Panting, growling and yelling are the sounds that erupt from the free-weights section of the gym. This intimidating sight is enough to make anyone run for the hills! But why is there an apprehension of venturing into this area? Can women really enter this ‘sacred’ space and lift weights? Will you bulk up and look manly? Now is the time to debunk these myths and reveal the health benefits of weight lifting as a fitness regime.
Worrying about bulking up or looking manly are the tell-tale signs of a woman who has been subjected to the misconceived conventional wisdom surrounding weight lifting. Stop being your own worst enemy and instead embrace the exciting realm of weight lifting. This stigma has become ingrained into the female psyche for too long; after all, there isn’t a rule-book forbidding entry to these areas.
In fact, women can use the same fitness and weight lifting exercises as men. Contrary to popular belief, women cannot “bulk up” like men. It’s impossible without anabolic assistance. Women produce lower levels of testosterone than men, this means your hormonal make-up cannot allow you to build large amounts of muscle. So do not fear, a weight lifting regime will not make you look like a man.
Now that one myth is debunked, why do women find it nerve wracking and intimidating to enter the free weight area of a gym? The simple fact is that women haven’t been made aware of the health benefits of weight lifting. Women often talk about how they haven’t seen any results in their body composition when using a treadmill or cross trainer.
According to The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, when you build muscle you increase your metabolism. This heightened state, after weight lifting when the muscles heal, allows you to burn calories for a longer period of time. Not only does this aid in achieving that desirable flat stomach, toned legs and pert bum, it also has the added benefit of reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, through improved blood sugar regulation, as well as decreasing the risk of osteoporosis through bone strengthening.
With physical, mental and health benefits, who wouldn’t want to try weight lifting as a form of exercise? By seeking advice about weight lifting from fitness experts in the gym, you can rid yourself of that embarrassment when you enter the free weight area of the gym. So don’t let apprehension or the invisible force of stigma hold you back when taking that leap of faith. Instead, embrace the advantages of weight lifting – a healthier body and a better outlook on life.