Strength Training – Why It’s Essential

Beautiful Fit Woman Doing Barbell Squats In The Gym

Quick question:  Do you lift weights?

I hope the answer is an emphatic YES!  (or at least a semi-happy, “I think so.”)

The truth is every healthy woman (and man) should be lifting weights at least twice per week. Three to four times would be optimal!  The benefits of strength training are VAST:

strengthtrainingbenefits

[source – NASM]

Even though the benefits should outweigh any negatives, the fact of the matter remains that most women opt for the treadmill or elliptical over the weight room, thinking that they’ll burn more calories. Nothing could be further from the truth!  While it is true that you might burn more calories DURING a cardio workout, strength training trumps cardio for it’s EXCESS POST OXYGEN CONSUMPTION, or “EPOC.”  Simply put, your body uses energy (aka calories) to repair itself after a strength training session. Therefore, the “afterburn effect” that accompanies strength training means that your metabolism will be stoked for 24-48 hours AFTER a session. Pretty cool, right!?

Another myth that prevents women from truly embracing weight lifting is the old adage–“I’ll look like a man.” Erroneous.  Unless you’re supplementing your diet with massive amounts of testosterone or creatine, the female body simply cannot put on as much muscle as a man. In fact, if you lift weights regularly, you’ll not only trim your waistline and tone up, but you can actually ADD curves to your buttocks and chest by adding more muscle fiber to those areas.

As if all of this wasn’t enough enough to motivate you into the weight room, strength training also aids in the prevention of osteoporosis and arthritis–two diseases that primarily affect women.  By performing weight bearing exercises, a woman can actually increase her bone density! This helps prevent any future fractures and breaks. It’s best to be proactive about the prevention of osteoporosis and arthritis by starting these exercises NOW in a woman’s 25-50-year old range.

Now that we know that WHY’S of strength training, what’s stopping us from beginning a weight lifting program?  Honestly, it can be intimidating to go into the weight room for the first time. You might not know what to do, how often to do it and in what order. That’s where I can help (or any trainer at your local facility)! 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing the HOW’S of weight training–topics will include:  Program Design, Proper Form & Technique and Pre/Post Workout Fueling.  I hope you’ll check back in and be informed and inspired!


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For more fitness and health tips, please visit my healthy living blog, Lindsay’s List, and join in on the fun at the LL Facebook page, where I host giveaways and weekly workouts!