Strength training as a concept is predominantly reserved for men. There are 1000’s of advertisements encouraging men to gain muscles, build strength and get that perfect ‘macho’ body. Conversely for women, it’s all about ‘toning’, ‘inch loss’, ‘bikini bod’ and whatever other terms that marketing gurus invented.

Women are constantly told that lifting weights might

  • Make them look like a man
  • Hurt their back
  • Make their uterus drop
  • Reduce their chances of pregnancy
  • Increase global warming

If you scoffed at the last point, you do realise that the other suggestions are as improbable as the last one. Women need muscles. And so does every other animal roaming the face of the earth. End of story.

Why?

To become ‘toned’

Most women walk into a gym with specific goals – ‘I want to get toned but not muscular’. You hear phrases like ‘I want to tone my flabby arms or loose belly fat’.

You know what that ‘toning’ is? It’s nothing but muscle!

Weight training makes you stronger and combined with a good nutrition plan; it results in giving you that ‘toned’ look, that your heart desires. It’s not going to make you look like ‘Hulk’ overnight and if it was that easy to become like Hulk, half our world would be walking around looking like miniature Hulks!

Muscles burn calories

When you strength train you build muscles and muscle tissue burns fat and increases your metabolic rate. Contrary to popular belief, 45 minutes of mindless cardio is not your ideal solution for fat loss but weight training is.

Better bone density decreasing risks of osteoporosis

Women are at a much greater risk of bone related diseases like osteoporosis with age. As much as malted drinks and other magical health products advice the benefits of consuming the same for better bones, the plain truth is strength training is the simplest ways to increase bone density, thus helping avoid bone related issues like osteoporosis and arthritis. If early onset of arthritis is not on your wish list, it’s time to start strength training!

Everyday living gets easier

Are you someone who struggles to balance two suitcases and climb a flight of stairs in the railway station? Does carrying your child for long hours give you lower back pain? Do you have to get help to change the water can in the bubble top container?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then strength training is the simplest of solution for you. The greatest benefit of strength training is in performing everyday living tasks pain free.

Muscles improve posture

Most of us have sedentary lifestyles that involves sitting for long hours, staring at laptops or looking down at our ever present mobile phones. Aches and pains have become constant baggage we carry around. Women have it worse with posture issues as from the onset of adolescence, most women are ‘taught’ to draw less attention to their body(especially their breasts) and hence have a perpetual hunch when they stand/run/jump or do anything athletic with their bodies. Observe a number of women runners and you will notice a common shoulder hunch and crossed arms as a part of their running posture.

Weight training negates the bad effects of our lifestyle by forcing us to maintain neutral neck/straight back/packed shoulders ensuring good posture. Similarly working with weights improves proprioception making us better aware of our body and surroundings and giving us better balance to perform everyday activities. With better awareness, confidence over the body also improves.

In conclusion

Stop looking for magic solutions for your fitness and lifestyle goals. Stop believing in myths, fads and old wife’s tales. Strength training is the only solution to your problems. What’s stopping you from doing it?

It’s time to pick up the iron.

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