Women & Strength Breast Cancer Awareness

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October - Breast Cancer Awareness
“Strong Women”

The future of female fitness is “Strength Training.” The benefits of strength/weight training
impact several areas of health including:

  • muscle mass
  • bone density
  • body composition
  • psychological effects

Misconceptions about women and weight training:

  • Fear of Bulking Up

This is usually the first area that needs to be addressed when the subject of strength/weight training is brought up. Unfortunately, most women’s first picture in their mind when they think of strength training is of a male or female bodybuilder. It must be understood that the level of training for this population is so rigorous (typically spending 2-4 hours in the gym 6-7 days per week, performing high intensity weight training and cardiovascular training, stacked with very specific nutrition requirements, and in some cases, the use of steroid injections to achieve that amount of muscular mass) that the average female will never result in the excessive increase in muscular mass that their bodybuilding counterparts gain.

The truth is that both types of women are actually after the same goal - the increase of lean muscle tissue and a subsequent decrease in fat tissue (known by most women as “toning”).

This goal is most efficiently attained with strength training.

Can women build muscle?

Based on the research, the answer is YES. In a groundbreaking paper published in the NSCA Journal, multiple studies are cited that show clearly that weight training in women causes “a eduction in fat weight, an increase in lean weight and either no change or only a slight
increase in total-body weight. All demonstrated significant increases in strength and in most cases these changes were associated with no change or a decrease in lower-body girths and only minimal increases in upper-body limb girth.”

Summary of benefits of weight training for women

  • Can result in positive changes in self-concept and self-esteem
  • Alleviates symptoms of depression
  • Burns up to an estimated 50 extra calories a day at rest for every 1lb of muscle gained
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis

Beginner exercise recommendations for women: