… then you need to do strength-training! “Cardio can’t lift your bottom the 10 cm. it went south or do something about the “grandmother’s arms”. Strength-training is the “sports cosmetics training” and on top of it, you get stronger and protect your health”.
This is a fact… but the way to the strength-training is still long for a lot of women and I know as I used to be one of them! But I must admit, after spending weekly visits in the gym for a long time now with crossfit, circuit training, tabata and body power I’m happy I started. I feel stronger and it’s important for me to know that I’m doing something to built muscles – especially at my age* 🙂
But why has it taken so long for a lot of women to discover the benefits of strength-training (like me) !?
According to Holly Perkins, author of Lift to Get Lean and creator of Women’s Strength Nation, a virtual community dedicated to raising awareness about strength-training for women, she says: “Thankfully a lot of women of a certain age are realizing it’s time to start lifting some serious iron. It’s taken a long time, but women are finally beginning to embrace the powerful benefits of committed and intelligent strength training. Now it’s not about being skinny – women are coming to the gym to get strong and protect their health.”
If you read the online magazine: prevention.com – it all boils down to these 6 common misconceptions (which I couldn’t agree more with):
It will turn me into a hulk
NO! Ninety percent of women are physiologically unable to build muscle to the degree where they would be considered ‘bulky.’ It is simply a function of estrogen and lack of testosterone; you will never build muscle like a man’s, unless you are trying to achieve that result. Instead, you’ll create firm, feminine curves – especially if you keep the rests between sets supershort. “The less you stop between exercises, the more calories you burn, creating that lean, sculpted look”.
It burns fewer calories than cardio
“Women spent decades buying into the myth that if they wanted to be smaller, they needed to do endless amounts of cardio,” says Nia Shanks, a strength-training specialist based in Tampa, FL. “But the message is finally getting through that really boosting your resting metabolism (lab-speak for how many calories you burn all day, not just when your body’s in motion) requires picking up the weights to increase your lean mass. The muscles of a strength trainer burn 50% more calories than the muscles of a runner or walker. That translates to you burning an extra 100 calories per day just by staying alive; over the course of a month”.
You’ll never have time to fit it in
It doesn’t take a lot of resistance work to make a major difference. Two full-body strength training workouts a week have been shown to be just as good as three when it comes to increasing strength and muscle mass.
It’s all about muscle
If promise of a stronger, fitter body isn’t enough to get you to pick up the weights, consider that it will also help protect your brain. When sedentary older adults began a program that combined progressive strength training and aerobic exercise, their cognitive function improved significantly more than folks doing aerobic activity alone, according to research by psychologists at the University of Illinois. Other studies have shown that just 10 weeks of progressive strength training can reduce anxiety, fatigue, and depression and boost a sense of tranquility and revitalization in older adults.
Body-weight exercises are just as good
So, what about yoga, pilates and good old-fashioned body-weight moves? Some experts agree that these kinds of workouts are a good introduction to strength training, because you do use your own body weight as resistance. But you’ll never be able to lift more than your body weight doing these types of programs.
You’ll see results instantly
While strength training is the most effective way to shrink-wrap your body with lean, shapely muscle, like most good things it doesn’t happen overnight. “If you stay consistent with a strength-training program, you will see the real and accurate results after 6 to 8 weeks, and not before”.
SO… the next time you are in the gym. Maybe you should do some strength-training instead of just cardio…
* On average, starting in our late 20s, women lose 2,5 kg. of muscle every 10 years; after menopause, that loss doubles – creating a 3% drop in metabolism – per decade. The end result is almost always the same: weight gain and weakness. But the right weight workout can undo the damage, and quickly.