Some women do not want to lift any significant weight in their strength training programs. There is a belief in some circles that lifting weights will cause them to explode with bulging muscles. This is an unfortunate mistake. Muscle is not something to be afraid of – and there are many valid physical reasons women should embrace building muscle for improved health.
Women who are afraid of resembling the Hulk should calm that fear down. It’s just not going to happen – for one simple reason – hormones. Women are off the planet estrogen; Men are made up of testosterone. Both sexes produce both hormones, but the relative proportions are significantly different. Men usually produce higher levels of testosterone (about ten times those of women) and lower levels of estrogen. Women produce the opposite.
The huge professional bodybuilders you may have seen online gained their extreme muscle mass with the help of additional anabolic-androgenic steroids. However, there are legal ramifications to the use of steroids, as well as possible physical and physiological side effects.
Although both testosterone and estrogen are anabolic (which promotes the process by which smaller units form larger units in the body), testosterone is primarily responsible for increasing muscle tissue growth. Sure, some women have higher than normal levels of testosterone and therefore may have a tendency to add muscle mass beyond the average woman. This is genetic and many of these women are competitive athletes. But most women will not naturally develop enormous muscles. And a woman doesn’t have to be an athlete to gain muscle mass and enjoy the benefits.
Every woman can increase strength and build muscles. A sensible program combining strength training and cardio will increase strength and endurance. Strength training stimulates muscles to stay strong and sturdy and helps with weight management. Let’s talk about why women should participate in weight training.
Life and weight loss::
Too many women in our society are obsessed with weight control. Unfortunately, this obsession is usually centered on the bathroom scale and does not take into account changes in body composition (ratio of body fat to lean body mass). Most diets result in a loss of muscle tissue as well as body fat. You can lose half of your fat and stay alive; But if you lose half your muscle mass, you can die. Because muscle is denser than body fat, a person who exercises resistance may show slower changes on the scale but faster changes in body composition.
Muscles burn fuel:
Muscle burns more calories than body fat. Muscle cells have organelles called mitochondria, which physiologists often refer to as the cells’ “powerhouses”. They provide the energy for almost all metabolic processes that take place in the cell. Muscle cells are very busy and the mitochondria are constantly converting chemical energy into mechanical energy. Reactions within the mitochondria break the bonds between fuel molecules and release energy for the cells. During endurance training, most of the energy for muscle activity is provided by mitochondria. This is used as the main argument for doing excessive endurance exercise. While it’s true that calories are burned during cardio training, only strength training can increase muscle mass. More muscles = more mitochondria = more fuel consumption.
Strength training can increase your basal metabolic rate:
The basal metabolic rate refers to the number of calories the body uses at rest and makes up 60 to 75 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure. While aerobic exercise burns calories (and a small amount afterwards) during activity, it has minimal impact on basal metabolic rate. In addition, prolonged periods of aerobic activity can lower the basal metabolic rate by causing muscle loss. In contrast, proper strength training can increase muscle mass and metabolism. For general health and weight management, strength training is a necessary part of a woman’s exercise regimen.
Muscle inactivity leads to muscle weakness and wasting:
The muscle needs to be physically active to stay healthy. Otherwise, it degenerates and loses mass. Because older people are less active, their muscles shrink and become weak and often unable to walk without help. Less muscle mass also means the body burns less fuel. Most importantly, less muscle mass means a loss of strength. As a result, sedentary people have an increased need to incorporate exercise into their weekly activities in order to maintain muscle mass, strength, and help with weight management.
Connective tissue and joints:
Strength training emphasizes and strengthens the connective tissue. This is the tissue that holds bones together and binds muscles to the skeleton. Sensible training with weights increases the cell activity of the connective tissue in the muscle and the binding of the muscles to the bones. The mechanical compression of the joints stimulates the healthy cartilage metabolism in the joints. Inactive joints have decreased the turnover of macromolecules in tissues and may be more prone to osteoarthritis and injury.
Helps prevent osteoporosis:
Muscle wasting in the elderly is a major contributor to osteoporosis, a serious debilitating disease in postmenopausal women. Women have less muscle mass than men and also less bone density. Both men and women are subject to hormonal and metabolic changes with age. Muscles begin to deteriorate, fat accumulates more easily, and bones lose their density. In particular, foresight can slow this process down. Carrying out activities increase bone mass. Studies have shown that women who have been active their entire lives have greater bone density and delay bone loss in later years. Research has shown that resistance training can reduce and potentially reverse bone loss in pre- and postmenopausal women. However, women should start and maintain some type of strength training as early as the age of 20 in order to optimally prevent osteoporosis. Regardless, it is never too late to start, no matter what your age.
Strength training vs. Toning
We have used the two terms “strength training” and “strength training” synonymously. In the context of this article, strength training is more applicable: building muscle mass by increasing the amount of resistance the muscle needs to move. Exercise physiologists call this “progressive overload”. Muscles are amazing parts of the metabolic machinery. They quickly adapt to the loads (extra weight) you put on them. If you follow a structured program of progressive overload and provide your muscles with clean nourishment, remain adequately hydrated, and give your muscles sufficient time to rest and recover, they will grow.
Use the word “toning” in a gym and watch the hardcore weightlifters cringe and sneer. Toning is not weight training. It won’t build muscle mass either. The term toning is mistakenly used to refer to countless reps with small amounts of weight that don’t gradually challenge the muscle. This muscle quickly adapts to moving a weight for a certain number of repetitions and is no longer stimulated. The weight must be increased gradually in small steps to allow the muscles to grow.
Use as much weight as you can and move that weight with intensity. Challenge yourself Set goals and work hard to achieve them. When you can curl that 10-pound dumbbell for 12 reps, take the next heavier dumbbell and repeat the process. Go for this additional repetition. Embrace the sensation of contracting muscles. Push yourself and enjoy your achievements.