I read an interesting article in RI Fit, a local magazine. It’s written by personal trainer Walter Medeiros. I am transcribing it here because I think it contains some useful information.
The most typical concern I hear from women, not just my clients, when they’re hesitant to introduce resistance or strength training, is their FEAR of GETTING BULKY. Too many women shy away from strength training, and it’s just as important to women as it is to men. The benefits far outweigh the myths, and this is why I incorporate strength training, in some facet, with every one of my clients.
Strength training can be the means to attaining several goals. In addition to helping you lose the fat and increase strength and curves, it can be very powerful in reducing symptoms for numerous diseases and chronic conditions. A 12-month study on post-menopausal women, conducted by Tufts University, showed that with just two days per week of strength training, participants demonstrated one percent gains in hip and spine bone density, a 75% increase in strength, and a 13% increase in balance.
Myth: You’ll Bulk Up – You really won’t bulk up. Though it is possible for women to develop large muscles as a result of natural weigh training, it is much more difficult than in men. This is because the female body, in most cases, does not produce testosterone at the same level as men and reduces by a greater percentage as women age. Even if you are the rare women that puts on muscle quickly, it won’t happen overnight and simple tweaks in a strength training program can offset any bulkiness.
Curves Don’t Come Without Muscles – To avoid strength training will severely hinder a women’s ability to bring out her curves. Muscles are the very thing that gives shape to your body. Teaching and training your muscles is how you get a functional, strong and curvaceous figure.
Strength Training for Beginners – Weight machines are a good place to start for someone who is new to the gym, has never lifted weights before, or is getting back into the gym after a lapse from weight training.
When to enlist the help of a personal trainer – With free weights, there is a higher risk of injury and choosing the right exercises to meet your goals is often best left to a professional. All too often women, and guys for that matter, see a workout that works for someone in some magazine, and they try to copy the routine because they want to look like that person. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. Your strength and weakness may be very different than that individual, and you may not be ready for that routine. Even when you have the set of exercises that make up the perfect routine, you still want to make sure you perform the exercises with proper form, which can be the difference between seeing results and getting hurt.
Whatever your goal or age as a woman, don’t shy away from strength training and go see a strength training professional to get the right routine for you.
I know many people shy away from this because they don’t want to bulk up, so hopefully this help sets that misconception straight. Happy lifting!