Women weight training is a topic that gets me pretty angry from time to time.
And it’s because of the way media markets fitness to women. Magazines, websites and articles are pumped out saying that they can get you a flat stomach in minutes a day.
It’s deplorable, disgusting and only expands the gap of knowledge concerning fitness for both men and women.
When popular entertainment tells you it’s possible to reach a cover status body in minutes a day they are teaching you that fitness and nutrition is simple. And it’s not, it’s science, it’s complex and 4 exercises for 5 minutes a day won’t get you a 6 pack.
Here is the only way to get abs in minutes, actually they say seconds. BAM, VICTORY!
I really hope that I am not the first to tell you that you WILL NOT get a lean looking stomach with 6 minutes of ab workouts a day.
Or that, if you truly WANT abs you shouldn’t do a bunch of ab exercises. You need to straight up drop body fat if you want to see those abs.
The reason I’m irritated is pretty simple the people that command the bulk of our attention literally don’t give a damn what’s healthy for us they just care about us clicking the link or making a purchase.
So, they tell you WHATEVER you want to hear.
There is a glimmer of hope though…
There is a slow moving trend to teach women that weight training is GREAT for them, that being stronger than men is possible, and that being thin isn’t all that healthy.
But it is only being pushed by a select few.
As you can see I truly believe women SHOULD weight train, we just need to continue to teach WHY it is so great.
Today we are going to bust through some weight training myths and answer your questions on why women need to consider a weight training plan to be part of your workout routine.
And men this article can help you tell your lady friends to drop the ridiculous amount of time spent on cardio machines.
So, listen carefully, I’ll help make you sound smart when you tell your girlfriend to pick up some dumbbells with you.
Will You Get Bulky?
First off, what does getting bulky even mean?
Do you think starting a strength training program is going to instantly turn you into Ms. Olympia?
I guarantee, that won’t happen.
The men and women who aspire to be, even amateur, body builders are TRYING to get big and bulky. They spend YEARS trying to pack on as much muscle as their body can carry.
That is not an easy task.
So, don’t worry, you WON’T get bulky unless you really put some effort into it.
And here’s why women don’t just “bulk up,”
Without getting into hormones in a ton of detail I will just quickly say that estrogen (predominant sex hormone in women), helps women build good quality muscle tissue all the way down to a molecular level (so you are effecting your strength here, not so much the muscle fiber size).
And that is important to note because when everyone thinks of strength training and getting bulky they think of testosterone (predominant sex hormone in men).
Which helps gain muscle fiber SIZE.
And both, testosterone and estrogen assist in an increase in strength.
So, when women lift weights their estrogen levels increase for a short duration.
Which helps create and maintain great muscle tissue.
RATHER than putting overall size on the muscle tissue, which is what happens when men lift weights and our testosterone levels increase.
So win win for both women and men. Men can get big awesome arms and women can get trim, toned arms by strength training.
Now, what WILL make you “bulky” is OVER EATING.
If you’re not adhering to a nutrition plan and just eating whatever you want. Then hell yeah, you’ll get bulky.
And it’s not gonna be a good bulky.
If the nutrition part is rough for you then check out my post on Food Tracking to get a better idea of how to really dial down the food aspect.
Will You Gain Weight?
Maybe a little bit, but who cares because the likely explanation here is that you just gained muscle.
Which is awesome.
And I better not hear a complaint about gaining weight due to lean muscle mass. If you want to lose weight (for some dumb reason) then stop eating.
If you want to look amazing then lift weights and build great looking muscle.
Here Are More Great Benefits That Come From Lifting
Remember that estrogen stuff we just talked about?
Well, turns out that with the increase of estrogen and growth hormone (another muscle building hormone) during, and after, weight training women get to benefit from a HOST of other health boosting factors.
Benefits such as;
-Increase in bone health,
-Decrease rate of muscle loss with aging,
-Decrease cortisol hormone levels (hormone that increases body fat),
-Increases overall blood circulation,
-And increase ligament strength
Oh hey, did I mention that strength training also increases the rate at which you burn fat?
Because yeah, it does that too.
And guess what? All of those benefits listed above are MAJOR issues women will have to deal with when estrogen levels begin to drastically decrease during, and post, menopause.
So, now is the time to start a weight training program if you are of the female gender.
The weight room is no longer a place just for the “guys.”
And as far as women doing workout plans similar to men, I think it’s a great idea.
The only adjustment I tend to make for my female clients is to include more work for the upper body region.
That is because I have found that women tend to have less upper body strength and usually need to put some more focus in the chest and back category.
I’m thinking it’s time for ladies to be done with the 90 minute cardio sessions and get into the 40 minute weight training sessions (unless you plan on being a marathoner, then you still should lift some weights).
Not to mention it is time to help the cause and break through the perception that weight training is for the boys and the treadmill is for the girls.
If you’re not sure where to start try my Home Training Course (which is FREE), it comes with 24 workouts, exercise demo videos, nutrition guide, exercise log and an extensive training manual. Pretty much anything you need to start right now.
Thanks for reading and if you get a chance check out my website at TrainARC.com, or like me at Facebook.com/TrainARC. And if you have any questions, just ask.
Resources for this article:
- Lowe DA, Baltgalvis KA, Greising SM. Mechanisms behind Estrogens’ Beneficial Effect on Muscle Strength in Females. Exercise and sport sciences reviews. 2010;38(2):61-67. doi:10.1097/JES.0b013e3181d496bc.
- J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002 Apr;57(4):B158-65. Hormonal responses to endurance and resistance exercise in females aged 19-69 years. Copeland JL1, Consitt LA, Tremblay MS.
- Strength Training for Bone, Muscle, and Hormones: https://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/strengthtrainingforbmh.pdf
- Strength Training For Women: http://www.womensheart.org/content/Exercise/strength_training.asp