There are countless of women weight training myths and counting all of them would take me years! However, in this post I will reveal two of the most common ones and demolish them by adapting trusted scientific resources… Plus I am going to reveal the benefits of weight training as well… so stay tuned!
Myth #1: “Why weight training won’t make you look bulky.”
Let’s start with two basic physiological facts. The high amount of estrogen in a woman’s body (the hormone responsible for decreasing muscle mass) mixed with a negligible amount of testosterone (responsible for increasing muscle mass) makes it virtually impossible for a woman to bulk up.
Women who actually achieve the Olga-the-Woodcutter-look, either use steroids, or are genetically predisposed to muscle-building (i.e. women who produce higher than normal levels of testosterone). If you’re not growing a full beard, you don’t have to worry.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research – 32 women engaging in various strength training programs (3x’s a week for 3 months) significantly decreased their % of body fat without bulking up.
European Journal of Applied Physiology – 24 women involved in a fairly heavy, lower body resistance training program (2x’s a week for 5 months / using heavy weights) experienced a decrease in body fat, an increase in lean muscle, but no change in the size of their thighs.
Myth #2: “If I want to look sleek & sexy, I’ll have to work out 7 days a week!”
Slimming down takes planning, discipline, & perseverance… not obsession. With the proper diet, and exercise regime, it’s possible to maintain a fit physique, or enhance your current physique with only 3 resistance-training sessions per week.
The whole idea isn’t to “determine how much exercise [one] can tolerate…[but] to establish the amount of exercise required to stimulate the desired adaptations that will improve health and enhance muscular strength, hypertrophy, power, and endurance.”
Journal of Exercise Physiology – According to Carpinelli et al, weight training 2-3x / week is enough; just make sure you’re using the right amount of resistance and targeting every major muscle group.
American Journal of Sports Medicine – 24 female collegiate tennis players were randomly placed in three groups for 9 months (no resistance training, periodized multiple-set resistance training, single-set circuit resistance training). The two groups that used resistance training increased lean muscle tissue, decreased body fat %, but did not increase their body mass.
Benefits of Weight Training for Women: The 10 Biomarkers of Vitality
According to studies conducted by the USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging (HNRCA), the amount of muscle you have, and the strength of those muscles, are the top 2 indicators of how healthy you are now… and predictors of how healthy you will remain in the future.
Authors Evans and Rosenburg call muscle mass and strength the “lead dominos” in the quality-of-life equation. When muscle mass and strength fall, the other eight biomarkers of vitality fall right along with them.
The 10 Biomarkers: muscle mass, muscle strength, basal metabolic rate, body fat %, aerobic capacity, blood-sugar tolerance, cholesterol/HDL ratio, blood pressure, bone density, & ability to regulate body temperature. Here’s the good news…
After decades of research, the HRCA concluded that all 10 markers can be favorably changed with strength training alone… regardless of your age.