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Why Women Should Lift Weights

Why Women Should Lift Weights
Published: 16/02/2017

Some years ago, my go to exercise was running. It was cheap. I could choose when I wanted to do it and, for a time, it seemed to help with controlling my weight. Then things just got harder. I got frustrated. My weight started to increase and I didn’t understand why. I was exercising and watching what I ate and unfortunately I thought that this was enough.

I started to do some study. I joined in some group fitness classes and enjoyed what I was doing, but my body wasn’t changing the way I had hoped. Then came the opportunity for me to do some strength training. Our gym had flooded and I couldn’t attend my usual classes and my gym buddy moved away, so I decided to join my husband and his mates with their training. Little did I know that this was going to be the best thing for my female body. As time progressed, whilst my weight on the scales stayed relatively the same, I was able to drop 3 dress sizes and decrease my body fat by more than 10%. Now tell me that doesn’t interest you?

Clients and even close friends always comment to me that “they don’t want to get bulky” by doing strength training. It’s a real fear, but one that is grossly misplaced.   While my male counterparts were at the gym to bulk up, my goal remained to slim down, and that is exactly what I was able to achieve by strength training.  Keep in mind that strength training and hypertrophy training (muscle growth) are actually two different things. There are also physiological differences between men and women, including the amount of testosterone produced. Women just don’t have the capacity to grow muscle like men do. Besides that fact, muscle growth doesn’t happen overnight and, unless you train like a bodybuilder or an elite CrossFit champion, you aren’t just going to wake up one morning and say “oooops, I think I just put on too much muscle”.

9 out of 10 Australians do not meet the Australian guidelines in relation to twice weekly strength training. Unfortunately it is not enough to just be engaged in some sort of physical activity, although it is certainly better than doing nothing. As with anything in life though, if you were considering making a change to the type of exercise you participate in, I’m sure you want to know what is in it for you. So, lets have a look at some of the additional benefits of engaging in strength training:-

  • improved metabolism
  • improved bone density
  • improved physical and mental performance
  • improved blood lipid profile
  • reduced body fat
  • reduced blood pressure
  • reduced risk of diabetes

Some of that might seem like a bit of blah blah blah, but I have no doubt you stopped at the “improved metabolism” and the “reduced body fat” and thought, gee that would be nice.

If you’re not sure where to start, then team Ariston are more than happy to help guide you. There are programs available to suit your needs and your fitness level, whether it be our 30min Adrenaline class, our Crossfit program or personal training sessions to help you feel more confident.

 

Written by Coach Kellie Walker.

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