Weight Training is for Women too

Weight Training is for Women too!

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Are you afraid you are going to end up looking like a body builder if you pick up a five pound weight? I’m not making fun of you, I know the feeling! Women have become more aware of the benefits of weight training in recent years, but not as much as men, even though we need it just as much.

I for one have been very skeptical about the whole ‘pumping iron for women’ thing. To tell you the truth, I was a little scared too. It hurts! Seriously, in this case the “no pain, no gain” applies.

Not so long ago I met this lady who really inspired me with her writing and great sense of humor. Turns out she motivates others to get fit, and she lifts weights herself (gasp). She recommends this book Body for Life by Bill Phillips and I set out to add it to my list of books to borrow from the library. I didn’t pay much attention to the book until my husband picked it up and started flipping through it. You couldn’t blame him, there was a good looking guy on the cover and his wife was about to read it. He was getting more interested and pointed out pictures of very muscular men and women to me. My thoughts: O great, a body building book!

See my husband has always been a fan of body building and have made great strides in this area as a young man, but I couldn’t care less. That was, until I started reading this book. This guy had so many good things to say, so many things I should actually know.

What it boils down to for me: Women need to build muscle too!

Of course we do. If I think about it, it makes perfect sense. We are the ones doing most of the chores around the house, carrying loads of laundry up and down the stairs, weeding the garden, moving the couches to vacuum, the list goes on. We are also the ones who need to carry extra weight 24/7 for 9 months long, push out that baby and then we get to carry the sweetie around for another, oh say, 5 years!

How is it that we bought into this myth that women should not train with weights and build muscle? I don’t think many of us will ever put in the amount of time it takes to become a world class body builder (maybe). Most of us will just end up with a well-toned, strong body. Who doesn’t want that?

So I set out to become a strong woman, yes in spirit and soul, but this time also in body. I hit the gym, armed with notes from my book. I’ve actually done weight lifting for many years, the kind where you never go to far from the ten pound mark and never feel any pain afterward. So here I was, willing to tear into those muscles, scary thought indeed. However, according to my latest reading (of course I got a second opinion on the internet) muscle are much leaner and prettier than fat. Also, muscle building speeds up that metabolism to start burning fat. All of this was going through my mind when I load up those weight to, dare I say it, 50lbs! I was ready to kick-start this sluggish metabolism. I was done with weight loss plateaus. This was it!

My pose of treadmill walkers looked at me funny. The men with the big arms looked at me with suspicion, but the few strong ladies around gave me “the nod”. You know which one I’m talking about, the one that says: “You go girl!”

Weight training will help you so much in your fight to loose some excess weight. However, if you don’t couple this with healthy eating, cardio exercise, spiritual and relational wellness, you can not get out of a serious struggle with food such as Food Addiction.

Author: Heleen Woest
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