Women and Strength Training
Ladies, here’s the deal: you need to be lifting some weights. And we don’t mean the 1 lbs. dumbbells you got for 30% off on Amazon Prime. We mean heavy weight, attached to a barbell, and sitting in a rack. It’s good for you, you need it, and it will make you live a better life.
If it sounds like we’re “beating a dead horse”, we are. We talk about women and strength training a lot, but it’s because 1) it’s important, and 2) we’re trying to correct some deep seeded societal misconceptions regarding weight training. The fitness industry is constantly battling an image problem regarding resistance training (weight lifting), and it’s benefits for the general population. The origin of the misconceptions lies in the widespread popularity of body building magazines in the 80s and 90s. Every time you checked out at a grocery or convenience store, you would see an overly muscled, tanned and oiled, man and women in neon bikinis in some sort of pose on the cover of a ‘fitness’ magazine. This became what the layperson associated with weightlifting: very large men and women covered in oil, wearing neon bikinis. You smile…but it’s true.
Here’s the good news, ladies: if you lift weights, you will not be spontaneously covered in oil, you will not have to wear a neon bikini, and you will not gain massive amounts of bulky muscle. In fact, the physical and mental changes you will experience are most likely exactly what you are looking for.
What are those changes, you ask? Here you go:
1. You will become stronger. This seems like a no brainer, but you really need to think about what that means. It means you can lift more, move more, and carry more. It means that normal, day to day tasks will be easier and less tiring. It means that you will be less tired at the end of the day, and you will have more time and energy for family and friends. All of this is good.
2. You will become more resilient. Strength training doesn’t just make your muscles stronger. It makes your bones more dense, and your connective tissue less likely to tear. So if you fall, you just get back up again. If your dog yanks your arm in an odd direction, you just yank it back with no injury. And if you do experience some sort of significant accident, a car accident or high fall for example, you are much less likely to sustain a life altering injury.
3. You will become more confident. If you know that you can deadlift 200 libs off the ground, push a 250 lbs sled across the room, and press 100+ lbs over your head, you know that you are more capable. And this is not limited to physical activities. When you know that you’re physically capable, you become more confident in work and family life as well. And it’s a damn good feeling.
So grab a barbell (it better not be a light one, either), and start lifting. Get the strength, get the confidence, and get out there and enjoy your life.