Why Women Need To Lift Weights

By Nancy Andrews

Why Women Need To Lift Weights

Jan 6th, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: Exercise Tips

I meet way too many women who just want to do a bit of cardio for exercise and then diet to maintain their weight. Now while any exercise has some physiological (and often emotional) benefit, if you really want to change the shape of your body, you need to build muscle and that means you need to lift weights or do some other sort of resistance training.

Let’s talk about why you need to work on building muscle. Once humans reach physical maturity in their late teens, the body no longer will grow muscle naturally as it did when we were still growing. To add insult to injury, our muscle base will start to erode and as we get even older, diminishing levels of key hormones and the stresses of modern society makes us lose muscle mass faster and challenge our metabolisms to work efficiently. With diminished muscle mass and lower hormone levels, our body’s ability to burn fat is much reduced. Let’s face it, by the time a woman hits forty, it is very hard not to gain body fat.

To fight this uphill battle we need to work at gaining muscle mass. You see all is not lost if we merely challenge our muscles hard enough, we can produce micro tears in our muscles which will, as the muscles work to repair themselves, cause the muscles to grow larger. With increased muscle mass, we will simultaneously tighten up our ‘jiggly bits’, develop the right curves in the right places and burn more calories during the day which if we manage our diet properly will cause us to burn fat.

The way to challenge your muscles enough to produce these changes is to do resistance training. This is often lifting weights but can also be lifting our body weight as we will during push ups and pull ups. You can also use resistance bands. The only real requirement is to place enough stress on the largest muscles to get significant results. That means you need to lift as heavy as is possible while maintaining good form during the exercise and to regularly increase the amount of weight you lift and/or the number of repetitions so you continue to see progress.

There is no reason why we women need to accept getting fatter as we get older. Just remember that cardio alone is not enough. Real change requires women to lift weights.

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