Top Five Reasons Why Women Should Pump Iron
Posted by Dr. Del | April 23, 2014
The very first thing that ninety nine percent of new female clients usually say to me in the gym is “I don’t want to build muscles.” Really? Are you kidding me? Do you thing your yoga and Pilates can ever come close to giving you the benefits that you can get from a regular challenging weight-training regime (coming from a yoga practitioner…both great disciplines)? And I’m not just talking about mucking around (doing random unplanned activity to pass time) with those cute little hand weights for five minutes after you’ve just spent an hour being bored on the treadmill or elliptical cross trainer. How do I know that you’re bored? Let’s just say that after twenty years working with clients, I know a boring working when I see one.
So why should you train regularly with weights? And I’m not just talking about with those cute little colored hand weights that I have clients use strictly for rehab purposes. I’m talking about using the heaviest weight you can from the “man rack.” Here are my top five reasons:
- Weight training helps to burn more fat than cardio alone.
Numerous studies involving thousands of women have demonstrated that women who train regularly with weights burn more fat than those who only do cardio. And by the way, none of these women have ever complained about “bulking up.” And here’s the good news, ladies. Most of the women who weight train two to three times per week for eight weeks gain on average less than two pounds of lean muscle mass and lose up to four pounds of fat. I call that getting lean. And isn’t that what you want?
- Weight training will speed up your metabolism.
Most people buy a lot of useless “fat burning” products that promise to help them burn more fat and speed up their metabolism. The truth is building lean muscle mass and improving your cardiovascular fitness level are the only two ways (actually, there are other ways, but I don’t think you really want to go there)to improve your body’s fat burning and speed up your metabolism. Adding leaning muscle tissue will increase your resting metabolic rate so you will burn more calories throughout the day. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories daily. So, for example, if you gain three pounds of muscle and burn 40 extra calories for each pound, you’ll burn 120 more calories per day, or approximately 3,600 more calories per month. That equates to a loss of 10 to 12 pounds in one year! Ladies, are you convinced yet?
- Weight training will reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
What most women don’t realize is that unless you weight train, by the time you leave high school you’ve developed all the bone mineral density you’re ever going to have. That’s bad news since you’re losing bone mineral density every year. What can you do about it? Yes, you’ve got it, weight train. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. So strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis.
- Weight training will make you stronger.
That’s right, ladies. Weight training will make you stronger. And not just in the gym. Isn’t it a positive thing to be able to lift your kids and your groceries without breaking your back? How about being able to do some of those other household chores that you used to rely on a man to help you with? We call that self-reliance. Remember the picture of Rosie the Riveter from the World War Two days with the caption, “We can do it?” Isn’t that about strength and self-reliance?
- Weight training improves mental health.
A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than counseling. Furthermore, as you get stronger your self-confidence also improves. So before you run to a therapist, try investing some of that money on a good fitness trainer.
Well, I hope this article makes you want to run to the gym and pump some serious iron because the benefits far outweigh any perceived negatives. The truth is it is impossible for women to build big bulky muscles like men, without chemical assistance, because women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause bulking up.
So go ahead and give yourself permission to be strong; be bold; be fearless. Train hard or go home.
Until next time, be well, do good and live inspired with passion and purpose.
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