Don't eat less...strength train more

Thursday, August 28, 2008

As much as I have always despised exercise in general, and cardio in particular, I was surprised to find that I absolutely love strength training. The results are pretty quickly visible and only a minimal weekly investment of time is required.

Although all women can benefit from strength training, many are afraid of it. They look at the bulked up men at the gym, grunting loudly as they lift ridiculously heavy weights, and are basically afraid of two things: That they will "bulk up" in an unattractive way; and, that lifting weights is too hard and/or too complicated.

Let me put your fears to rest. Most women are genetically incapable of bulking up. They do not have enough natural testosterone in their bodies to do so. As a woman, you can lift weights until the cows come home and you will never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a dress. In fact, the more muscle you have, the better your curves will look.

Besides improving the appearance of your body there are other benefits associated with regular strength training, including increased bone density (a lower risk of osteoporosis), increased strength, and an increase in your resting metabolism rate (allows your body to burn calories even when you aren’t exercising).

Women do not have to lift weights in any “special” way. There is no difference between strength training for women and strength training for men. It is done the same way and gives the same results in terms of strength development.

Adding strength training to your routine is not time consuming. It can be done in as little as 20 to 30 minutes per day, two to three days per week.

If you are the type of person who enjoys going to the gym (I most definitely am not), you can make use of the weight training machines, or preferably, the free weights. Free weights can also be used at home, as can resistance bands. There are also a large variety of strength training videos available for home use.

If you’re still not convinced, ponder this: Women who do not strength train lose about five pounds of muscle every decade of their adult life. This leads to a slower metabolism and a gradual increase in fat weight (about 15 pounds per decade).

So what are you waiting for?