Women are working professionals, top athletes, independent single moms, CEOâs and leaders of our country. The days of the active woman being a piece of eye candy on a man's arm are over!
Welcome to strength training for women
Why shouldnât women be physically strong?
Just because a woman is strength training doesnât mean that she has big muscles. Strong doesn't mean bulky muscles. Women that have big muscles are taking supplements to achieve those results. Producing big muscles in women requires added hormones and supplements; women donât produce enough testosterone naturally to have big bulky muscles. A woman who is strength training has a lean, defined and tone shape to their body that is athletic, not one that screams âmeat headâ.
There are many reasons that women should include strength training in their workouts.
We are going to look at three areas that women benefit most: appearance, overall health, and activity.
âBeing fit is in, and being skinny is out! A fit woman, on the other hand, is powerful, athletic, confident, and sexy. An athletic figure always turns heads, they seem âput togetherâ and to carry themselves a certain confidence. They just look good. Being fit or athletic has the added benefit of keeping you young also. A strong fit body has a youthful appearance. (This is not gendered specific, men look better also!) There are still certain things that will help one hold onto a youthful appearance, but the ability to have a fit body is totally in your hands.
Retain your youthful appearance
Clothes fit perfectly
Boost in self-confidence
A woman that has a strength training component to her workout will have a raised metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat. More muscle means more calories burned per day. A pound of muscle burns an extra 50 calories a day (while at rest). Just five pounds of added muscle will raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR) by an extra 250 calories every day or 1750 calories per week! This the equivalent of 2 or 3 meals of calorie content per week. Keep in mind that this is a resting increase. This calorie count does not include exercise. Women that do the proper amount of strength training donât have to go on diets.
Does the idea of eating what you want appeal to anyone?
A healthy body has many many benefits. Lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, reduce your risk of heart disease, reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Strength training will eliminate back pain, strengthen tendons/ligaments and prevent injuries that many just accept.
We relish the relaxation of a vacation but the idea of having an hour each day to ourselves is dismissed. Our crammed schedules, cross another item off the âto-doâ list and âwhat is my next appointment... most of us donât allow enough time to relax or decompress. Getting enough rest can be at best an afterthought. Exercise will give you the good night's sleep that we often relate to a vacation. Can you consider the thought of feeling like that each night? Removing yourself from the day for an hour of good, fun exercise can make the difference in your dayâ¦ every day. This single hour will also improve your mood. Arriving hour in a pleasant mood will end the day with a smile on your face.
The increase in your metabolism will also be more forgiving on cheat days.
Improve your mood
More forgiving of cheat days
âA stronger body makes you a more independent person. Not needing assistance with large or heavy objects and doing things on your time frame is liberating and empowering. Small things like not having to ask for help will give you the reputation of a person that can get things done.
A strong body is more adaptive to an increase or change in activity. Added physical strength will allow you to a wide variety of activities and exercises. This flexibility in lifestyle is not something many people get to enjoy. Your endurance will rise and you can accomplish difficult tasks without feeling over-exerted. Deciding to go on a canoe ride, a long day of yard work or going for a run (longer run) that is outside your normal activity is not an issue. You will be one of the leads of the pack.
Women that have consistently done strength training have fewer injuries and when they do have an injury it is less severe than those that lack a strength training program. Runners have told me that they are faster and less sore from their runs when engaging in strength and conditioning workouts, in addition to their normal runs. Runners have subtracted as much as a full minute off their previous personal record by just adding strength training.
Increase balance and stability
Ability to do more activities
âRun with the big dogsâ
Keep in mind that strength training doesn't mean pumping iron or big bulky muscles. Women keep a feminine figure even when adding strength to their bodies. Think lean tone muscles, attractive arms, and legs that accentuate your inner beauty.
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Just because you go to the gym doesn’t mean that you will achieve the figure you want to attain. Exercise isn’t rocket science, but there is science behind doing it for maximum benefits. Yes, increasing your activity will cause weight loss. Yes, lifting weights will cause muscle development.
However… it doesn’t mean that you get your desired figure.
Cardio over-kill is a problem for a lot of women. They go from spin class to the treadmill to step class and so on. The benefits are that it burns calories, which helps to create a calorie deficit, this eliminates the conversion of calories into body fat. The downside is that cardio can not build muscle. You see, cardio training is known as “neurogenic” training, meaning it does not promote muscular density. This type of constant training can be particularly negative for women who have lost a lot of weight as it can leave them looking “skinny fat”. This is because they have lost weight, but their skin and muscle tone looks deflated.
Countless times I have listened to women tell me they don’t want to do push ups because are scared of getting big manly shoulders. This is one of the biggest myths in the fitness world. Ladies you need to work those muscles.
More weight and more reps are not the answer. What this means is moving a weight from point A to point B is not necessarily going to equate to muscle tone and development. Creating the shape that you want requires more insight. Often a certain amount of momentum can move a weight, along using your own body weight. The trick is to focus on the muscle you are using to move that weight and squeezing it throughout the movement, holding the tension at the contraction point, and then releasing again under control.
No Big Muscles
Testosterone, in particular, plays a key role in regulating muscle mass and the body's response to exercise. Women’s testosterone levels are about 20% lower than men. Women don’t have enough testosterone to get big muscles like men (without supplements) and will not increase muscle size and strength like men. The result is strong, solid and tone muscles with a feminine look.
Kinds of Strength Training
Knowing what kind, how often and what to expect from a strength training program is the science in exercise. Too often the wrong exercise is applied and the results are not achieved.
Compound movements: big, heavy power movements like squats, deadlifts and clean and press. These sorts of big movements stimulate testosterone production due to the sheer volume of muscles involved in the movement. This helps to build stronger, harder muscles. But don’t worry women; it’s still a tiny amount of naturally produced testosterone.
Isolation movements: This allows you to focus specifically on certain muscles, groups of muscles or one area of a muscle. You can isolate an area using weights and/or body weight exercises. It’s very important to keep mixing up workout routines to ensure you hit a muscle area on its full circumference, this avoids over development and flat areas.
Negative Movements: Negative rep training focuses on the negative, or eccentric, part of an exercise. It's the phase of the move where you are lowering the weight, not pressing it. An example is the stage of a squat when you're bending your knees and coming down to the bottom of the move. This phase of the exercise should be slower and more controlled as you should being supporting and resisting the weight and not pushing it.
Fire Eye Fitness instructors combine all exercise forms and types during workouts. This helps to ensure a well-rounded workout so a flattering figure is the result of all your hard work. Brides routinely have their dresses taken in because they lose so much weight, but keep a flattering backside. Instructors implement compound, isolation and complete muscle squeeze for these superior results. Workouts are constantly changing to prevent clients from hitting the plateau and, more importantly, getting bored.
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