the more our metabolism needs to increase to provide that energy which then results in fat burning.
Studies have shown that we can continue to burn extra calories for as long as 3 days following a weights workout!
Myth#3 - “Lifting weights is dangerous”
Just jumping into lifting weights without proper guidance on how to do it could cause injury. But learning the dos and don’ts will mean you get the most out of your exercise time while using a safe practice.
Some of the guidelines to follow when lifting weights are…
Take it easy to start
Your first weights session is not the time to think you’re on an Olympic stage and have to lift the heaviest object in the room.
We recommend booking at least one session with one of our qualified personal trainers so that you start off doing it correctly and don’t form bad habits.
The trainer will start you off with lower weights so you can perfect your technique and posture when lifting, so as you move to heavier weights, you will reduce the risk of injury.
Use equipment that is safe and well-maintained
Obviously, you want to be sure that the weights you lift are safe to use. Rest assured that at Live Fit Yarrabilba, we check all the equipment regularly and keep it in full working order, or replace it as needed.
Use your core
Without engaging the core when we lift weights, we can cause strain to other muscles in our body, particularly in the lower back. Keeping the core tense when lifting will improve posture and give a safer workout.
Myth#4 - “I’m too old to lift weights”
The natural aging process causes our bodies to lose strength and muscle mass. Known as sarcopenia, this affects our mobility, stamina and balance.
We may find walking or carrying out tasks around the home more difficult. Falling becomes a higher risk and this reduction in strength can even contribute to several illnesses, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Older women really benefit from weight lifting as it can improve their balance, reduce the risk of falling, and enhance their mobility and stamina. Studies show that people who engage in strength (or resistance) training are able to slow the progression of sarcopenia and reduce the effect it has on our lives.
Apart from improved mental health through the endorphins released during strength training, it can reduce body pain and the risk of fractures through stronger bone health as well as lower body fat.
Myth#5 - “I’d feel intimidated going to a gym”
Taking the first step towards lifting weights to benefit your health is something you want to feel really good about. Some gym environments can feel a little intimidating as they’re frequented by serious weightlifters or a lot of young people.
At Live Fit, we welcome people of all ages, sizes, mobility and fitness levels, and our team makes sure that we provide a friendly and supportive atmosphere at all times. We want everyone to enjoy coming, get the most out of every session and never feel intimidated.
Ladies - come on down and try some weight lifting
Many of our female members lift weights and also join in with some of our weights classes. It really is a wonderful way to lose weight, gain muscle tone and seriously improve your health and fitness.
If you’ve not visited us before, why not download our 7 Day Free Trial Pass and give it a go?
Get in touch today and start your strength journey in a welcoming and safe environment..