Women Should or Should Not Lifts Weights….Which is it?
It is so hard for me to believe that this battle still wages on; that there is still confusion out there as to whether or not women should make resistance training a part of their fitness routine. But, guess what, in gyms all around the world, there are still women who are scared to pick up those mean looking weights….for fear of getting too big, or too muscular! Ladies….it ain’t gonna happen! Let get over this already! Please…..for your own sake!
Many years ago a woman was out-of-place if she was in or around the section of the gym where those manly weights were located. Not any more today! Things have changed considerably since then, and quite often, women often outnumber men in the gym. Unfortunately, even though they are in the gym, the weight training myth still rears its ugly head all too often.
Many women still fear those muscles that they see on men, believing that they should train in a totally different manner from the guys or they are going to end up with the same amount of musculature! Women, on a whole, not only have less muscle, but also have a significantly less propensity to build muscle.
Just so you know, while strength, relative to the cross-sectional area of muscle is nearly the same in men and women, in most cases women possess only 40 to 60 percent of the upper-body strength of men, and only 70 to 75 percent of the lower-body strength.
Nonetheless, studies show that women possess about two-thirds the strength of men on a weight-by-weight basis. One reason for men’s strength superiority is that they have 10 times more testosterone than women. As shown by any anabolic steroid user, testosterone promotes larger muscles. Even if a woman uses testosterone-based drugs such as anabolic steroids, however, she still won’t match a man’s muscle bulk. Ms. Olympia may be as muscularly defined as Mr. Olympia, but she’ll never be as big, thanks to the male’s typically larger bone structure.
Now, with all that said, are there women out there who have higher-than-normal testosterone levels to begin with? Absolutely! And these women will have a tendency, even before they ever pick up a weight, to add more lean muscle and certainly quicker than normal. These are the ladies that typically have a very “athletic” look to them naturally, but even these ladies could never achieve the same muscle mass as a man.
For women weight training offers many other benefits, including the prevention of osteoporosis, a bone-wasting disease prevalent in women. Osteoporosis is a longterm degenerative disease that begins at about age 30. Many studies show that a combination of weight-bearing exercise—such as weight training—and judicious intake of calcium and other nutrients can prevent osteoporosis.
In addition, active women who want to prevent injuries or ensure a healthy aging process, should train regularly with weights. Besides building muscle, a properly designed weight-training program strengthens joints and connective tissue. Whether it’s climbing stairs, playing with your children or dancing, training with weights will improve a woman’s physical efficiency. In addition, having stronger abdominal and lower-back muscles will help pregnant women have an easier time during child-birth.
Want another great reason to add resistance training to your programs ladies? Adding lean muscle increases the resting metabolic rate, allowing you to control bodyfat levels far more efficiently. Nothing shapes the body better than weights, including aerobics, which is the reason so many actresses and models hoist iron today. The improved shape that results from weight training also boosts women’s self-confidence, as shown by dozens of published studies.
The rapid physical changes induced by weights are illustrated by a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetics Association. The study consisted of 20 women, ages 19 to 44, who began a 12-week weight-training program. Although they trained only twice a week using only six exercises per workout, the women all increased their fat-free mass and lost bodyfat—with no changes whatsoever in their diets.
Thus, any woman who wants to improve herself physically shouldn’t hesitate to begin lifting weights—and her training program need not be significantly different from a man’s, obviously making adjustments in the weights as needed. Weight training is just as valuable, if not even more so, for women, as it is for men.
Women…work the weights please! For your own sake! Cardio alone just doesn’t cut it!