Having been in the Health and Fitness industry for almost a decade, I have both seen many mistakes and heard many myths regarding females lifting weights. This month I will discuss the positive effects of training and hopefully shed some light on some of the popular incorrect beliefs surrounding this subject.
There is, and has been for many years, a ‘fear’ that as a female you will become big and bulky by lifting weights. There are also many females who proclaim that they simply put on too much muscle mass after training for only short periods. If, and I mean IF, you do get bulky from lifting weights it would suggest probably two things; 1/ that your nutrition is incorrect for your training goal and 2/ your training programmes are incorrect for your desired end result.
Ever since I entered this industry, I have always had a higher percentage of female to male clientele, all of whom have lifted weights under my guidance and never once has a female client got ‘bulky’. If your training programmes and nutritional management are correct, you WILL get the desired result.
As with males who weight train, lifting weights as a female has numerous positive effects. It is great for fat loss and improves your metabolism not only while you are training, but also for up to 72 hours after, meaning you are still burning fat even when resting.
There are also plenty of studies that show the positive impact of weight training on diabetes, heart disease, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis; the list is endless.
Lifting Vs Cardio
Lifting weights is not just about changing your physique; it has a hugely positive impact on your hormonal system as well as just about everything else internally. For starters, unlike cardio training, creating load on bones (weight training) will release much needed calcium and keep bone health in check and help prevent osteoporosis.
Cardiovascular training will increase cortisol, a catabolic hormone which can place you into a degenerative state. This can lead to a myriad of outcomes such as a rise in subcutaneous fat, mood swings, infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) to name a few. Incorrect cardio training can also lead to inflammatory levels, which cause premature aging and cellular damage.
Unfortunately, the media has a lot to answer for when it comes to promoting incorrect information regarding health and fitness, especially for women. Gossip magazines are packed with poor diet advice, horrible training methods and plain old simple lies about how to get a ‘beach ready body’.
Celebrities endorse shakes and pills to make you lose kilos of fat and sculpt an amazing figure while magically doing nothing. Do not forget, celebrities who endorse anything are PAID to say great things about a product. Just to give you an idea, Mo Farah promotes Quorn which, along with a few other sponsors, is set to bring him in around £10 million.
Who Should You Believe?
If you are seeking improved health and a better physique, you must first ask yourself, ‘Is what I am currently doing working as well as I had hoped?’. If the answer is ‘No’, then it would seem futile to continue doing the same thing. If continually running is simply giving you sore knees or your favourite celebrity shake is making no impact on your waist line, then try weight training under the guidance of a professional.