Strength training benefits for women

I came across some articles for women I’d like to share with you.

Get With The Strength Training Program
NEW YORK, June 16, 2006  by Brian Dakss
The latest trend in fitness is total body strength training. It’s time efficient, burns tons of calories, and can really help you tone up.

On The Early Show Friday, exercise guru Minna Lessig showed how to incorporate strength training into your workout.

She demonstrated four exercises that use four exercise tools: the single arm row with dumbbell, exercise with tubing, the lunge criss-cross with medicine ball, and the dead-lift with body bar.

Strength training, Lessig explains, is a necessary component of a balanced fitness program. The benefits are numerous: increased muscular strength, which enhances quality of life because it enables you to better perform daily activities; improved muscle tone and appearance; increased bone density, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis; decreased risk of coronary disease; improved posture; and increased resting metabolism. It helps reduce body fat, which is great for middle-aged women who typically run into sluggish metabolism and find it harder to keep weight off, and it improves mood and combats feelings of depression, due to increased levels of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.”

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I decided not to include the video because of the ridiculously small weights the women were handling. Let’s be serious and real. You will not get stronger by using weights that are lighter than your average grocery bag!

The fear of “getting too big or muscular” by using “big” weights is the number one myth with women. Yet it is unfounded! Too many women still rely on unreliable methods like the bathroom scales or BMI to determine whether they are overweight or not.

There is no way a woman will end up looking like a man through regular strength training. Without anabolic steroids it is just impossible!

Watch a girl swing a 56kg kettlebell. Not many guys do that usually…

Same girl

And yes, women benefit from the same training methods men use. Heavy strength training and explosive power methods.

When it comes to strength, the major difference between women and men is  upper body strength. Kettlebells are perfect to develop upper body strength and endurance as long as you use a challenging weight!

coloured_neoprene_kettlebells_4kg_coloured_neoprene_covered_kettlebell

Girls, ditch any kettlebells under 8kg! Unless you are extremely weak, you will not get anything out of training but some cardiovascular exercise.

This girl is an European kettlebell champion.caestusksenija11

She trains and competes with 16 and 24 kg bells.

Would you say she looks like a man? By the way she weighs under 60 kgs…

Lift Weights – Why You Should Lift Weights if You’re a Woman

By Elizabeth Quinn, About.com

Over the last decade, researchers have made extremely compelling arguments for the benefits of weight training for women and those over the age of fifty. Still, the number of women who take this recommendation to heart is still quite low. Most women who exercise are spending most of their gym time on cardiovascular exercise. Whatever your reasons for avoiding the weights, if you are a woman, here are ten reasons why you need to take strength training seriously.

You Will Be Physically Stronger.
Increasing your strength will make you far less dependent upon others for assistance in daily living. Chores will be easier, lifting kids, groceries and laundry will no longer push you to the max. If your maximum strength is increased, daily tasks and routine exercise will be far less likely to cause injury. Research studies conclude that even moderate weight training can increase a woman’s strength by 30 to 50 percent. Research also shows that women can develop their strength at the same rate as men.

You Will Lose Body Fat.
Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long. Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day. That can really add up.

You Will Gain Strength Without Bulk.
Researchers also found that unlike men, women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men, women have 10 to 30 times less of the hormones that cause muscle hypertrophy. You will, however, develop muscle tone and definition. This is a bonus.

You Decrease Your Risk Of Osteoporosis.
Research has found that weight training can increase spinal bone mineral density (and enhance bone modeling) by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with an adequate amount of dietary calcium, can be a women’s best defense against osteoporosis.

You Will Improve Your Athletic Performance.
Over and over research concludes that strength training improves athletic ability in all but the very elite athletes . Golfers can significantly increase their driving power. Cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue. Skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.

You Will Reduce Your Risk Of Injury, Back Pain and Arthritis.
Strength training not only builds stronger muscles, but also builds stronger connective tissues and increases joint stability. This acts as reinforcement for the joints and helps prevent injury. A recent 12-year study showed that strengthening the low-back muscles had an 80 percent success rate in eliminating or alleviating low-back pain. Other studies have indicated that weight training can ease the pain of osteoarthritis and strengthen joints.

You Will Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease.
According to Dr. Barry A. Franklin, of William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, weight training can improve cardiovascular health in several ways, including lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. When cardiovascular exercise is added, these benefits are maximized.

You Will Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes.
In addition, Dr. Franklin noted that weight training may improve the way the body processes sugar, which may reduce the risk of diabetes. Adult-onset diabetes is a growing problem for women and men. Research indicates that weight training can increase glucose utilization in the body by 23 percent in four months.

It Is Never Too Late To Benefit.
Women in their 70s and 80s have built up significant strength through weight training and studies show that strength improvements are possible at any age. Note, however, that a strength training professional should always supervise older participants.

You Will Improve Your Attitude And Fight Depression.
A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression.

Read on…

Women’s Weight Training Myth #1 -Weight training makes you bulky and masculine.
Due to the fact that women do not, and cannot, naturally produce as much testosterone (one of the main hormones responsible for increasing muscle size) as males do, it is impossible for a woman to gain huge amounts of muscle mass by merely touching some weights. Unfortunately, the image that may come to your mind is that of professional female bodybuilders. Most of these women, unfortunately, use anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) along with other drugs in order to achieve that high degree of muscularity. In addition, most also have good genetics coupled with an unbelievable work ethic that enable them to gain muscle quickly when they spend hours in the gym lifting very heavy weights. Believe me when I say that they do not look like that by accident. Women who conduct weight training without the use of steroids get the firm and fit cellulite-free looking body that you see in most fitness/figure shows these days.

Women’s Weight Training Myth #7Women only need to do cardio and if they decide to lift weights, they should be very light.
First of all, if you only did cardio then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. One needs to do weights in order to get the muscle building machine going and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue. Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change.

Women Should Train Hard
I have trained with girls that train as hard as I do and they look nothing but feminine. If you want to look great, don’t be afraid to pick up the weights and lift hard!

(Credits to  Hugo Rivera )

http://kettlebell-fitness.dk

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3 responses to “Strength training benefits for women

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