As we kick off the new year with our Strength Challenge, there’s no better time to visit the real benefits of strength training.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there is a common misconception that lifting weights isn’t for women. Some of these misconceptions include:
- Muscle makes you bulky
- Women aren’t built for lifting heavy weights
- Women should leave weight training to the men
- Cardio is the key to fat loss
- Older women shouldn’t strength train
These statements are all myths. In fact, weight training is so good for you — particularly if you are a woman — that it can build stronger muscles and bones and even slow down the aging process! So the next time someone tries to dissuade you from strength training by mentioning these myths, you’ll be armed with the facts.
Strength training helps prevent bone loss
Studies have shown that strength training has a greater positive effect on bone density that other types of exercise. Despite what these myths tell us, strength training is especially important for women.
After the age of 35, women start to lose bone mass. It accelerates further after menopause, with some women losing as much as 30 percent bone density. This leaves us at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis , a disease that weakens bones and may lead to potential fractures. By weight training in our 20s and 30s, we can help maintain our bone density all the way through and after menopause.
But don’t be fooled that you need to start in your younger years! Studies have shown that in post-menopausal women, strength training “preserved bone density while improving muscle mass, strength, and balance in postmenopausal women,” thus reducing the risk of fractures and immobility.
Weight training can be anti-aging
Not only are you preventing bone loss, lifting weights can also help you look younger! Resistance workouts help to strengthen muscles that maintain an upright posture. In turn you can then go about daily tasks with more ease and flexibility, which means you’ll be able to do the things you love for longer.
Resistance training makes you faster and improves athletic performance
Larry Tucker, a professor in exercise sciences at Brigham Young University, says, “There are so many misconceptions about strength and resistance training. One is that you’ll become muscle-bound.” Tucker dispelled this myth when his team discovered that athletes who started strength training found that they could perform better: hitting a ball farther, jumping higher and running faster. He explains: “Gradually, we started realizing there are benefits beyond sports. Muscle mass allows us to move.”
As far as looking bulky goes, women simply do not have the testosterone to build muscle like men. We have 10 to 30 times less testosterone, therefore we find it much more challenging to gain size from weight training. What we do gain is muscle definition and strength. Bonus!
Strength training can lower the risk of diabetes
Research suggests that strength training can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. “We found that in the group that did fairly large amounts of both [cardio and strength training], there was about a 60 percent reduced risk of diabetes, which is huge,” said Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and an author of the study. He continues, “Some people really can’t get aerobic exercise in their life, and we found that even a small amount of resistance exercise can make a difference.”
Weight training helps you lose body fat
This may not be everyone’s goal, but if fat loss is part of why you workout, strength training can help you reach that goal just as much as cardiovascular training can– maybe even better. We’ve already established that weight training builds muscle and tone, and more muscle means an increased metabolism (even on days when you’re not working out). Whether weight loss is a goal or not, you’ll end up with an all-around stronger physique! What’s not to like about that?
A great move to incorporate these benefits is the Turkish Get Up, which requires focus, coordination and a heap of core strength. Below is a pic of Chief Badass performing the move in a cat mask…
The Core Strength Challenge starts January 27th! Click here to learn more.
View this post on Instagram
Happy 2019! As we start out this new year, it’s always fun and exciting to think about all the things we hope to accomplish... Projects we want to tackle Goals we hope to achieve Habits we'd like to have Adventures we'd like to take But even more important than making...read more
It's getting close to Christmas... Do you still need some ideas for what to get the lifting lady in your life? Well, never fear! Here are some gift ideas that girls who lift will LOVE. Actually, these are really for anyone who loves to lift-- but girls want gains too!...read more
Self-care doesn’t always mean going to yoga retreats or enjoying a spa day. Sometimes it’s setting appropriate boundaries and listening to our bodies. Caring for ourselves is particularly important during the holiday season — a time when we need it the most....read more
The main principles of intuitive eating are rejecting dieting mentality and giving ourselves unconditional permission to eat. I remember when I first encountered this concept — the notion that I could liberate myself from the constraints of dieting, size-based...read more
I’d like for us to create a movement around accepting ourselves and listening to what our body needs. Let’s have a ceasefire of shaming and expectations around our food choices and the shapes of our bodies. If you want to eat the pumpkin pie, eat it, and do so without shaming yourself afterwards. I guarantee it will result in a sense of freedom and help you to create a practice of loving yourself unconditionally and irrelevant of your choice to enjoy a slice of holiday pie.read more
The best kind of exercise is exercising your right to vote! Bold & Badass Fitness was founded on the idea of empowerment: from day one we started with the goal of teaching average folks the physical skills to feel safe and strong and ready to take on anything. But...read more
As a culture, we have got to let go of the idea that abs are the pinnacle of health and fitness. They are NOT. Abs do not make the athlete! Showing up to do the work of learning new skills and practicing them consistently is what makes someone an athlete. Not...read more
I tell my athletes this all the time: our culture privileges a very particular body type in many conventional athletic activities. But just because your body isn't built for running or yoga or sit-ups DOES NOT mean that it's not an athletic body... "If there’s a...read more
We get this question a whole lot. There are like a bajillion options available for footwear, and picking the best shoes for the gym can be bewildering. And much like everything else health related, there’s a mountain of conflicting information about what's best for...read more