I was having girl time with one of my closest friends and she filled me in that she had no intention of picking up a weight to workout. If she was going to exercise it would include the treadmill followed up with a few ab exercises to help get tight and lean… really?
It seems no matter how much I rant and rave it just doesn’t get the point across… lifting weights are not going to cause her to bulk up and turn into a man at night after working out. And it’s not going to happen to you. I used to think these were the fears and ideas of an older generation… fed the cardio fads of the 80s that refused to go away, but it’s more common than ever to hear women in their twenties telling me their fears and full out refusals to give weights a try.
-I had my best friend ask me not long ago for exercises that would make her calves longer… not bigger but longer. Sorry friend but I can’t stretch your legs to make them longer and I can’t change the overall length of your calf muscles.
-Another friend told me that I should stretch EVER since I like have some muscle definition. Apparently, if you stretch then your muscles stretch out too and I lose my toned look… I didn’t get that memo in physiology back in college.
-My own dad told me that since my mom is trying to lose weight that it is silly of her to do strength training exercises… he told her that she would be better off running her fat off and then after she loses the weight adds in strength training to tighten up. Thanks Dad… I can tell you listen to your personal trainer daughter!
There are so many bad pieces of advice going around that it really is of no surprise that women have reservations about having a workout that really works. When it comes down to it (and the science proofs it) if you want to have the most beneficial fat burning workout program then strength training is a must for women… I won’t get into all the benefits of strength training for women but the list is a long one!
I will add that it is the best way to increase your metabolism… to burn fat during the day, night and morning, to feel energized, to sleep better and so much more.
I am a huge feminist… I really hold the idea that men and women are equal. But when it comes to exercise this doesn’t relate at all. Men and women are nothing alike… men respond by bulking up from weights, it is because of their testosterone and their higher percentage of muscle mass than women. Women respond by losing body fat, toning up (getting defined) and looking feminine. You keep curves, breasts, and your femininity even when grabbing a weight or two!
The bottom line… Women SHOULD lift weights, in fact if you’re serious about getting toned and losing fat in 2010 then you have to lift weights!
I came across this little fun quote today and thought I would share it!
“The great objection to women exercising—namely, the fear of becoming muscular—is quite without foundation. It cannot be too often repeated that woman is not simply a weaker man: she is physically an entirely different being … In women the muscles simply become firm, close-knit, and well-rounded, and show under the layer of fatty tissue intervening between muscle and skin only in soft, hardly discernible masses, just sufficiently to give a delicate moulding to the form.”
Eugen Sandow, Sydney Mail, October 22, 1902.