To bulk up to look like a master of the universe is almost impossible. Women need not worry. Much evidence proves that physiological factors limit women’s natural muscle growth. The ladies just don’t have the testosterone to become big and bulky unless they follow an extreme diet and dedicate themselves to a long-term, hard-core weight program. Oh, and you must take steroids!
Before I get on my high horse, I admit I had my fears. I’m tall. I have an athletic build. I was worried. My trainer and I fought time after time about the possibility of transforming me into a she-man. Then I finally started listening and did some research. Devin Toliver, certified personal trainer (and trainer of yours truly) swears by weight training. “Women who want to live a fit, healthy lifestyle should absolutely incorporate resistance weight training, as it is one of the best ways for women to build lean muscle mass. Building lean muscle mass is the best way to raise your metabolism so that you are consistently burning fat. Lifting weights burns fat where cardio only burns calories.” So, in other words, spending hours on the boring elliptical will only make you the dreaded skinny-fat. Gasp!
Now that we’ve (hopefully) debunked “The Great Bulk Debate,” here are some cold hard facts about resistance weight training:
- It builds muscle and burns fat. This equates to a lean body, which translates to me looking awesome in a bikini, which is really all I want out of life.
- It boosts your metabolism and burns fat and calories POST workout. More muscle means a higher resting metabolism. This means you can go to work, watch TV or do whatever you want and still be burning fat for 24-36 hours post workout.
- It makes you stronger and fitter. This is self explanatory. I never ever want to struggle picking up a case of water.
- It prevents the metabolic decline that comes with age. Resistance training can reverse the natural decline in metabolism that begins around age 30.
- It increases bone strength. Regular resistance training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of injury or osteoporosis. This is key for women, because women are four times more prone to develop osteoporosis than men.
- It lowers blood pressure. This reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- It improves cardiovascular health. Resistance training gets your heart pumping and improves its strength. It also lowers your resting heart rate, which means your heart doesn’t have to work so hard on a daily basis, thus keeping the ticker ticking for many more years.
- It will make you feel younger and look better. This needs no explanation.
Bottom line: I have an intense fear of becoming a weak old lady. I always want to feel capable, strong and fast no matter my age. Since introducing weight training into my regular workout routine, I feel as fit as I did in my stellar college years. Not to mention I’ve seen my body transform in a way that made me feel like a Nike ad.