Make like Marilyn and lift!…
Flashback to 1952 and you will find a now classic photo of Marilyn Monroe being taken, performing a chest press wearing a sports bra and jeans.
It has been documented that she kept weights in her living room and jogged regularly to stay in shape.
This legendary icon knew that a sexy, sculpted physique was built by weights, now so will you!
Tackling the Biggest Misconception Regarding Women and Strength Training
Time and time again I hear the same phrase uttered from the mouths of clients, potential clients and women in general- “but if I lift weights I’ll get big muscles” or “I build muscle very quickly and my arms are big enough as it is! Ladies I can tell you without a doubt from years of experience and extensive knowledge that it is impossible for a woman to gain muscle mass like that of a male without the use of muscle enhancing drugs. Why? Women by nature simply don’t have enough testosterone coursing through their veins. Yes, you will experience an increase in strength and yes, you will see an increase in muscle mass but certainly not to the degree of a man. How strong you become and how much growth you experience is determined by genetics, your natural testosterone level and the method of training you choose.
How do you choose a strength training program that best suits your needs?
If you are really concerned about muscle gain opt for light weight and high reps, this will yield muscular endurance rather than muscle growth. On the flip side, lifting heavy weights with fewer reps will make you stronger and increase muscle mass. As previously mentioned genetics plays a major role in how much muscle you are capable of gaining, what areas will see the most growth and how quickly and easily your muscle will develop. For example, if you have short calf muscles (thanks to genetics) it will be very difficult to develop them regardless of how hard or how often you work them.
Why would a woman want to build muscle?
Aside from the obvious benefits of a tight, toned body that will make other women green with envy and every man weak at the knees, the benefits of strength training for women are both physical and psychological.
Let’s explore the top 5 reasons women should lift weights…
- Improved metabolism: Muscle requires many calories in order to function or even exist therefore the more you have the more effective your metabolism will be. In fact muscle is such a powerful fat burner that it burns calories even at rest. Yep, that’s right! That means that when chilling on the couch or even while you sleep your body is continuously burning calories, even more so (up to 48 hours) following a strength training workout. Amazing!
- Increased bone mass: As a woman you should know that you are at an increased risk of developing Osteoporosis. In fact women are more likely to develop Osteoporosis than men are and that risk increases if you are petite, Caucasian or Asian. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that literally makes the bone weak, thin and porous most often affecting the hip, shoulder, spine and wrist. The main cause of Osteoporosis is low bone mass due to a poor diet and lack of weight bearing exercise. By beginning and maintaining a strength training program you will increase bone density keeping Osteoporosis at bay.
- Decreased stress levels: There is scientific evidence that proves that individuals who exercise regularly experience positive mental health and relief in symptoms of depression and anxiety. In short exercise can literally improves one’s mood! It has been found that physical exercise in some cases can be more effective than medication in altering an individual’s mental state. It is believed that this possible through refocusing physical and mental energy on the task of lifting the weight rather than focusing on emotional issues. In addition, the shear rush of hormones released in response to intense exercise promotes a natural high, relaxation and sense of peace.
- Improved posture: By strengthening your muscles, particularly those of the core you can dramatically improve your posture. By performing leg, chest and back exercises in addition to core training you will further strengthen the entire body giving your posture a well deserved lift. Regular strength training will leave you with less pain, a lean profile, stronger spine and a whole lot of self confidence all wrapped up in an amazing posture.
- Increased muscle tone: Astonishingly, an increase in muscle tone will leave you with a decrease in body fat and weight. This decrease in turn will benefit your heart, joints, ligaments and entire skeletal system! You will literally change your entire body composition. A lean physique has allot to offer including increased stamina, improved flexibility, a boost in energy levels and a drop in your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. All that and a sexy, sculpted body to boot!
As if that’s not enough…
Committing yourself to a strength training program for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week will give your self esteem a huge boost. You will feel stronger, healthier and more confident than you could ever imagine. You will enjoy a clearer mind, stronger immune system and an improved complexion…what more could you ask for?
Written by Mate Radocaj
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