My background in fitness spans over many years and varieties of workouts. And even though I’ve chosen to teach Pilates and Lagree, I love almost any workout that challenges my strength and endurance.
Since I’m competitive, I dabbled for a bit in professional bodybuilding. I was determined to get those sexy sculpted arms and perfectly popped bootie I saw on the figure pros, and exceeded my goals when I placed in three shows. Besides the rush of being in front of an audience, it was the journey to get there and the strength I developed that hooked me on weightlifting.
One misconception that many women have is that if they are lifting weights, they are going to develop masculine muscles. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The concerns or even fears that it will cause “huge man-muscles” is a cyclical conversation. Most of these ideas are folk-tales. As a trainer, no one is ever going to win the argument with me by saying “my body type gets bulky, so I cannot lift weights.”
I invite you to rethink the myths that surround weightlifting. Consider the following 6 positive benefits of weightlifting the next time you feel the urge to resist visiting the weight room:
1. Decrease Your Body Fat Percentage
Good news here, right? Building up in the muscle department will increase your efficiency to burn fat. The boost in muscle mass means an increase in metabolism which means calorie torching when you are at rest. I should just drop the mic now but read on, please.
2. Lessen Your Risk Of Developing Disease
Breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease. Lifestyle balance; I talk about it all the time. So you eat amazingly? That is just one component. You do cardio? Super. Now just add that final puzzle piece, weight training, and you pretty much sealed the deal in disease prevention. Be well rounded and balanced; Do a bit of each: healthy food, healthy heart, healthy life.
3. Boost Your Mood
Exercise, in general, helps your body release natural chemicals like dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. These “happy chemicals” are notably triggered by exercise. Working out is challenging, so the harder the workout, the bigger the happy payoff. Strength training, specifically, spikes your heart rate in a different way than going for a jog. The intensity ignites body responses in a way that calls on more receptors. The more, the merrier.
4. Improve Your Body-Mind Equilibrium
It’s concerning that people as a whole seem to be losing natural balance, thanks to technology. Our once daily used motor skills have been replaced with buttons and voice response systems. Simple straight forward movements using free weights can test not just your strength, but also hand-eye coordination. Repetition and patterns that are executed during strength training sessions challenge your brains connection to your body. Stronger awareness and thoughtful routines can increase overall body balance alignment and coordination.
5. Increase Your Bone Density
Bodies change as we get older. Hormones will begin to show themselves by having an effect on how we sustain muscle. Osteoporosis and other diseases are in fact preventable by the simple addition of strength training. We lose tone as we age (that’s another topic) but what’s underneath, needs TLC too. Many studies conclude that bone density can be improved with added resistance, barbell squats and lunges with dumbbells — not too heavy ladies, but just enough to add an inch of prevention.
6. Improve Your Endurance & Stamina
Physically, the stronger you get, the longer you will be able to withstand challenging workouts. Mind over matter is only useful for so long; there’s a point when the power of the muscles needs to step in. The way you pump blood throughout a weight lifting workout encourages strength performance in a manner that improves your determination. Stamina compliments endurance and vice versa. Oh yeah, and that confidence stuff I mentioned earlier. Isn’t strong empowering?
Strong is the new sexy; I love what this means. It’s physical, it’s emotional, it’s inspiring.