Let’s face it, the majority of women are scared of lifting weights because they don’t want to get ‘too big and muscly’. Some avoid it due to insecurities in the gym surrounded by the meatheads, thinking they see them sniggering at the 5lb dumbbells they’re starting out with. Some women just don’t see lifting weights as something women should do.
Now, with the emergence of CrossFit and those resistance based cross-training workouts in most globo-gyms, more and more women are fast seeing the benefits of having a love affair with the iron. However, for those of you still on the fence – we have listed out 5 (though there are plenty more) great reasons for you to ditch the cross-trainer and hit the squat rack.
- More effective fat loss: through weight training, your body learns to burn fat both during and after exercise. After hitting a serious weight session, your body consumes additional oxygen for hours and even days after…thus requiring more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate. Yay for weightlifting. As you then continue to increase strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. Daily muscle contractions contribute to how many calories you burn in a given day- and yip, you guessed it, strength training is the perfect way to get those muscles contracting. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more muscle contractions you’ll have which will ultimately lead to more calories burnt.
- That booty: as you build muscle, your body begins to take on a nice hourglass shape, which sure…you may be able to get through cardio, but not to the same degree. Cardio and endurance exercise can help you lose weight, but that weight comes in the form of both fat and muscle tissue. When you lose fat and muscle tissue, say bye-bye to those lovely curves. Strength training therefore not only helps create those curves, it helps sustain them. You can use weight training to shape your body how you want it (to a degree). At this point, I’d like to jump in and try to clear up a common misconception amongst women. We always hear women saying they just want to ‘tone and shape’, which ultimately is (nearly) impossible to do – your parents (through genetics) probably have more of a say in that than any form of exercise. What they typically mean however, is that they want to lose some body fat and firm up their muscles. We’ve already discussed how weight training can help with burning fat, however what about the fear of getting ‘too big’? Let’s just think about this for a minute – the majority of guys in the gym spend countless hours reading stuff online, watching YouTube videos, spending copious amounts of money on supplements and countless hours in the gym…all in search of the holy grail of getting big and putting on muscle. And most of them will only succeed in adding a few pounds of muscle over a year or two and staying in a decent shape. Do you think it’s really that easy to get big and it just happens by accident? Hell no. A single kilogram of muscle takes a calorie surplus of 9000 calories to be created. That’s a LOT of food over and above your maintenance calories. Plus, you need to be training specifically to get big. So ladies….don’t worry about getting too big & bulky – it will only happen if this is your specific goal (and even then it won’t happen over night to your surprise).
- Increased overall health – sleep, energy & heart: strength training improves sleep quality; aiding your ability to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and wake less often in the night. Setting you up nicely to rise & grind the next day after a full recharge. Weight training also causes an increase in energy expenditure for hours after you train. Pumping iron can reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies have found that those who lift weights are less likely to have heart disease risk factors such as a large waist circumference, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure and glucose levels.
- Stress relief: exercise in general is a great stress reliever. What better way to vent your frustrations with your boss than by pushing heavy weight on the bench? Pissed off with your husband / boyfriend? Take it out on the iron, it won’t mind and it sure as hell doesn’t talk back. Next time you need to blow off some steam – hit the (weight) bar!
- Self-esteem & looking good naked: last but not least, weight training can give you a whole new outlook on life and how you view your body. When done right and showing the dedication, persistence and drive it takes; you can turn your body into something you can be proud of and be happy with when having some sexy sexy time with your other half. Being strong and healthy increases your confidence; knowing that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. It also teaches you a number of transferrable qualities that you can apply to anything in life; not only strengthening your body, but also strengthening your mind. This is what Iron Strong represents as a brand.
So there you have it ladies – if you haven’t already stopped reading this and picked up a barbell, then get to it! There are massive amounts of great resources and fitness individuals online who can help guide you with programs for your specific goal. The best way to succeed is to plan to succeed; so get yourself a good training program and stick with it for a few months…you’ll be amazed at the differences you’ll see! To help set you on your way to success in the iron game, why not check out our apparel and get yourself kitted out in some high quality, form-fitting shirts to keep you motivated. Just remember, the female iron game is changing….Strong is Sexy!!
STRONG in the gym – STRONG in life.