Lifting heavy weights is beneficial for the body. Some, especially females, might fear that they will “bulk up” by doing so. However, this is far from the truth. Heavy weights can increase muscle strength and definition but not bulk up a female because females do not have the testosterone levels needed to create huge muscles. Males, on the other hand, will likely add size when weight training due to their testosterone levels.
As a personal trainer, I have encountered numerous women who are hesitant to weight train. Visions of female body builders with muscles popping out of their clothes and a more masculine look come to mind. Not only is this far from the truth but strength training is necessary for females who would like to increase metabolism, develop leaner bodies, avoid injury and preserve bone density. Below, a few common questions answered…
What happens to muscle as we age?
• After age 30, muscle mass decreases at a rate of 10% per decade. That’s 1% every year!
• If we lose muscle mass, our metabolism slows; we are also at greater risk of decreased bone density and thus osteoporosis.
Why should I strength train?
• Preserve muscle mass.
• Preserve and build bone mass, decreasing risk of osteoporosis: just two strength training sessions per week is shown to dramatically cut fracture risk in postmenopausal women!
• Increase metabolism: the body will burn more calories at rest.
• Strengthen and develop muscle shape.
• Prevent loss of skin elasticity (i.e., less “sagging”).
• Increased ease performing activities of daily living.
• Decreased risk of injury and enhanced athletic performance.
Will I get bulky from lifting weights?
• No! The body will typically become trimmer and shapely.
• Most women do not have the testosterone levels required to build bulk.
• Female body builders with bulky muscles spend hours each day lifting extremely heavy weights and may take steroids.
How does weight training sound now? Hopefully, these facts ease any concern. I believe the benefits are too numerous to skip this component of a fitness program. Adding strength work to your workouts is necessary if you would like to reap the positive outcomes listed above. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a basic strength training program today!