The benefits of strength training for women are tenfold. As I started to jot down reasons why women should weight train, I realised that there really is no reason why women shouldn’t. There are literally no negative effects of weight training if carried out correctly. With over an A4 piece of paper full of reasons to weight train, I’ll begin to explain the most pertinent benefits that allow women to reach their health and fitness goals.
Contrary to many women’s beliefs, weight training will not make you bulky. The bulk comes from the food you consume, as opposed to the way you train. Weight training helps lose body fat and gain strength without this said ‘bulky body’. In fact, you’re likely to burn more calories in your day-to-day life as a result of increasing your muscle mass. Weight training also preserves muscle mass. As we age, muscle mass diminishes, which can be counteracted with weight training. In addition, weight training prevents and reduces the risk of many illnesses and ageing characteristics. It decreases the risk of osteoporosis as weight training helps increase bone density and slow down the process of bone loss over time. It also reduces the risk of injury, back pain, and arthritis. When you build muscle, you help protect your joints and increase balance, coordination and posture. Weight training sees a reduction in heart disease and diabetes as it creates a different pattern of blood level responses than aerobic activity, has a greater increase in blood flow to the limbs, and provides tremendous stress relief.
For those just starting out, there are three main types of weight training; body weight, free weight, and weight machines. Body weight involves using your own body weight for resistance, such as pushups, pull-ups, and abdominal crunches. Free weights involve the use of dumbbells, weight bars, and barbells. Weight machines target different muscle areas of the body, and a diagram of how to conduct the exercise is often attached to the machine. The easiest way to get started is to try body weight training; it’s cheap and easy to execute as there is no equipment required.