Should women be lifting weights? Part 2
15 Mar 2014

Should women be lifting weights? Part 2

In part 1 we exposed the truth

15 Mar 2014

In part 1 we exposed the truth behind many of the myths surrounding women and weight training. Although we now know that there are many misconceptions out there, why include resistance training in your training programme in the first place?

Well, lets start by looking at the health benefits;

  • Decreased gastrointestinal transit time (recuing the risk of colon cancer)
  • Increasing resting metabolic rate
  • Improved glucose metabolism
  • Improved blood-lipid profiles
  • Reduced resting blood pressure
  • Improved bone mineral density
  • Pain and discomfort reduction for those suffering from arthritis
  • Decreased lower back pain
  • Enhanced flexibility
  • Improved maximal aerobic capacity

 

From a health perspective, that’s fantastic. But, how does that change the way you look? Well..

  • Resistance training will elevate your levels of Growth Hormone (GH) by producing byproducts of anaerobic metabolism (eg hydrogen ions, lactate and inorganic phosphate).

 

NB: Contrary to the name, GH is more concerned with breaking down fat stores than adding on muscle although it will help build some muscle mass.

  • Resistance training will cause micro tears in your muscle (leading to muscle soreness). This initiates an inflammatory response, which activates a growth response in something called a satellite cell. This causes the muscles to repair marginally bigger and stronger.

 

  • You will get stronger. Strength gains made in the first couple of months of training are primarily neural adaptations. The muscle is acquiring greater neural input, referred to as neural drive.  Strength gains later on will be a result of a small increase in muscle size.

 

As we explained last week, this does not mean you are going to put on a large amount of muscle. BUT YOU WILL PUT ON SOME. This is exactly what we want, because it will help transform the way you look and move you towards the goals that you’ve set out. Here’s why;

      1. You’ll have less body fat

More muscle means a higher resting metabolic rate, meaning you’ll burn more energy at rest. The resistance training will also increase your insulin sensitivity, meaning you’ll be less likely to store body fat in the first place.

      2. You’ll look better in and out of clothes.

Clients will often ask for better ‘tone’ or more ‘shape’. Effectively what they’re asking for is better muscle definition. We achieve this through a reduction in  body fat, and a  gain in muscle.  You’ll only achieve this by incorporating resistance training into your weekly routine.

[Tweet “Remember, gaining muscle and dropping body fat will make you look LEANER, not BIGGER.”]

 

So we’ve established that you aren’t going to suddenly bulk up, or transform into a female bodybuilder without wanting to. Hopefully now we can also agree that gaining some muscle should be the focus of your training programme. So how do you go about doing it? We’ll be covering just that next week. If you think that resistance training is all about dumbbells and barbells, think again…

 

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