Alright! Time to disprove some myths surrounding females and strength training. Some of these include looking at strength training versus cardio in terms of fat loss and why lifting heavy can actually help to reduce your risk of injury.
Okay so let's get these myths debunked:
"I don't want to lift weights (or lift heavy) because I don't want to get big and bulky." The amount of testosterone in a woman's body ranges from 15-70 nanograms per deciliter of blood (ng/dL). The amount of testosterone in a man's body ranges from 270-1070 ng/dL. Without even knowing how nanograms or deciliters relate to one another, you can still notice that women have significantly less testosterone in their body than do men. This means that it will be much more difficult for them to build enough muscle mass to "get big and bulky." In fact without some incredible genetics, consuming calories in a massive caloric surplus, or taking some questionable supplements, the average woman won't be able to get that type of physique anyway.
"If I lift heavy I'm going to get hurt." I would actually lobby that if you don't lift heavy then you're going to get hurt. Why? Because inevitably at some point in your day/week/month you're going to have to push/pull/or pick something up. If your muscles aren't used to performing these movements under load (with some sort of resistance) then there's a higher chance of injury. But if your muscles are used to these movements, especially with some external resistance (weights), they will be much more adept to handling the demands placed on them.
"I don't care about being strong, I just want to be toned and shaped" I'm not going to lie, this one is probably the one that bothers me the most. The fact is that you're either going to have muscle mass or body fat on your frame. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even while at rest. So it is basically working for you even when you aren't physically active. Body fat however doesn't do anything for you metabolically speaking. If you're not working, it's not either. So in understanding this point, it becomes clear that building muscle mass is the way to go. Next point is that your muscles are what give your body its shape. So lifting weights is going to help to build muscle, which will give your muscles a better resting tone, which will then improve your body's shape. Simply put, the best way to achieve a noticeable change in body composition is to build muscle. Don't get me wrong, cardio training is definitely important, but it doesn't build muscle. Therefore it won't dramatically change your physique. Please don't misunderstand me here, I would never suggest that you abandon any kind of cardiovascular training. I think we all are aware of the benefits it provides. I'm simply stating that from the "toned and shaped" standpoint strength training will provide more noticeable and longer lasting results. When you see a female who is toned or has definition in their muscles, they didn't get there by doing endless cardio sessions.
I hope this has helped to clear up any confusion or questions you may have had about females and strength training. If you have any further questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comment section or shoot me an email. If you're looking for someone to help you become stronger, leaner, and more versatile contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time...
Be a Dark Horse!