Fitness & Nutrition: To lift or not to lift – Women & Resistance Training

Over the past 10-15 years it’s been common practice in gyms across the country that men would come in and head straight for the weights room and women would head straight to the treadmill. Thankfully this trend is changing. More and more and more women are incorporating resistance training into their workouts and with great effect.

The benefits of resistance training for women are massive. They include;

·        Increased Metabolism & Improved body composition

·         Increased strength
·         Reduced risk of osteoporosis
·         Reduced risk of injury, back pain & arthritis
·         Reduced risk of heart disease
·         Reduced risk of Diabetes
·         Reduced risk of depression
·         Improved energy levels
I could go on, there are loads more. The simple fact is adding in resistance training to your exercise habits is better than doing just cardio. If this is the case why isn’t every gym across the country packed with women lifting weights?? In my opinion this is down to a number of different reasons;
1.       Ignorance – simply put women are not aware of the benefits resistance training holds. Well, now you are J
2.       ‘I don’t want to get bulky’ – this is probably the most common thing I hear from female clients starting out. Again it is a very common misconception that lifting weights will make you bulky. This can be true for males who practice strength training however females simply don’t produce enough muscle building hormones (testosterone etc.)  to ‘get bulky’
3.       Intimidation – many female clients I have spoken to say they would feel intimidated training in the weights area of the gym. I can completely understand this. I even feel intimidated training among some of the bigger guys in the gym. But I have seen plenty of women put these guys to shame when it comes to training. We (Dennehy’s Health & Fitness, Ballincollig) like many other gyms nowadays have a ‘ladies only’ section with a number of resistance machines and free weights. We also run Personal Training packages which are an ideal introduction to resistance training.
If you want to maximize the potential your body has and utilise your time in the gym efficiently then resistance training is a must. Look at Jessica Ennis for example. She has a figure that most women would love. Does she just run on a treadmill all day?? No way!! I guarantee a large portion of her training is done inside the gym lifting weights. Funny how she never got bulky isn’t it J.
Happy Lifting guys……
Steve Barry

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