Strength training for women
Strength training is only for men? No way! This prejudice has long since become passé, because many women are increasingly discovering training on fitness equipment or free weights for themselves. No wonder, because hardly any sport tones the body better and allows progress to be seen more quickly. Mother and housewife Kelsey Wells shows how well the female body can be brought into shape with strength training. And that’s something to be proud of.
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Why more and more women are getting their bodies in shape with strength training
For a long time, the rumor persisted that strength training was unsuitable for women. A widespread myth was that for women, building muscle through intense training on equipment would result in a wide back and strong upper arms. Even today, some women are afraid of the typical bodybuilder figure with corresponding muscle mass. Many also believe that size zero is the measure of all things for losing weight. For this, they torture themselves for hours on the treadmill or pedal away on the bike. Their goal is to put as little weight as possible on the scale. However, it should not be forgotten that those who focus exclusively on endurance training burn not only calories and fat, but also muscle. This makes the skin flabby and the body shapeless. Instead of being healthy and fit, the calorie deficit makes you look emaciated and flabby.
Healthy instead of lean
This is different with strength training. Here, the body – especially legs, arms and buttocks – is shaped with targeted exercises and the muscles are strengthened. Since women genetically have a higher percentage of body fat and a smaller amount of muscle mass than men, there is also no danger of them becoming a muscle pack. They would have to train intensively twice a day and take the appropriate supplements. Women also do not build muscle nearly as quickly as men. This is due to the muscle-building hormone testosterone, which is present in the men of creation about ten times more than in women. Strength or muscle building training not only tightens the tissue and thus achieves a well-proportioned body shape. It also has numerous other advantages. It also has positive psychological effects. Studies show that women who exercise have a higher general self-efficacy. This means that they have much more confidence in themselves than untrained women. But there are even more reasons why women should do strength training.
- 7 Positive effects of strength training in women:
- Reduce cellulite: Women who train their muscles not only tone their bodies, but also declare war on beauty flaws such as cellulite or “flab.”
- Goodbye hunched back: strength training ensures an upright posture. The strengthened middle also makes you look two centimeters taller.
- More energy and self-confidence: Training not only strengthens you physically, it also makes you mentally stronger, gives you more energy and makes you more self-confident in life.
- Higher after-burn effect: After an intensive strength training session, you continue to burn calories for hours and days afterwards thanks to the after-burn effect.
- Stopping the aging process: Muscle building training slows down the gradual deterioration of muscles.
- Prevent osteoporosis: Studies show that strength training reduces the risk of osteoporosis and reduces bone fractures in those affected.
Mood lifter: The release of endorphins makes you feel good. Strength training may actually work better than therapy for depression.
Don’t be afraid of gaining weight
It can happen that after a few weeks of training the scale suddenly shows a few kilos more than before. But do not panic: Muscle is simply heavier than fat. 1 kilo of fat and 1 kilo of muscle are logically exactly the same, but it takes more mass of fat than of muscle to get to 1 kilo. Through continuous strength training you achieve a redistribution of your body fat and muscle percentage. The body fat percentage decreases and the muscles are strengthened. The scale may show more because of this, but your reflection in the mirror will look much better.
And that is a good sign that the training was successful and the fat tissue has turned into muscle mass.
So if you have reached your ideal body fat percentage through hard training and a lot of discipline, you should not be discouraged now by the fact that instead of losing weight you may have become a little heavier. Because in order to shape a beautiful body with taut skin, you absolutely have to keep on the ball now. Heavy weights and few repetitions achieve great results. It is very important not to focus exclusively on the number on the scale and losing weight, but on your own reflection in the mirror.
Comfortable training at home
By the way, there is another advantage that strength training offers. All exercises can be performed specifically at home with the appropriate fitness equipment. Because even though you see more and more women in the strength section of gyms these days, for most it’s still a very big inhibition threshold that ultimately prevents them from even starting fitness and strength training. Fortunately, you can do something for a toned body in the comfort of your own home without being exposed to the curious or disapproving looks of other gym-goers.
There is also no need to travel to the gym. What’s more, you can work out at home whenever you want. Another plus: At home, you can be who you are – without trendy sportswear or makeup. This also avoids competition. Finally, there’s a plus for moms: you don’t need childcare at home.
What do you need for strength training at home?
To start, you’re good to go with a dumbbell set and, optionally, a weight bench. If you want to achieve faster results and have more space at home, you can also set up a home gym with a multifunctional weight station. Here you lack nothing more compared to the conventional gym.
The advantage of weight stations, especially at the beginning, is that the exercises are performed under guidance, thus avoiding postural deformities. Those with more experience can also train with free weights. This is more efficient than equipment training, because a higher body tension (torso stabilization) is required and more muscle groups are addressed. Kettlebells are not only convenient for training at home, they also save space and can be used individually. Nowadays, in many sports magazines you can read numerous articles about the trend “Functional Training”. The associated small devices prevent boredom during training. For example, during a 20-minute kettlebell workout, with one-arm overhead snatches (kettlebell snatch), as many calories are burned as during 20 minutes of uphill cross-country skiing. However, recommended for learning the technique would be instruction from a certified kettlebell trainer.
You can find a comparison of the different training methods and their benefits in the Fitness Knowledge article Strength Training Methods: The Equipment Comparison.
HAMMER Expert Tip
Beginners ideally complete a full body workout 3 times per week. Later, when you are in a trained state or if you have time for body shaping 4 times a week, you can also split the training: train the lower body 2 times a week and the upper body 2 times a week.
Contrary to common prejudices, strength training for women is an ideal training method to tone the body and get a slim figure. Unlike endurance training, training with free weights or on fitness equipment skilfully shapes the female silhouette and does not merely reduce body weight. The result: the body looks fit and healthy instead of lean and flabby. With the right fitness equipment, you can do your workout in the comfort of your own home – saving time and money.