Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Resistance training can be an intimidating subject for many women. There is a lot of misinformation floating around when it comes to weight training, but it is an essential part of leading a healthy and fit lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions.
“Lifting weights will make me look big and bulky.” When many people think about women and weight training they often envision a woman tan, lean and bulging with muscles. Body-building is a sport of discipline and dedication. The female bodybuilder has to work twice as hard monitoring her nutrition, cardio and weight-training. Women just do not produce the levels of testosterone necessary to create massive bulky muscles. Many female bodybuilders take numerous supplements, some even take anabolic steroids to create the large muscles needed to compete. The point is there is no need to worry about turning into a muscle bound gorilla-woman.
Another whopper I’ve heard is the myth that when you stop working out all the muscle you have gained will just turn into fat. Totally false. Muscle and fat are two separate cells. Now it is true that when you stop working out the lean muscle you worked so hard for can atrophy. Muscle actually burns calories even when your body is at rest. Losing muscle negatively effects your metabolism making it easier to put on fat. However no form of physiological alchemy can turn muscle into fat.
Using resistance to try to "spot reduce” fat from a particular area of the body is probably the most common misconception. You may have tried to whittle away the fat around your middle by doing countless squats or racked up the reps of triceps extensions to get control of a “wing-flap” problem. When you are working out with weights you are toning the muscle underneath the fat. All those crunches may have given you a killer six-pack but until you blast the fat that is hiding it you will never see it.
The myths making the case for women to avoid weight training is omnipresent. The unique benefits that weight-training offers women aren’t as well known. Resistance training can do just as much to reversing osteoporosis and osteopenia as calcium supplements. With proper training and guidance weight training is enabling women to safely build stronger bones. Using weights in functional movement improves your balance and coordination thus reducing the risk of injury. Another benefit mentioned earlier is the fat melting effect that lean muscle has on the metabolism. Muscle gained by weight training boosts your resting metabolic rate allowing you not only to burn fat but keep it off as well. Lean muscle is the foundation of your metabolism.
Weight training is an important component in every woman’s fitness. If you are new to using resistance make sure you seek assistance from a qualified fitness professional. When performed in a safe and effective manner resistance training can take your fitness level to entirely new heights. So ladies, lets get out there and pump some iron!