Strong is beautiful, and when it comes to fitness for women, there are countless ways to exercise and get the job done. Depending upon your personal fitness goals and women’s strength training preferences, it is important to consider the modality that works best for getting your body where you ultimately want it to be. Some of the requests that Shape Plus hears from ladies is to lose the “muffin top”, “bye-bye arms”, “thick thighs” etc. You should know that exercises for spot treating does not work effectively. Stubborn belly fat can often stick around even after all of their strongest efforts with crunches, cardio alone and clean eating. More women are strength training now than they ever have before.
You ask, “WHY?” As with most related fitness subjects, the answer is not always straight forward. There are very complicated explanations concerning EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), and your metabolism in regards to hormone stimulation.
Benefits of lean muscle for women
To make things SIMPLE, let’s just remember this ladies: Lifting Weights -> Lean Muscle ->Fat Loss/Weight Loss
And just to be clear, a weight training program can burn up to 40% more fat when added to your other types of workouts. Studies have proven that with a proper nutritional plan, women who “Lift” are far more likely to lose only fat, while their strictly cardio counterparts lost fat and muscle.
So, how do we common ladies achieve this nice lean muscle tone without looking like a bulky bodybuilder?
Again, to make this fairly simple, here is a great analogy to help explain. You wouldn’t bring your Prius into the shop for some routine maintenance and then tell the technician “I do not want this car to come out looking like a Lamborghini!” would you? Of course not, that would never happen because it is virtually impossible. You will only “bulk up” if you don’t also lose fat.
Even with all of the countless research studies that have proven how very beneficial weight training is for women, some skeptics are still resistant to the power of pumping iron. Here’s a fact, lifting weight will not make you huge. Generally- sugar, booze and processed food will make you huge. Eating all of the leftovers on your kid’s plate just so that the food “doesn’t go to waste” will make you huge. Specifically – wine, cupcakes, pop-tarts, french-fries, pizza and mac and cheese to name a few along with sitting on your butt too much will make you huge. On the contrary, women’s strength training can help women attain more lean muscle tissue and giving you that toned look which will help your body metabolize more fat around the clock. (Even while you sleep!) So, raise your hand if you would like to burn fat while you are sleeping…That’s what we thought!
The benefits of women’s strength training are for you whether you are a working professional or a domestic professional
Strength training for working professional women and those with physically demanding jobs:
There are many women who choose to participate in professions which require heavy physical activity, as well as extreme feats of strength. Specifically at Shape Plus, we have trained a number of female police officers, firefighters, and ladies in the Armed Forces. These are all professions in which women’s strength training and conditioning could potentially mean the difference between life and death. A woman who regularly bench-presses her body weight (or more), or one who is capable of squatting over 200 lbs will be more equipped and physically capable to perform the necessary duties as first responders in emergency situations. Pull ups are often revered as one of the most difficult & physically challenging body weight exercises for women (or even men) to accomplish. Minimum pull up requirements for Males to enter the Marines is 3 repetitions; however, their female counterparts are only required to perform a 15 second Flexed Arm Hang. Marines argue that pull ups require the same amount of muscular strength necessary to carry munitions, climb walls, and perform other critical tasks. How could we trust a woman to take on a responsibility of this magnitude if she can’t even get her chin “over the bar” at LEAST one time? That definitely leaves something for us all to think about.
Strength training for domestic professionals (stay at home moms):
As time has pressed on, lifestyles are changing for many women in all walks of life. With the cost of childcare increasing, mothers are often choosing to stay at home with their children until they are of Elementary School age. This, without a doubt, can increase the demand and stress of keeping up with and caring for everything & everyone in the entire household (around the clock). Integrating regular exercise plans with weights & resistance training has proven to be extremely beneficial to the Mothers who have used our program. Along with added strength & endurance to help them keep up with the never-ending challenges of being a Stay-At-Home-Mom, they all appreciated the time they spent to actively nurture themselves.
So many great reasons for women’s strength training
Shape Plus collected data over the past two decades, and the success stories of our female clients, ages range from the teenage years all the way through nearly 70 years young. By adding weight training into their fitness programs many have reduced their risk of osteoporosis (the best way to make bones stronger is to place them under resistance.)
Others women prevented or improved their metabolic disorders, such as diabetes and high blood pressure/cholesterol, and are no longer required to take daily medications. Resistance training can also assist ladies in building stronger connective tissues, which can directly affect joint stability to reduce back pain.
Many of our sports-specific female athletes have also found that weight lifting has greatly improved their overall athletic performance as well as decrease their risk of potential injury.
We have even experienced great success with Pre-natal weight training for expectant mothers, which in turn, helped immensely with their post-partum recovery. (A strong momma is a healthy momma!) The fact is this, if you are a female and have been cleared by a medical professional, then there truly is no good reason for you not to integrate some form weight training into your fitness program.
Cardiovascular exercise is definitely essential for heart health while Yoga and Pilates are both excellent ways to stretch or mentally decompress; however, if you plan on rocking that bikini (without the jiggle), you’ve gotta get those gain’s ladies. Don’t be afraid to throw some serious weight around (i.e. weights heavier than your handbag). With the right plan and consistency you will not only notice the number on the scale go down, but most importantly, you will see and feel that strong is beautiful.
*There’s no guarantee of specific results.
Results can vary.
“I never thought I could feel so good about myself and actually be the one to do a double take in the mirror”
“I feel amazing and have surpassed my goals and accomplished more than I could ever expect”
“I started getting compliments like “Your arms look so buff” and “Do you work out? Cause your back looks amazing.”