For all the ladies who think you are going to lose your feminine looks by lifting weights, I am here to tell you that it is a myth. We simply do not have enough testosterone naturally to produce extreme muscle mass. We do benefit from a firm and tone look produced with weight resistance training and also taking into consideration genetics we were blessed with in combination with a healthy eating program. Our lean mass will provide more shape than anything else and does it show after years of commitment? The answer is yes, however it will not be substantial enough for us to dash into a phone booth ready to jump out sporting our muscular superwoman outfit. What will be noticed about a committed weight training program are shapely arms, butt, legs and overall fit look and side benefits of feeling great about the compliments received for those attributes.
I have been lifting weights close to thirty years and do sport a lean muscular physique but do not consider myself bulky. What allows my muscle to show more is maintaining a lower body fat percentage year round, however I keep that within a healthy range to not screw around with my hormones. As a woman entering menopause I understand the importance and health benefits of weight bearing exercise. I enjoy the visual results, but more important, I am making sure my bones remain dense and strong during the decline of estrogen from menopause. Weight training is prescribed to all women going through this phase and to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and/or osteopenia. I am genetically lean thanks to my Dad and that is just how I am built, but my body has also responded well to weight training. Some may think I look bulky, but if you met me in person, you would have a whole different opinion. Can I flex it up in images, well of course and I have got the back lash of “she is too muscular”, but bulky is not a word that can be used to describe my body.
The health benefits of weight training go beyond what is visible and includes improved bone and joint function, bone density, and increased muscle tendon and ligament strength. The more lean mass we have, the more efficient our bodies become with burning energy stores and maintaining a healthy weight. We become healthier overall, and our confidence is boosted when we feel our healthy best.
The look obtained from weight training is one that exemplifies a healthy lifestyle, not some sort of “she-man” that seems to be running around in everyone’s mind. The media is in the market for distortion of the truth in all areas of fitness with photo shop, air brushing, and the verbal word of weight lifting for girls equals turning into a man. This is so far from the truth and is laughable. I believe in being our own health and fitness advocates, putting in the research about subjects such as weight training and doing what is best for our bodies to become a healthier person. Our female hormones will allow for some increase and sculpting of beautiful muscle and the inward and outward benefits are not only beautiful but we as women should embrace weight training as a very important part of our health programs.
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