Be Happy, Feel Beautiful
Lifting. Weight training. Pumping iron. Girls tend to cringe when they hear these terms. They think it’s unnecessary, unattractive, and too masculine for girls to lift weights. The idea of lifting weights evokes images of big, macho and bulky men. Because of this, women tend to shy away from these workouts. Plus, it’s usually pretty intimidating to walk into the gym and head over to the dumbbell rack while “the hulk” is bench-pressing 300 pounds right next to you.
Women need to realize how crucial it is to supplement their workouts with added weight and resistance training. Many think that if they lift weights, then they too will look like a beast with bulging muscles and unsightly veins. The fact is, this will never happen because of the chemical makeup of the female body. Women do not possess the same amount of testosterone that men do, therefore it is impossible for women to build that much muscle mass.
Are you thinking of women body builders? This is not a realistic representation of a typical woman with a regular weight-training program. For one thing, it is their profession to lift insane amounts of weight every day. Many take steroids in order to build muscle. Adding some weight training to your life does not mean you will suddenly develop into a body builder.
The benefits of weight training are overwhelming and every belle out there should try to incorporate them into her schedule. In addition to increased strength, weight training helps strengthen bones, speed up metabolism, burn fat more efficiently and prevent injury.
Are you trying to lose weight or tone up your body? You will see changes in your body much more quickly when lifting regularly. Lifting weights speeds up the metabolic rate. This means that your metabolism gets faster, therefore you burn more calories on a daily basis. It is a simple equation. Lifting weights burns calories and calorie deficit leads to weight loss.
Women who lift weights also increase their lean muscle mass. According to an article on strength-training-women.com, for every pound of lean muscle you have, you burn 35-50 extra calories a day. I’ll do the math for you: 10 pounds of lean muscle means you burn an extra 350-500 calories daily. Twenty pounds of lean muscle can help you burn 1000 calories a day! I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a great incentive to me!
Women are more prone to osteoporosis, a degenerative disease that decreases bone mass as we get older, resulting in brittle bones that can break more easily. When you lift weights, your muscles get stronger. When your muscles get stronger, they get heavier. This increased weight puts a certain strain on your bones. Your body is smart and it will respond by making more cells that make up your bones. More bone cells means stronger bones. Win!
Lifting weights also helps reduce and prevent injury. If you are pounding out miles on the treadmill daily or biking for hours each day, certain joints and muscles take a beating and can start to deteriorate. Weight training will strengthen these muscles and give your body a day to cross-train. Changing up your workout routine is yet another great way to burn calories and fat more efficiently. In addition to increased protection against injury, your balance will improve, your heart will get stronger and you will improve your overall body composition.
Now you know all the benefits of weight training and you want to get started. But how? First off, don’t be intimidated by others at the gym. Get in there and do your own thing. If you still feel uncomfortable, go to the gym at a time when less people are there.
The weight room can be very overwhelming because there are so many things you can do. To get started, try using your body weight for simple exercises. These are beneficial because they can be done anywhere. Some examples are pushups, pull-ups, squats, lunges and tricep dips on a bench.
Another option is resistance training. Resistance training involves those rubber tubes that have handles on the ends. They come in a variety of resistances, from really light to really heavy. Using a combination of these resistances in a variety of exercises can provide a great workout without having to touch a dumbbell!
Speaking of dumbbells, you should definitely look into using these as well. Start off with a weight that you know you can do and increase accordingly. You can do a few reps with heavy weights or a lot of reps with lighter weights. Figure out what works best for you!
Finally, try using the weight machines. They look scary, but you’re a blissful belle, so what do you have to worry about? These machines are great because they provide such an easy way to work many parts of your body plus, there are usually instructions on the side. See, not so scary at all.
Still lost? Before you hit the gym, look online for free workouts or examples of exercises to do. There are a multitude of options available with just the click of a button. Get your lift on and be a Buff Belle!