It’s less common in the 21st century, but there used to be terminology out there discouraging women from lifting weights. Exercise program marketing would use words like “toned” or “firm” to target what they thought women wanted, while using lots of aerobics with very light weights. This contributed to the misnomer that if women lifted weights, they’d become bulky, big, or too muscular. Strength training for women does not mean you will bulk up.
Will I look like a body builder if I lift weights?
While there are certainly body builders who are women, that takes a very specific kind of programming with a strict diet. The kind of strength training we’re talking about – the kind you do two or three times a week – will give you functional strength as a matter of your mobility, not appearance. If you gain muscle mass, more power to you! The short answer is no, you won’t look like a body builder (unless you want that as a goal).
Why should women strength train?
It’s important for bone health. Women are at higher risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis, which is when the density of bones decreases, and they become more susceptible to fracture. This occurs in women more than men due to menopause and the decreased production of estrogen, which is a hormone that plays a role in bone metabolism and growth.
What can I do to combat this?
Lift weights! The more resistance and weight-bearing exercises you do, the stronger your bones will become. Our bodies are amazing at adapting to stress. Most of the time, the body will adapt by creating more muscle fibers, not necessarily bigger ones. There will be muscle size growth with the right type of training, but it won’t be as obvious as old-time marketers would have you believe. You can be strong and still look and feel like YOU.
Call us! We have state-of-the-art strengthening equipment to help you get started on your journey.
Have you never lifted a weight in your life? Don’t fret! No one is saying you need to join a gym full of equipment you’ve never seen, let alone used. You can strength train using bodyweight to start, and then you can progress with household items (for example, a gallon of milk weighs 8 pounds; a pack of bottled water can weigh up to 30). We have put together some videos for strength training you can do at home. Contact us at Peak Form for a custom exercise program to get strong and protect your bones!