Any woman who decides to start strength training can feel inspired at first, but also intimidated. It’s important to remember that we all start somewhere, and the beginning jitters are very common. It’s totally normal to feel a little apprehensive before trying any new hobby, but in the case of strength training, the rewards are great!
Benefits of Strength Training for Women
Speaking of rewards, training with weights provides our bodies with a number of advantages that cardio and machines alone cannot:
- Strength-training Quickly Trims Body Fat. It builds and shapes muscles, which also increases metabolism. A higher metabolism during the day means that you will burn more calories all day long. Studies show that just one pound of muscle burns 35 to 50 calories each day. That really adds up! Your metabolism stays elevated after a weight-training workout between 24-48 hours afterwards depending on the style of workout.
- Weightlifting Makes Women Stronger and Leaner; Not Bulky. It’s a common misconception that working out with weights causes women to build huge man-muscles and gain overall size. The simple fact is that women don’t have enough of the hormone testosterone to build muscle at the same rate men do. Instead, women develop muscle definition and strength without the size.
- Strong Muscles = Strong Bones. While weight training makes your muscles stronger, it also is the best way to strengthen the skeletal system. Having stronger bones reduces the risk of fractures and breaks. Studies on this subject have shown that weight training increases bone density in the spine, providing us with a strong, and healthy spine. As we strengthen our back, shoulders, and muscles of the core, low back pain is eliminated and your posture will become tall and upright.
- Increase Mood and Lower Stress. Strength-training and exercise cause the release of endorphins, chemicals in the body that prevent pain, make us happier, and combat depression. The release of these endorphins also naturally reduce stress levels as well as anxiety, plus they additionally stimulate brain activity naturally; boosting alertness and energy for the rest of the day!
Are you sold yet?
Some women avoid weightlifting because of the initial nervousness about not knowing what to do, or because in their mind they don’t qualify as ‘fit enough.’ What is fit enough? Getting over the nerves of lifting weights and working out is as easy as hearing testimonials from a friend about their fitness journey. Many female first-timers generally feel more comfortable in a group workout environment.
Tips to Get Started
Whatever your motivation and inspiration is for beginning a strength training program, remember your goals and get ready to start your strong! Here are some tips that will make your new beginning with weight-training easy as 1,2,3…
- Get the Support You Need. A positive support system or community that shares the same goals you do is incredibly helpful in starting your strength-training journey. Join a group of peers for workouts where you can meet other women like you who are looking better, getting healthier, and celebrating each other’s strengths!
- Make a Plan, Have an Appointment with YOU. A great place to start, if you’re working out alone, is to check out YouTube videos of specific exercises and techniques so that you have a plan to take with you to the gym. Our staff has recorded many videos demonstrating effective exercises. Set specific dates and times for your training sessions. Put your sessions on your calendar to create a habit that you will stick to. Invite a friend to join your workouts to create something to look forward to.
- Make the Gym Convenient. First things first, make sure you get adequate rest once you begin strength-training. A bedtime routine such as packing your gym bag for the following day and preparing your workout outfit including shoes and socks makes it a breeze to get dressed and go. Also, seeing the workout gear and bag sitting by your front door the next day is a great reminder to hit the gym–ya know, in case you forgot.
Lifting weights is an excellent tool that should be used for boosting your life, not a punishment for overindulging or gaining weight. You may want to start your strength training journey for different reasons than others, but the outcome is universal. You will use strength training to discover some of the incredible things your body can do, while learning a fun new skill.
Coach Lauren is offering a Women’s Only Strength Group class. If reading this has you inspired to try weight lifting but aren’t sure where to start, then this class is for you!
authored by kenny palmer and lauren sanders