Women are often hesitant to pick up a barbell because they just don’t know where to start having not been exposed to it through their life time, and sometimes women may fear they will end up looking like some sort of Mr Olympia bodybuilding monster if the metal even grazes their hands (THANK YOU SOCIAL MEDIA!). This myth and misconception is a big hurdle for the general population, holding some women back from gaining the incredible health benefits from strength training. A female trying her absolute hardest, week in, week out, will realise how impossible it is to put on such bodybuilding bulk, as they have anywhere between 1/7th and 1/20th the testosterone levels of men. The males and females you see on the internet looking all freaky on the bodybuilding stage are using large amounts of added illegal extras, force feeding themselves huge amounts of food, and do nothing but sleep, eat, train (sounds good that bit!), don’t worry you won’t end up looking like them from a few sets of heavy squats.
Boost your body’s furnace!
Strength training significantly improves your metabolic health, creating a healthier and more powerful & capable body, improving performance in many aspects, unlike steady state cardio on its own which does not. By adding some quality lean tissue to your frame takes you leaps and bounds further in improving your body shape and general health by improving your body’s natural metabolism and hormonal balance.
Muscle is hungry, metabolically costly; it sits there burning calories while you are at your desk simply for it to stay alive. A well designed resistance training program from a skilled Performance Coach, like Absolute’s, will get huge amounts of untapped muscle fibres acting and adapting and therefore needing to recover. All of this extra recovery work burns energy through the day like a hot furnace, long after the session has finished.
Allows for a little indulgence
Not only does the hard resistance training cause your body to work harder and burn more calories all through the day, with a naturally boosted metabolism, on top of that an effective strength session does fantastic things for your insulin sensitivity. Now this is vital for long term health and prevention of diabetes, but what this additional insulin sensitivity benefit also does is that the food you eat will more likely be shuttled to your muscle cells to help them recover instead of in your blood (diabetes risks) and your fat cells, hanging around where it is not needed and dangerous, your organs. Obviously a sound and healthy, long term sustainable nutrition plan is vital to any health changing goals, so don’t go crazy, but it gives you far more flexibility to enjoy some of your favourites without needing to worry so much about counting calories, a dangerous practice in itself.
Most cardio based activities are very one directional, and therefore don’t challenge you through real world multi-planar training, leaving you far more susceptible to injuries and over use issues, even while performing mundane day to day chores. A well balanced strength training program helps to ensure greater body balance, improved posture, a more resilient and dense skeleton (vital for women), stronger ligaments and tendons, and muscles capable to support your body and all joint structures in any situation. This keeps you long term active, improves training consistency, reduces pain levels, and all this leads to a far more capable physique for what ever life throws at you.
Yes, you will burn calories doing cardio, yes the muscles will be working (a little) but when you strip off all the body fat with some un-sustainable caloric deficit fad diet, and ridiculous training hours of cardio, what will you be left with? A flat, shapeless skeleton, with no curves or tone to be seen, lacking all the health benefits exercise should give us. Proper planned strength training, with excellent technique of course, will help give you that proud and powerful physique, capable of incredible things.
High reps, light weight, circuit, aerobic, toning, shaping, mini dumbbells, if you see a program mentioning only this (some supplementary work is always ok), then run for the hills and grab that barbell. If you want to create the strong and proud physique, stay injury free, and train with greater time efficiency, lift heavy, lift big, lift planned, and make sure you have perfect technique taught to you by a coach truly knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, like the team at Absolute.
To find out more how the correct strength training program, specific to your needs, goals and history, can help you take the best step forward for your long term health, come in and see us at Absolute.
Written by Head Performance Coach David Smith