Posted by: oceannah | March 21, 2012

Why Weight Training IS For Women

I began lifting weights about a year ago.  When I was younger I was an athlete playing many sports, my favorite was gymnastics.  I loved the feeling of competence I had then…strong and flexible.

Many women think that lifting weights will bulk them up.  This is simply not true.  Pictures you may see of very bulky women with oversize muscles are taking steroids to get that way.  Natural weight lifting for women creates lean muscle without bulk.

Last year I began losing weight seriously since I was able to go off a weight gaining medicine (Femara) after six years! Forty pounds gone Hurray!  I did a lot of reading and found the best way to gain muscle and lose fat and to build bone mass (something that was a new concern with early menopause)  was weight bearing exercise.

Today, I’m focused on losing another 20ish pounds or so.  But more importantly, I aim for FAT LOSS.

You don’t even need weights to do weight bearing exercises.  Using your body as a weight you can start simple weight bearing exercise.  The push-up is a classic example.  It is equivalent to a bench press in that it works the same muscle group, you just use your body as the weight.  Start simple.  But start.

Top Five Reasons Weight Lifting IS for Women:

1-  Build lean muscle, which requires more energy (calories) to maintain than fat.  Generally speaking, for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories each day. That can really add up.

2-  Lose fat!!  Who doesn’t want to shed fat, right?

3-  Reduce osteoporosis risk by building stronger bones.   Studies show that a 6 month weight training program can help increase bone mineral content by up to 13%.

4-  Those who train with weights have less risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome aka pre-diabetes.  This is because the more muscle you have, the better your body can manage glucose!

5-  Improved attitude.  A Harvard study indicates that 10 weeks of weight training did better at improving symptoms of clinical depression than standard therapy.

That’s my two cents on the topic.  It should be noted that I use weight training in conjunction with, not instead of cardio!   I love my weight training and missed it dearly when I could not lift while my wrist was healing.    Try it out for a few weeks and you’ll see results.  Just be mindful that the scale may not move as much while lifting weights.  Losing fat and gaining muscle will keep the scale more even, but the body is being reconfigured and you’ll see it in your clothes and feel as you literally get stronger!

*anna

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Responses

  1. I agree, and the comparison photo is great. I do P90X, and I am constantly getting “too bulky” questions/concerns, even from my DD! I used to lift weights at the gym 20yrs ago, but I prefer P90X, saves me time and money. BTW, I am 49, so age is no excuse. I’m still hoping to see the scale move a little further down, but I have to gauge by clothing fit/tape measure when I am “small enough” to move onto Consolidation on Dukan, as I’m not sure how much muscle I am putting on.

    • Hi Veerukka, I’ll be 49 in a bit. You can gauge your fat composition in a variety of ways, the best of which is to use a caliper and measure skinfolds at various locations. There’s also a host of online body fat calculators…beware, the Navy one is over the top and will register you at higher than normal. Even when I punch in my stats at 138# that particular calculator describes me as overweight!!! Just an fyi. I’ve heard good things about P90X but I don’t know much about it. Would love to hear more.
      PS…I love your blog, but can’t post there b/c blogger won’t accept my wordpress ID 😦 and I don’t have a google account. Sonia changed her settings for blogger so that ‘anonymous’ may post….would you maybe consider that? I sure wish blogger and wordpress would get it together…I know I’m not the only one. But I’m probably one of the few that doesn’t have a google account. Thanks! Keep Lifting/P90Xing you beautiful strong woman:)
      *anna

      • I’ll change my settings right now! I had no idea it was preventing comments.

      • Thanks gal! Now I’ll be able to post to you…even though I’ll be anonymous still what a weird glitch twixt the two blog hosts eh?
        *anna

  2. Hi, fellow Dukaness! I’m very interested that you are lifting weights. I have yet to take that on. When you lost all your initial weight were you left with saggy upper arms, and at the elbow? I’m wondering if you lifted all the way thru that it’s unlikely you’d have the same issue as the freakish-looking arms I have right now!! 🙂 Also, my back is a mess now that there’s no stomach to rest the girls on. Would love some tips for that.

    • Thanks for stopping by Juliet, I believe the euphemism for what you are referring to is “bat wings” 🙂 The underlying muscle is the triceps, you need to begin by firming them up…you can do that with tricep dips, tricep extensions or my personal favorite, skull crushers…thus named ‘cuz if you drop the weight during the move, well….crushed skull.
      I found a really solid workout routine that I used for the beginning in the book “The New Abs Diet for Women” That’s a great place to begin and will also address strengthening your back muscles. I read obsessively on fitness and training at low to no cost by using my very helpful free public library!
      Good luck.
      *anna

      • Hi Juliet, Veerukka has a suggestion for you regarding bras below… Hope that it helps! Thanks Veerukka.
        *anna

    • Hi, I just wanted to suggest a bra-fitting. It looks like you might be in the UK, Bravissimo is supposed to be great! (In the US, Nordstrom, Intimacy — avoid VS!) Most department stores add inches to the underbust measurement, resulting in a band that doesn’t provide enough support. Usually your band measurement should be the same or within two inches of your underbust, so if your band is significantly larger than your underbust measurement, your bra no longer tight enough to support the girls and reduce the load on your shoulders and back! I am a 30F (which is NOT that big, I wear a size 4-6US/8UK, or a small). Good lock!

  3. I totally agree that women should do weights. I only use 2kg weights at home along with running (ahem – running that I havent done for at least a week) but it definately tones and sculpts your body. 😉

    • Shannon, Any amount of weight is a good place to start. Keep it up and you’ll see great results.
      *anna

  4. I also agree about the importance of weight loss. If you only have time to do one thing: do weights rather than cardio – but the combination is better!

    • Yes, Moonday, it’s like the one-two punch for fat loss and body re-composition, although if only one punch is available, I agree it should be lifting.
      *anna


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