Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Women should lift heavy (and why partners should encourage it!)

I was talking to my mum the other day - who btw is a major inspiration! She's 50 something, had a heart attack just over a year ago and has worked her body (and heart) back into better shape than ever! 

Her new goal is to "tighten things up" (what woman doesn't want that!?). I told her to continue focusing on her strength training and to use heavier weights...she asked why. This is why. Strength training with heavier weights:

This pretty red kettle bell is 32 kilos or 70
pounds! A little heavy for me but I
can lift it! 
  1. Burns more fat and calories than traditional cardiovascular training. This is because your metabolism is fired up for many hours after your training session.
  2. Results in more muscle definition and tone. 2-5 pound weights do not challenge the muscles enough to produce noticeable results. 
  3. Helps strengthen and protect your bones against osteoporosis. Similar to muscle, bones increase in strength and density with weight training and impact. 
  4. Increases strength and functional ability! Allowing you to live without assistance to lift groceries, move your couch, open a pickle jar, etc. Giving you freedom and empowerment!
  5. Helps protect your joints and prevent injuries. Joints rely on surrounding muscles for balance, stability and protection.  

Now husbands, the weight room is an intimidating place for many women. If your wife feels this way, accompany her there! If you are both unfamiliar with your local weight room, ask for a tour. As a weight room attendant at Port Moody Recreation Centre, I can tell you we love showing people around!

And finally women, you will not get bulky giant muscles from lifting heavier weights! Mostly because:

  1. Women do not naturally have enough testosterone
  2. People in general do not eat the large amounts of protein required
  3. We do not train nearly hard or heavy enough.
Women in the muscle building magazines train and diet extremely rigorously to look the way they do, it does not happen accidentally. 

My mum's already increased her weights from 4 to 8 pounds...what about you?!

Picture Courtesy of amy leigh PHOTOGRAPHY

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