Y Club PT Maya gives her opinion on women and lifting weights.

When I walk through the gym I see women on cardio machines torturing themselves for hours and hours with no results. Even when I teach classes and am trying to get women into heavier weights, they look at me in a way as if to say, “I am not doing heavier weights, I don’t want to bulk up”. Let me tell you one thing, you are not going to bulk up because as women we don’t have enough testosterone in our bodies to make this happen. To be honest it kind of surprises me when I see ladies with 1 kg or 2 kg dumbbells …. If you think about it when you do your shopping you definitely carry more weight than that, or when you are lifting your children. My point is don’t be scared of weights. Here are a few of the benefits of lifting weights:

  1. Lose Body Fat

Weight training builds muscle. As lean muscle increases so does the metabolism. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories all day long. Studies found that the average woman who takes part in strength training two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. For each pound of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. That can really add up over the long term; for example, 4 extra pounds of muscle can burn up to 10 extra pounds per year!

2. Gain Strength without Bulking

One of the most common reasons women avoid weight training is because they are afraid of “bulking.” This is a misconception as it physically cannot happen. Women simply don’t have the testosterone to build muscle like men. Women have 10 to 30 times less testosterone than men and have a much harder time gaining size from strength training. Instead women develop muscle definition and strength without the size.

3. Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis

Weight training not only strengthens muscles, it strengthens your bones. Weight training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones. Research has also shown weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine.

 4. Reduce Risk of Injury

Weight training also increases strength in connective tissues and joints. Strong joints, ligaments and tendons are important to prevent injury and can relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, and can even improve sports performance.

5. Burn More Calories

Weight training has been proven to raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout. The more intense the workout the more calories are burned. After an intense workout there is more, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, meaning there is an increase in oxygen consumption, helping break down fat stores in the body.

6. Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain

Weight-training will strengthen your back, shoulders, and core, helping to correct bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core will also prevent lower back pain

7. Enhance Mood & Reduce Stress

Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increase in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also stimulate the mind, improving alertness and boosting energy. Weight-training can brighten your entire day or help you combat a bad one.

For me especially the last point works very well. So ladies I hope I convinced you to try lifting weights during your next visit to the gym. If you are a Y Club member and would like us to update your program to include weights please book in for a FREE review at the Y Club reception.