David Ball PT

Storm Fitness PT

Benefits of lifting for ladies

weights

I started to do some steady state cardio to help to burn a few extra calories (soul destroying, I don’t know how people do it day after day) and joined a gym that is literally just up the road from where I live. When I’ve been going it’s been quite the flashback to when I used to work in a gym very much like this, queues of guys waiting for a free bench to press on or hoping the squat rack will free up so that they can do some curls, runners secretly looking over at the treadmill next to them to make sure they’re the faster runner.

What struck me more than anything though is the difference between the amount of guys in the weight area and the amount of ladies, zero ladies were lifting in fact. This is a common occurrence in gyms everywhere, sometimes due to intimidation and sometimes due to the idea that it won’t help them get to their goals, let’s have a look at some of the benefits of lifting weights for ladies.

  1. Stronger bones. As you age your bones become weaker, lifting weights helps to stop this from happening.  Some studies have shown a 13% increase in bone density in six months of strength training.
  2. You’ll get stronger and grow more muscle, which will help with everything, day to day life will become easier. Moving yourself around gets harder with age, muscle atrophy will occur very quickly when you start spending long periods of time not using your muscles and that means you’ll become less and less active.
  3. For some reason people have convinced themselves lifting weights is bad for your knees, but what do you think is worse, pounding away on the treadmill with all that impact going through your knees for 30mins or 3-4 sets of, well executed, squats. Also most cardio equipment/gym classes put a lot of emphasis on the quads and very little on the hamstrings, which can lead to more knee pain and often injury. A balanced weight workout will keep all of these muscles strong.
  4. Want a booty? Then get squatting, that zumba class just isn’t going to cut it.
  5. Lifting weights builds muscles and more muscle means a higher metabolism and a higher metabolism means more food without weight gain and this………. is the best news ever.
  6. It’ll keep your heart healthy, try doing as many repetitions of deadlifts with 80% of your max and tell me your heart isn’t getting a workout.
  7. It won’t make you bulky, I don’t want to speak for all the ladies out there, but usually when meeting new clients the word toning usually appears in their goals and the phrase “I don’t want to get bigger”. Now lets be straight you can’t tone a muscle, but I understand the look there referring to, lifting weights will give you that, just cardio won’t. It also won’t make you huge, it just won’t, so stop worrying.
  8. Getting stronger feels great and will increase your confidence. New 1 rep maxs always make you feel awesome, learn how to keep great form on the big lifts like bench press, squats and deadlifts and then when you keep getting stronger and more confident at them you can have a chuckle at the guys in your gym doing a 12th set of bicep curls and wondering why they never change body shape.

An after thought………………

On a side note, I do think steady state cardio has it’s place, as you can tell from me doing it myself, I just think some ladies tend to fixate on that part of their training too much, when they should be getting 2-3 weight training sessions in instead. However it’s also important to mention fun, if you enjoy Zumba, salsa or body combat then go for it, go and get moving, the worst thing to do would be putting your feet up and doing nothing.

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