Why Every Women Should Build Muscle
I’ve heard it over and over again..”but I don’t want to get big and bulky.” – What most women say to me as soon as I talk about weight training. So it’s time to bust this myth and read the facts.
Bulking is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the fitness world, and I think it’s creating a misconception among women. In particular, I see women at the gym steering clear of the free-weight section. There’s a fear that lifting with anything heavier than a “Barbie” weight will cause you to get big, bulky and manlike.
The truth is, most women can’t naturally get huge and bulky just by lifting weights. What you CAN get is a healthy body composition that benefits you in your everyday life. Once my clients are introduced to increasing their muscle tissue they immediately notice how much it impacts their quality of life!
Following are some of the key benefits of lean muscle for ladies. Let’s put this myth of “bulking” away for good!
#1 – Increased Bone Density
One of the most obvious benefit of strength training is that your muscles become stronger, allowing you to exert more force. It also strengthens the tendons that are attached to those muscles and increases bone density. Now don’t worry, increased bone density will not make you look bulkier, it will only make your bones stronger.
Increasing bone density through exercise can also decrease the risk of osteoporosis. This will have huge benefits when your a lot older and your body may be more fragile to small trips and falls. Keep in mind that this increase in bone density happens over time and that strength training should be a lifetime pursuit and not just a temporary part of your weight loss plan.
#2 – More Strength To Do the Things You Love To Do
Going back to making your muscles, tendons and bones stronger, strength training and increasing lean muscle mass can better allow you to do the things you need and love to do. These can include playing with your kids, cleaning the house or doing the gardening, and even walking up and down the stairs.
You’d be amazed at what even a little change in body composition can do in terms of allowing you to accomplish these things while feeling more energetic and ready to go!
#3 – Strength Builds Confidence
Watching yourself get stronger through lifting puts the focus on your abilities and strength and takes your focus off of your weight. Focus on strength and the fat loss will come, trust me! In the meantime, your newfound strength affects the way you carry yourself and helps you feel ready to take on challenges.
Going along with confidence, strength training can give more shape to your body. If your workout regimen only includes cardio, you run the risk of getting a “skinny fat” look because you don’t have muscle to fill out your curves. Muscle keeps you looking healthy. (and it also helps keep that annoying cellulite away)
#4 – Higher Resting Metabolic Rate
When you perform certain types of exercise, your resting metabolic rate can be elevated during your day. This can allow you to eat more (healthy) food and maintain your weight. It will also lead to fewer weight fluctuations due to higher metabolism.
It is good to keep in mind that this state of elevated resting metabolic rate is highly variable depending on the intensity of exercise being preformed. Casual exercise such as walking may only raise your metabolic rate for a short period of time and won’t likely contribute much to your overall calorie expenditure.
On the other hand, higher intensity exercise such as what I include in my training can elevate your metabolic rate for longer periods of time and can contribute significantly to your daily calorie expenditure.
#5 – Muscle is Denser Than Fat
Have you ever seen a comparison of what 5 pounds of lean muscle looks like next to 5 pounds of fat? The difference between the two is striking and the transformation to having less fat and more muscle on your frame can dramatically change the way you look and feel.
Because lean muscle is denser than fat, as you build muscle and lose fat you’ll get smaller and look tighter and more toned.
So… Strength builds confidence, and having a healthy body composition keeps you looking and feeling healthy. Strength training is absolutely essential if your trying to loose weight. Only good things can come from weight training. Hopefully this has shed some light and your not scared to try a new weight training plan!
– Aaron McC
Evolve Health & Performance