Lifting Weights – Women. Why are women scared of lifting weights?

Posted by Coach Mia

This is one of those topics that never gets old. There is no trainer in the world that didn’€™t have a chance to hear the words €œ”I don’€™t want to bulk up, I just want to tone my body.”€ from ladies of any age.

So I would like to explain what that means and what do we need to do to get €œtoned€.

The answer is simple: we need to lift weights to build muscles and lower the percentage of body fat. But, I don’€™t want to look like a man!

The good thing is that we, ladies, can never bulk up like that! It doesn’€™t happen overnight, not for men and especially not for women. We naturally don’€™t have enough testosterone, the hormone whose role is, among many other, to increase muscle and bone mass. For your information, men have 16 times more testosterone than women.

Women bodybuilders who look like men most likely use steroids to develop those huge muscles.

So, let’€™s bust some common myths and reveal the truth about our bodies:

  • We cannot €œtone€ just one part of our body. We cannot lose fat just from one part of our body (abs and inner thighs are a great example). Our bodies just don’€™t work like that. We simply lose fat from all over the body, but we have certain parts where we store larger quantities of fat, and that is why it will take more time to lose fat from those particular parts.
  • €œTone€ means seeing the definition of muscles on the body. We must have enough muscle mass for that and in order to make them visible we must have lower percentage of body fat. So, if you are looking for numbers, this means that body fat should be less than 20% for women and 15-10% for men.
  • Being “lean” means that you need to have a small percentage of body fat.
  • Nobody can bulk up overnight. It takes hours of resistance training, good nutrition and resting periods to develop significant muscle mass.

Therefore, in order to have a beautiful and toned body, we need to engage in some strength training. That is the only way in which we will get shapely body with nice muscle definition that we are striving to achieve.

What are the other benefits of strength training?

According to the American Council on Exercise, a woman will increase her muscular strength by 20 to 40 percent after several months of resistance training.

This doesn’€™t mean you will look like a bodybuilder but the fact that you will function better in everyday activities and prevent muscle loss that naturally occurs as we are ageing.

Regular exercise helps control blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol level. It cuts the risk for hardening of arteries, heart attack and stroke. It conditions muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to help fight osteoporosis, stabilize your joints, lowering the risk of everyday injury. It also improves digestion and is good for managing low-back pain, arthritis and diabetes. Regular physical activity helps you maintain your independence, especially as you are aging. Just recently, there’s been more research that suggests an active lifestyle lowers the risk of some cancers. But perhaps the best reason for incorporating regular exercise into your life is that you’ll feel better. Exercise helps you sleep better and manage stress better, and gives you more energy to enjoy work and play.

So, regardless of what your reasons for exercise and strength training are, the benefits are enormous. Only this way we can live longer, healthier and have beautiful bodies that we all desire.