I know, You don’t want bulging biceps or thunderous thighs.
But that doesn’t mean you should skip the weight room.
Lifting weights has some surprising perks that you can’t get from cardio alone.only two strength-training sessions a week can help you burn more fat, sculpt lean muscles, feel more energized, and so much more.
Undoubtedly, you've heard the horror stories: lifting heavy weights makes women bulky, it's dangerous, it's bad for your joints, and once you have muscle, you can't stop lifting or it will all turn to fat. It's all BS, and it feeds into stereotypes that are keeping too many women from experiencing the profound benefits of resistance training.
It's time to put that fear and uncertainty aside. The fact is lifting weights does none of those awful things. What it does is help you to live in a healthier, stronger body.
When you sit down to list your fitness objectives, you may be surprised to learn that that strength training will not only help you reach them, but may reach them faster than performing cardio exercise alone.
1. Accelerates fat-loss
Although many people consider weightlifting only a means to add size, when contrasted head-to-head against cardiovascular exercise, resistance training comes out on top in the battle to burn calories.
The huge advantage to weight training is your body's ability to burn fat during and after exercise.
After a heavy bought of strength training, you continue to consume additional oxygen in the hours and even days that follow. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
When your body uses more oxygen, it requires more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate.
Essentially, you will get more fat-loss from cardio when you combine it with weight training.
2. Shapes your curves.
Most females feel that the best way to shape their body and achieve a more toned look is by spending hours doing low-intensity cardio.
The reality is that the best way to “bring out your curves” is to build strength and muscle. If all you do is constantly endure long bouts of low/moderate intensity cardio then you are basically lowering your metabolic rate while concomitantly losing muscle mass.
In the end, you will have lowered your bodyweight but increased your body-fat percentage (i.e. you will look “skinny-fat”). Don’t give in to the idea that you need to be a “cardio bunny” in order to be lean and toned.
The more weight training you do, the more shapely your body will be, and the fact that you will also be stronger will empower you.
3. INCREASED ENERGY
Weight training actually greatly improves your psychological well-being and enhances your sense of vitality throughout your daily life. It’s not uncommon to feel completely wiped out and lifeless after spending hours on the treadmill; lifting, on the other hand actually boosts “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. In fact, studies show that the heavy weight exercise protocols appear to greatly increase plasma beta-endorphin concentration, which in turn modulates mood in a positive manner.
If you find yourself stressed out, don’t hesitate to take some of that out on the iron, lifting can be very therapeutic.
4. Better heart health
The heart is indeed a muscle (a smooth muscle) and it can be trained much like skeletal muscle. Most females assume that aerobic exercise is inherently the best way to train the heart and improve blood lipid profiles. While that is true, combining aerobic exercise with weight training actually has been shown to do those factors just as effectively, if not even more.
Moreover, weight training is one of the most effective ways to increase insulin sensitivity. This essentially means that your body is more efficient at utilizing carbohydrates for energy and assisting the muscle-building process, as opposed to storing them and being converted to adipose tissue.
If you want to enjoy some cakes without feeling guilty, hit the iron and indulge a bit!
5. Bone health improves
As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer secretes estrogen. Resistance training is an excellent way to combat loss of bone mass, and it decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are becoming more and more common in females which can likely be attributed to physical inactivity and lack of load-bearing exercises. Weight-bearing exercise in particular provides mechanical stimuli or “loading” important for the maintenance and improvement of bone health, whereas physical inactivity has been implicated in loss of bone density. In fact, low bone mass is a major risk factor for fractures in females, and one of the most effective ways to reverse degeneration of bones is to consistently train with weights.
6. Better sleep quality
Females should aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night, and they often fall short of this range due to things like stress and poor mood. Numerous studies have demonstrated that a sustained exercise regimen incorporating vigorous weight training can greatly improve sleep quality and the duration of sleep episodes. In fact, weight training provides an effective natural alternative to pharmaceutical interventions in patients with insomnia.
Don’t be scare to pump some iron if you just can’t get to sleep at night, it will knock you out "literally".
Summing it up
Weight training with heavy resistance, WILL NOT make females bulky, it will empower them!
One of the most annoying myths that pervades gyms everywhere is the idea that females who train with relatively heavy weights will suddenly transform into the female equivalent of The Incredible Hulk. Reality is that females should train with heavy weights just like their male counterparts often do and no it won’t make you “bulky” and deepen your voice.
If a female really wanted to get “bulky” they would have to eat like a pig, and put in years of intense training just like any other person.