My friend and and fellow trainer Rich McKeating has written a top article on why resistance training benefits women. Me and Rich agree on a lot of things when it comes to health and fat loss – he is one of the few trainers that I have met that like myself, educates himself to help others. Here are his words on resistance training for women…..

toned female

Britain is getting more and more overweight, that’s a fact. Latest statistics show an increase of 15% in 10 years. Both men and women are just as likely to be obese, however women are 3% more likely to be morbidly obese. Of those who actually get to the gym, many people are not making the most effective use of their time, and the most likely culprits are usually women. Look I hate to be the bringer of bad news here, it’s just that in all honesty gyms just aren’t that nice a place to be in (even with Sauna’s/sun beds and coffee shops). So why spend an unnecessary amount of time in there? As a personal trainer I’m all about time management, people could spend 3 hours in a gym, or an hour with me and get more benefit.

Go to any gym, look around and you will see the following, people chatting away about soaps, people on a treadmill or bike reading a magazine whilst in their “fat burning zone”(you’ve been had!), people messing around on top of Swiss balls, or doing bizarre exercises with no real understanding of why they are doing them.

There are various reasons for this, it stands to reason that a lady would not want to appear sweaty and out of breath in front of a room full of people! Perhaps a crucial mistake is in getting hair or nails done directly before a session.

Perhaps the biggest false assumption though is that people should do weights for big muscles and cardio for fat loss. So gyms across the country then become packed with guys grunting pathetically as they work their biceps for the 10th time that week (especial on a Friday night) whilst women stick to low impact aerobics classes, light cardio or if they do touch any Dumb bells it tends to be with the intention of doing 50 reps with 1kg in order to “tone” the muscle.

I suppose I can understand the culture of women not lifting weights, we are living in the aftermath of an age of chivalry, women now have more of an equal footing in most areas of life, however when it comes to physical activity it is still imposed upon us that women should be little princesses and not lift anything too heavy. One of the biggest fears amongst women is that they will get too bulky from lifting weights, please allow me to put this myth to bed.

scary_body_builderw125h125

Women are far less likely to end up looking like this from lifting weights for the following reasons.

  1. Women have up to 30 times less muscle building hormones then men, in order to compensate for this female body-builders inject male hormones, often giving them male characteristics such as a hairy chest, deep voice and a great big cock! (I may be exaggerating about the last part, but only a little)

  2. this lady has to eat a truck load of food in order to get this big.

  3. This lady has to train single muscle groups, such as biceps, with a high frequency, often as much as 4 times a week, this is far from what I suggest women should do for fat loss results from weights, total body movements involving lots of muscles, therefore burning lots of calories, and with muscle groups being worked differently every session (around 3 per week)

  4. this women has a desire to get big, if you really don’t want to get big, then you have very little chance of getting big.

I should also point out that the men you see lifting weights don’t really know what they are doing, often just copying the latest workout from men’s health with scary bad technique.

Here then are the reasons why women should definitely lift weights.

Weight lifting increases confidence

It’s an empowering feeling to know that you are capable of lifting things yourself without having to rely on others, it’s also great to know just how strong you are, and in this day and age, most women who train properly with resistance will be much stronger than the average male! So he’ll be asking you to unscrew that jar for him. Bless!

In addition to this weight lifting has been show to reduce depression, a study done at Harvard University found that 10 weeks of strength training was more effective than counciling!

Weights are superior for fat loss

Bear with me here, many women need to put on some lean mass, please don’t be astounded at the idea of putting on some muscle, bear in mind that every 1lb of muscle will increase metabolism by up to 50 calories a day. 10Lbs of muscle would therefore burn 500 calories a day, or 3500 calories per week, which is equivalent to 1lb of fat loss per week. How would you like to lose 1lb of fat each week simply by having more lean mass.

I should also point out that as muscle mass goes up the scales can go down as we reduce the percentage of body fat, oh and another point, increasing metabolism by adding more lean mass can go some way to repairing the damage inflicted by poorly planned very low calorie diets

Look, I have gotten consistent results with fat loss clients time and time again, and I can tell you hand on heart that we don’t do that much cardio, in fact the resistance training program I design get people so out of breath there is often no need for cardio!.

reduce the risk of diabetes.

Last year in the UK over 2.5 million people where diagnosed with adult onset diabetes, a staggering 90% of these people where diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Please bear in mind that this is the type that is preventable. Current estimations are that by 2020 over 4 million people will have this condition, indeed treatment of this condition is fast becoming one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS.

All those people who think that high fat diets are causing our waistline to expand should consider the damage being done by excess sugar consumption.

So where does weight training come in? It has been proven in research that weight training can increase the amount of glucose that gets used by as much as 23% in just four months. That’s kind of a big deal!

Live longer

according to a study at Tufts University,muscle mass is the number one biomarker in longevity,it is a better predictor of a longer life than blood pressure or cholesterol.

From an anecdotal viewpoint we know that during the last few weeks of a persons life they can often waste away their muscle mass, looking skinnier and more unhealthy as each day passes.

You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis

About 80% of the 10 million reported cases of Osteoporosis in America last year occurred in Females. This condition can leave the sufferer in a lot of pain, and with chronic joint problems, particularly back pain. But this condition can be prevented or even adequately managed by strength trainig. Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modelling) by 13 percent in six months

Summary

So there we have it, just a few reasons why women should lift weights, and in doing so improve their outlook, confidence, improve their risk of suffering from disease and prolong life. Now get to the gym sister steel and start pumping some Iron!!!