We hear a lot about strength training. I, for one, tend to picture sweaty gyms with a bench and row of weights. The thought of “pumping iron” makes me cringe. Jackie Culver, President of JOC Fitness talks to us about why strength training is not about how much weight you can lift.
The importance of strength training for women:
To begin I would like to dispel a couple myths concerning weight training for women. Many times when I introduce the concept to my clients, they express concern about becoming “bulky” or looking like a bodybuilder. Fortunately or unfortunately, women are just not genetically designed to grow very large muscles. To do so requires a very dedicated and extreme approach to diet, exercise, and supplementation. In other words, female bodybuilders do not achieve their physiques by accidentally picking up a 5 pound dumbbell.
So…putting all of that aside, why should you be incorporating strength training into your workouts? I am so glad you asked!
- Muscle burns calories. Fat is inert. That’s right…fat just sits there and does nothing. On the other hand, increasing your muscle mass will increase the number of calories you burn each day.
Muscles give your body definition and shape. Strength training is what makes you look so good in that sleeveless dress.
- Now, I would like to dispel another myth. Muscle cannot turn into fat. Muscle is muscle; fat is fat. You can add or lose muscle. You can add or lose fat. However if you gain muscle and then stop working out, it CANNOT change into fat.
So now that you are convinced that you should be doing strength training, here are a few tips:
Young lady doing yoga lunge for fun and exercise.
- No membership required: You don’t necessarily need a lot of equipment or gym membership. Bodyweight exercises like pushups, dips, squats and lunges are great for building muscle.
Less weight, more reps: If you are using dumbbells, you don’t need a ton of weight. Think low weight with a lot of repetitions.
- Rest: Give yourself a rest day between working body parts. For example, if you do a lower body workout on Monday, then wait until Wednesday to work those muscles again. This gives your muscles time to “heal” and that’s what makes them strong.
Now go dig out that fabulous backless dress and get to work!