Some women may tend to shy away from lifting weights for fear of the effect it will have on their appearance. But the health benefits of muscle-strengthening include increased bone strength in addition to muscular fitness, and it can help you maintain muscle during a weight-loss program.
Despite the benefits of building muscle, many women desire a toned figure, but don’t want to end up looking “buff.”
The truth is, there isn’t a huge risk of drastically increasing the size of women’s muscles with weight training alone. The majority of women (and I’m sure there are exceptions) don’t have the necessary hormones for that kind of growth.
The main hormone that contributes to increasing muscle size is testosterone, which is typically associated with the male body, but isn’t generally as abundant in females. In order for a woman to develop “bodybuilder” muscles, it would be necessary to exceed the recommended amount of strength training, take hormones and focus intensely on increasing muscle mass. However, the average woman who lifts moderate weights will not experience that type of muscle growth.
Benefits of resistance and weight training
The fact is, weight training, also known as resistance training, is extremely important, not only for strengthening the body in general, but also for increasing bone density, which is an aspect that should concern all adult women.
Building muscle mass increases one’s metabolic rate, which can aid in burning fat and maintaining a healthy weight. Besides lifting weights, examples of other resistance training include:
- Working with resistance bands
- Doing calisthenics that use body weight for resistance (such as push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups)
- Carrying heavy loads
- Heavy gardening (such as digging or hoeing)
So, if you want to lose weight, increase bone density, tone-up or simply gain strength, be sure to include resistance training in your regular exercise routine.