Weight training is one of the most effective workouts foryou to build a healthy body and mind. However, many womenwould rather do cardio workouts on the elliptical or treadmill, than enter the weight room. To be clear, cardio is great. Although, women seem to steer away from weightlifting eventhough it can be more effective at getting the results you want.
Here are some misconceptions that people have aboutweightlifting:
What turns many women away from weightlifting is the misconception that they’ll grow an overly muscular physique. A muscular body just doesn’t fit with most societal female beauty standards.
Firstly, it’s very difficult for women to grow their muscles to the size that men normally would. This is because of differenttestosterone levels. Testosterone is a primary male sex hormone that heavily aids with bone and muscle growth. While females do have testosterone, they have 10-30 times less of what men have. This makes it nearly impossible for women to naturally grow their muscles like Chris Hemsworth.
Secondly, beauty standards are nothing more than societal constructs.
If you’ve ever felt intimated walking past a weight room full of large men deadlifting and benching, you’re not alone. Just remember these are just feelings we’ve created for ourselves and nothing more. Many people are at the gym to focus on themselves and their workout.
What Weightlifting Actually Does To Your Mind and Body
The health, mental and physical benefits of weightlifting far outweigh the negative ideas surrounding it. Coupled with a healthy diet, you’ll notice positive changes within your body in no time.
Build Muscle and Bone Strength
There’s no denying that weight training leads to toner features. If you’re looking to grow larger glutes (many of us are)without surgery, lifting weights is the only way to make it happen.
Besides the physical aspect, lifting weights makes you stronger and helps with building endurance. This is so that tasks like moving heavy boxes, carrying full grocery bags, or going on long hikes are done with ease. No need to call anyone for assistance.
Weightlifting also leads to stronger bones. As women age, they are more susceptible to diseases such as osteoporosis which results in brittle and weak bones. Weightlifting can help fight against that. Lifting weights places stress on your bones which then stimulates bone growth and density. As long as you perform these workouts with a proper form, the results will come.
Burn Fat and Calories
People have debated whether cardio (running, etc.) burns more fat and calories than weight training. While running for 30 minutes burns more calories than 30 minutes of weight training, lifting weights leads to more calorie burn overall. This is because muscles burn through calories even when you’re resting. Research shows that your muscles continue to burn calories up to 38 hours after you’re done your weightlifting session.
However, cardio is better than weight training at helping you lose fat. While you’ll shed the fat, you’ll also lose muscle mass as well if you purely do cardio workouts. If you’re looking for a sculpted and toned look, it’s essential to include strength training in your workout regimen.
Increase mental health
Weight training directly and indirectly improves your mental health. Your brain releases endorphins when you strength train. This is a feel-good hormone that places you in good spirits and energy after a workout. A study done with over 1,800people with depressive symptoms showed that after 2-3 weight training sessions a week, their depressive moods declined significantly.
Your mental health may also get better as strength training can help you feel more confident about yourself. Nothing beats the feeling of setting fitness goals and meeting them. Whether that’s being able to lift heavier weights, noticing more definition or larger glutes, you’ll feel empowered that you were able to meet your goals and push past your limits to achieve them.
Reduce Heart Disease
Incorporating weights into your exercise can reduce your risk of a stroke by 40-70%. You can achieve this in lesser time than cardio. Additionally, it’s been shown that weight training significantly lowers epicardial and pericardial adipose tissue that are located on and around the heart. Large amounts of these tissues increase the risk of heart disease. Researchers noticed that when patients began weightlifting, the amount of these tissues significantly lessened.
Weightlifting can be challenging, especially at the beginning. You might feel awkward or the muscle burn may be too difficult to handle during and after the workout. However, it’s worth it. You’ll start feeling subtle changes both physically and mentally as you begin weightlifting. Afterwards, you’ll notice muscle definition as you slowly work towards your goals. Then before you know it, you’ll start craving the burn.