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Should Women Strength Train? 5 Reasons Why it Should Become Part of The Weekly Routine

Should Women Strength Train?

Five reasons you should incorporate it into your life.

  1. Increased Strength
    1. Strength is the mother of all fitness qualities. Strength also takes the longest amount of time to build properly (12-16 weeks minimum) and that is to get somebody reasonably strong. When you get stronger, your nervous system is enhanced. The Central Nervous System (CNS) is trained by lifting weights to react faster, have a quicker first step and apply greater force into the ground. Building your neuromuscular strength means your body works more efficiently (from Charles Poliquin himself).
      • A side benefit is that lifting weights up-regulates your genetic pathways that prevent aging, rebuild damaged tissue, burn energy and use oxygen. The byproduct is better brain function and coordination of movement for the young and old (another Charles Poliquin shoutout).
    2. Muscle Mass
      • Sarcopenia starts as early as age 18 for women and can be a fast downhill trend from there, as physical activity decreases for most as sporting activities decrease, stress builds with more responsibilities piling on and time becomes more limited. Getting on a properly progressed strength training program can not only increase muscle mass but keep off body fat over the long term! As you increase your lean mass, metabolically that requires more energy to maintain it and will therefore burn more calories at rest! For weight gain or loss, every calorie matters.
      • A recent study conducted in the US population, based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) survey, demonstrated that muscle mass is a significant predictor of longevity for all-cause mortality taking into account men and women over 55 or 65 years of age and over, respectively (1).
      • Another study showed that low muscle mass was a predictor of long-term mortality in nonagenarian (90-99 years old) and centenarian women (100+ years old) (2).
    3. Health
      • Again, strength is the mother of all fitness qualities. Properly balanced strength programs can alleviate those aching knees, straighten up your posture, take tension away from your neck and create a more resilient body to injury! Say you were to get hurt from a fall or accident; the recovery timetable is much quicker. The more fit and balanced the body, the better it is able to take on the demands of everyday life. Don’t take your physical health for granted.
    4. Burning Body Fat
      • A study done on 10,500 men over a 12-year period showed that strength training kept body fat percentages lower than running, cycling, and other forms of aerobic training (3)
        • Although this was done on men, there are parallels we can make for females.
        • Adding on extra lean mass, no matter male or female, increases the metabolic demands of your body. Meaning, two people who are the same height & weight could lay in bed all day, and the person with more lean mass will burn more calories throughout the day!
    • Most will go to a few Barre or Pilates classes and do the same motions day in and day out with no progression and overload. Yes, you feel good and got a sweat in, which most certainly will improve your endorphins (feel good chemicals). You also filled the gym owners’ pockets by doing a one size fits all program, with no rhyme and reason and long-term goal in sight. This will only get you so far until you plateau.
    • Most associate sweating and soreness with a good workout. Although these makes us feel good and accomplished, it can be misleading. By this logic, I could give you a shovel and say dig a hole for two hours, and that would check off the sore and sweaty boxes… Properly progressed training programs have an end goal in mind. Improvements in strength, body composition changes and increased flexibility are some of the most common goals/wants that we see from our adult and general population clientele. Progressing exercises week to week, month to month and year to year, in an intelligent manner, is what leads to quantifiable results. Switching up rest times, reps, sets and slight variations in exercises can go a long way. Consistency of training and challenging oneself in the gym through strength training principles and methodologies leads to long lasting results. What a person WANTS, is not always what they NEED!

 

    • Oddly enough, the study above (3) demonstrated that adipose fat (the fat in the mid-section) was kept off better with strength training and not aerobic training.
    • That is not to say you shouldn’t do cardio at all, as you can intelligently program it into your training routine, and we encourage cardio. Better aerobic shape builds a great foundation of fitness and aids in quicker recovery from day to day amongst other benefits). This guides us to make strength training priority #1, and finishing up workouts with cardio. If you only do cardio all day, your muscle mass will decrease, which is the last thing you want for long term results.

 

  1. Confidence
    • Strength training is one of the simplest ways to build confidence that will ooze into every aspect of your life. Never able to do a push-up before? How about doing a deadlift with your bodyweight on the bar? Are pull-ups an interest of yours? The answer lies within getting stronger, dropping body fat and consistent hard work. Confidence is the byproduct of all of the aforementioned. We are creatures of routine and habit. It takes a lot of guts to try to lift something up you are unsure of. Weights are a metaphor for life, and you can tell a lot about someone by how they approach the gym and weight training.

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this article, reach out through our website/Instagram to see how we can help you attain a healthier lifestyle, build strength and move pain free!

In Strength,

SST Crew

IG: Spectrum_Strength_Training

Website: SST

References:

  1. 1016/j.amjmed.2014.02.007
  2. https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.20949
  3. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-38893-0