Friday, July 2, 2010

Women and Weight Training

Weigh training, or strength training, has been my exercise of choice for as long as I can remember. My dad lifted weights, and I loved the ability to see myself as a strong woman.

Because I do a lot of strength training, my scale weight is higher for my body size than most women. I am 155 pounds and wear a size 6.

2 things brought the importance of building muscle to my attention. One is a friend of mine who lost over 100 pounds on HCG. She is currenly 20 pounds lighter than I am, and wears a 12 - 14 instead of a 6.

The other was a conversation I had with a co-worker several years ago. She was a beautiful woman, but she was overweight and ashamed of her body. She always wore these long, flowing tents. One day she commented on how nice I looked in my tailored suit (I had recently lost 40 pounds at the time). I told her that one of my secrets was lifting weights, so I could weigh more, and eat more, and be smaller.

"I couldn't do that. I don't want to get big," she said.

I really had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "But you already are!"

In order to gain muscle, it is necessary to produce testosterone. Ladies, this is the MALE sex hormone. We produce testosterone, but in very minute amounts. After all, we don't want to sing bass or put hair on our chests. We do want to be able to gain muscle.

Women gain muscle weight at a much slower rate than men. Our muscles aren't designed to get big. All the working out in the world will not put big huge muscles on us, unless we're supplementing. And even then it is difficult.

What we want is strength and definition. A beautifully toned body is incredibly sexy. We want strength and endurance, and curves where there are supposed to be curves. You know. Breasts, hips, and a little waist.

When we carry muscle, our metabolism increases. We're able to eat more. We get more out of our cardio, because muscle at rest burns calories - fat does not.

Strength training done right is nothing but beneficial for the ladies. Don't be afraid of it. Embrace your inner athlete and enjoy becoming a strong woman.

For top strength and cardio training in Utah, see Mat the Trainer at EXL Fitness in Orem.

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