Why should women bother with lifting?
I get this question from my female clients all the time. "should I be lifting weights? I don't want to get too big"
Sound familiar? I have heard this way too many times, heck even my athletes ask me the same thing. Friends, friends of friends, girlfriends, clients, athletes and some guys even. Almost every female who has ever thought of going to the gym has this image in their head that they are gonna end up looking like Arnold after one session in the gym. When asked I usually have one standard reply for them, "are you planning to look like him, dedicate your life to lifting and take some drugs? If not, no you won't get big by lifting weights."
You see, bodybuilders don't get the way they look just by lifting weights. Just like athletes, body builders have a specific training program to get the way they are. Usually it takes hours and hours a day of training, huge amounts of food, and usually some sort of pharmaceuticals are preplanned and put into a training cycle. So unless you are planning to train this way, and not have a life, you will not become big. You don't get big muscles within days, it takes months sometimes years of planning and training as well as proper nutrition to increase muscle size.
Muscle hypertrophy is the increase of size in the skeletal muscle by increasing the number of cells. There are two types of muscle hypertrophy, sarcoplasmic and myofibril. One is the increase in muscle size and the other an increase in muscle strength. Most trainers with a basic knowledge of strength and conditioning will plan workouts that are focussing on increasing muscle strength. Unless of course your goal is to get big.
So why should women lift you ask. It increases strength in your muscles, and slows down or prevents sarcopenia (your muscles wasting away). You do want to be able to hold your own utensils and feed yourselves when you're older right? Lifting helps increase your metabolism. Muscles require energy to survive, so bigger muscles equals more energy used. You will burn more fat, your body will get tighter, your skinny jeans will start to fit again, bone density will increase, burn those calories, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Need I say more?
There are so many other benefits besides the ones above. If you want to get lean, fit and strong, speak with your personal trainer to come up with a plan. It doesn't take days or a week to see results, so make sure your trainer comes up with a long term strategy.
Oh and heres a tip, getting stronger means lifting heavier weights with fewer reps, not light weights with many reps, not unless you wanna end up looking like a body builder.
Carl Jan De Vries