Sunday, January 27, 2013

Why Women Should Lift Heavy Weights

So, this post addresses a topic about which I feel pretty passionate, and it’s one I think a lot of people have a lot of misconceptions about.

I’m talking about exercise – weightlifting, to be specific – for women.

For many women, exercise goes something like this:
-Go to the gym
-Hit up your favorite cardio machine
-Depending on how tired you feel once you’re done, do some “lifting” (which means tons of reps with extremely light weights in hopes of getting “toned” without getting “bulky”)

And therein lies the problem.

Women seem to have it engrained in their minds that lifting anything heavier than a Barbie weight is going to make them look like this. Which just isn’t true. Women miss out on all the physical health benefits of lifting heavy weights because they don’t realize that, unless they are taking anabolic steroids, their bodies aren’t producing the kind of testosterone that would get them disgustingly ripped. What WOULD happen would be more defined (in a feminine, sexy way) muscles; a better, sleeker physique; more strength to perform everyday tasks and prevent injuries; better bone and connective tissue health; and much more.

This book, The New Rules of Weightlifting for Women, does a pretty good job explaining (by no means my fitness bible, but still pretty excellent) why lifting heavy is good for you, and it includes diet information and a complete workout plan that I think is awesome.

This group, Girls Gone Strong, emphasizes the same principles and includes lots of motivational information and informative videos. You can get on their email list and get all kinds of information and updates.

The point is, educating yourself about sound principles when it comes to your exercise routine will help you to devote your time to practices that will actually help you in the long run. No more mantras like “low weight, high rep” without even knowing when “low” is actually way too low to provide physical benefits. No more wasting your valuable time on exercises that don’t push you hard enough. And no more being frustrated with mediocre results.

Pushing yourself and lifting heavy is rewarding, exhausting, and probably just what the doctor ordered to jumpstart your fitness routine this year.

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