Reluctant to lift weights because you’re afraid you might bulk up? But women lift weights grueling month after grueling month trying to develop muscle for a bodybuilding competition.
It’s not easy to add muscle weight, ladies, so avoiding the barbells because you fear getting big isn’t good logic. The primary reason: Women don’t have the same hormones as men. There are, however, a long list of reasons why you should lift:
- Weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones. And you start losing bone mass after age 35; it only gets worse after menopause. Prevent osteoporosis!
- Muscles burn incrementally more calories at rest than other tissue, providing a small metabolic boost around the clock.
- Weight lifting also increases your post-exercise metabolic rate. As your body repairs the micro tears caused by strength training and grows new muscle, it uses up increased calories.
- Being strong reduces your risk of injury, both in the gym and in everyday activities.
- Lifting burns fat, while cardio can attack both fat *and* muscle.
- Strength training improves your blood pressure and cholesterol similar to cardio.
- It looks good. Strong is today’s sexy!
At least two to three days a week, follow a basic weight-training plan:
- Choose weights that are a challenge to lift with good form after eight to 12 repetitions.
- Do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of the same exercise with a short pause (a minute or so) in between. Use that minute to stretch or do a cardio burst.
- Then switch to an exercise that works the opposite muscle group: biceps, then triceps; quads, then hamstrings; chest, then back, for example.
- Through the course of a week, rotate through all your muscle groups, allowing 48 hours’ recovery for each muscle before working it again.
- Regularly increase the amount you lift as a weight grows easy.
Women, lift weights. Then watch your diet to avoid laying down a layer of fat over your sexy new muscle. Bulky will be the last word people use to describe your lean physique!