Weight Training – Women Centric Queries and Concerns
As a society we have been made to believe that looking a particular way physically is what constitutes beauty. These twisted notions about beauty are what drive many multi billion dollar industries. Being happy with the body you are in makes a big difference in the outlook of every individual. Strive to be a healthier, stronger version of yourself. The side effects of that could be a fitter looking body. But don’t chase that elusive “perfect body”. There is no such thing as a “perfect body” or a “perfect face”. We are all perfect as we are. Having said that, I receive questions from women regarding strength training and I’d like to address the most common ones here.
Will lifting weights make me bulky?
This is probably the most common concern I hear from women of all age categories. Just to clear the air, it is not easy for anybody to gain muscle, and that is an understatement when it comes to women. Gaining muscle requires years of discipline, dedication and eating right. It gets even more difficult for women since the hormones coursing through our bodies do not easily allow for muscle growth. On the flip side, the male hormone (testosterone) aids in muscle growth.
Even if you are working out everyday and strength training for years it is not possible to “bulk” unless you are eating crazy amounts of food and training very, very hard. So please put fears of looking bulky aside, its not going to happen unless you make a very conscious effort to actually do so.
Will lifting weights make my bones weak?
All the muscles in our body are attached to bones. To maintain bone health, a proper functional stimulus is necessary. To stimulate the bone you have to activate muscles. Strength training does exactly that. As you load muscle, the muscle in turn activates bone and keeps the bones healthy and strong. Especially for women, strength training helps keep osteoporosis at bay. Strength training done with proper form and expert guidance can help keeps bones and joints healthy in the long term.
Can I train during my period?
This is another question that runs through every woman’s mind. There is no right or wrong answer to this. To put it simply, yes, you can train during your period. Extensive scientific data and research shows that exercising releases certain feel good hormones called endorphins. The release of these hormones is what gives a feeling of well being after a good workout. The release of these hormones during the menstrual period helps relieve certain symptoms of PMS etc and actually makes you feel better. That said this may not be the best time for you to try and increase your activity level or try something new. You can do what you regularly do and listen to your body. If you feel like you need to go light on these days do that.
However if you are not comfortable working out during your period it is perfectly alright to take off a couple of days and give your body some rest.
How do I lose weight on my arms and tummy alone?
If it was possible to lose weight in particular spots (also known as spot reduction) without losing weight overall, it would be the most perfect thing for all of us. But sadly weight loss happens overall and losing weight in particular areas or spots never happens. So if you are aiming to lose weight on your tummy or your arms be prepared to lose weight in other parts of your body too. Aim to strengthen your body along with losing fat and you will be much better off for it.