Strength Training for Women
The tides have definitely turned a bit in the last 10-20 years, but too many ladies are still shying away from lifting weights. In this blog we’re going to address three common fears that keep women away from the barbells and dumbbells, along with six amazing reasons to embrace resistance training, also often called weight lifting.
Fear 1: "I’ll get bulky"
The reality is that getting "bulky" in the muscular sense takes a lot, A LOT of work and actually isn’t possible for many women because of the natural hormone balance found in a female's body. It takes bodybuilders and professional athletes many years and even decades of spending many hours per day in the gym, combined with a genetic predisposition to gaining muscle and often, performance-enhancing drugs, to achieve the bulky look they are after. That bulky look is VERY intentional, and requires a lot more from the woman then just participating in a resistance training program a few days a week.
Fear 2: "I’m not strong enough, I’ll embarrass myself"
There’s only one way to get strong, and that is to start. You may see ladies lifting hundreds of pounds over their heads on Instagram, but the reality is that everyone starts with an empty bar, and in most cases, a PVC pipe. Our more experienced clients all remember their first day in the gym, and the beauty of training in at OPEX Franklin and any of our OPEX Gyms around the world is that you’ll be surrounded by supportive folks who will help you learn the ropes. Your coach will purposefully start you with light loads and help you progress over time as you build strength.
Fear 3: "I don’t know how and don’t want to get injured"
That’s why you hire a coach! Your OPEX Franklin coaches will teach you proper technique and only prescribe movements that are appropriate for your experience level based on your initial and ongoing assessment. The team of coaches at OPEX Franklin are constantly screening your movement quality to prevent injury and imbalance, as well as ensure your program is being properly progressed.
Now that we’ve addressed your fears, let’s learn the many benefits of strength training for women.
Benefit 1: You’ll get stronger
It may sound obvious, but lifting weights will strengthen your entire body.You’ll gain stability, balance and learn how to lift with proper form to strengthen the correct muscles. Being consistent on a quality resistance training program is actually a great way to prevent future injury. Did you know 80% of American women will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives? Well, a strong core and legs are key to preventing back pain, so why not work on getting stronger in those areas?
Benefit 2: You’ll sick less often
Resistance training with adequate recovery builds a stronger immune system, improving your body’s ability to fight off colds, flus and other types of infection. Lifting weights along with honoring the OPEX Basic Lifestyle Guidelines will mean you will be more resilient to stressors like illnesses.
Benefit 3: You’ll improve bone density
Did you know that women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men?!?! The good news is you can do something about that alarming statistic. Lifting weights prevents bone loss and increases bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures. The earlier you start resistance training, the stronger and healthier your bones will be later in life.
Benefit 4: You’ll prevent heart disease
Think it is just aerobic "cardio" exercise that’s good for your cardiovascular health? Guess what?!? Weight training has been proven to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke as well! Great news for those ladies that get bored doing endless bouts of cardio.
Benefit 5: You’ll have fun in the gym
Dumbbells, kettlebells, cables and barbells. Squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls. There is so much variety inside of resistance training! There is so much to learn that you will never get bored of it. We see it happen every day–a new OPEX gym goer picks up a weight for the first time and falls in love with weight training and working out. Learning to lift is empowering for women and can provide a big boost to self-confidence. Think beyond the treadmill!
Benefit 6: You’ll gain muscle (in the spots you want it!) and burn fat
Looking good naked is a great reason to start lifting weights. Weight training boosts your metabolic rate, especially as you start to gain lean mass, which will speed up fat loss. Certain exercises are key to creating a shapely posterior or toned arms, so your OPEX Franklin coach can design you a program that targets the areas you want to work on.
If you aren’t already including strength training in your workouts, it’s time to start. Schedule a free consult today to be matched with a coach and learn how to safely and effectively lift weights to experience these six life-changing benefits.