Ladies! Why You Need and How You Benefit from Strength Training

By Garrett J. Braunreiter, CSCS

Research has proven over and over and over again the women who engage in a regular strength training program enjoy a long list of healthy benefits.

You still may fear the possibility of looking like a man, but that is a myth - unless, of course, you took major muscle-enhancing drugs and trained like male bodybuilders.

But as you realize the advantages of strength training, your negative attitude will rapidly fade.

Here are 10 reasons why you need to take strength training more seriously:

1. You'll lose more fat than you'll gain in muscle.

Number one concern of women, "I want to firm up and lose fat." This is the way to do it. Stop worrying about bulking up; women have 10 to 30 times LESS of the hormones that cause bulking up. For example, in one study, the average woman who strength trains 2-3 times a week gained 1.75 lb of muscle, but LOST 3.5 of fat!

2. New muscle fights obesity.

You already know muscle is your most metabolically active tissue; the more you have, the higher your resting metabolism. You'll burn more calories all day long. Each pound of muscle burns 35-50 extra calories daily. Gain three pounds of muscle, and you lose 10-12 pounds a year!

3. Strength

Okay, this one is obvious. You'll have more energy and strength to handle your daily activities, such as carrying groceries or lifting children. Here's an interesting fact: pound for pound, women develop strength at the same rate as men. Women complain to me about feeling weak, especially in the upper body. You won't anymore!

4. Bone strength

Once you leave high school, you'll have established all the bone density you'll ever have - unless you strength train. Research has found weight training can increase spinal bone density by 13% in 6 months. A powerful tool for preventing osteoporosis.

5. Reduce risk of diabetes

Adult-onset diabetes is a growing concern for women and men. Strength training increases glucose (blood sugar) utilization by 23% in four months.

6. Fight heart disease

Some people may think strength training is not so good for your heart; all that exertion can't be that good for you. But your cholesterol and blood pressure DOES improve. For maximum cardiovascular benefit, incorporate aerobic conditioning into your program.

7. Fight back pain and arthritis

Strengthening your low back muscles has an 80% success rate in relieving or eliminating back pain. Strength training strengthens joints, so it can ease arthritis pain.

8. Be a better athlete

Strength training improves not only your strength, but power, agility, and coordination. You're more proficient and you greatly reduce your risk of injury.

9. Age doesn't matter

The benefits of strength training are possible at ANY age - so no excuses!

10. Stronger mind

A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling. You feel more confident and capable.

[Article used with permission.]

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