Underneath all the exhaustion and decreasing belly fat, women are incredibly strong. They might not be able to lift cars, but there is a physical power that goes mostly unnoticed and unutilized. But once you make a commitment to a fitness regime, you slowly start to notice that strength emerging; it’s in the way you can run for longer, increase the time you spend in plank, or move up a weight when you’re lifting. Although you might only notice it because of the definition in your biceps and abdomen. Even if it is just a pleasant side effect of weight loss, there are many reasons more women should focus on the weight training aspect of their workout.
Lose body fat
Including muscle training in your workout could increase the rate at which you lose body fat. Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Massachusetts, found that women who strength train two to three times a week for two months will gain on average nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. This doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time lifting weights; isometric exercises such as planks, squats, or glute bridges will work just as effectively, and you can do these at home. Just ten minutes a day will significantly increase the rate of body fat loss. Most importantly, your strength training can keep your weight stabilized once you’ve reached your fitness goals, because you continue burning calories even after you’ve finished working out.
Reduce risk of injury
Muscles protect your joints from injury and improve your balance and coordination. If you’ve noticed that, while your abs and arms get more defined, you back is still a sore spot in your daily life, then you probably need to do more exercise to strengthen your back muscles. Having strong muscles can reduce the strain placed on the lower spine and pelvis, thus giving you relief from your chronic back pain.
All exercise is good for fighting depression, but strength training in particular can help you feel more confident and capable of taking on difficult situations, all of which are contributing factors to reducing depression. Becoming physically stronger can go a long way towards helping you feel emotionally stronger. A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did.
You won’t become muscular
Despite all the confirmed benefits of weight training, most women still prefer to put an emphasis on cardio when they begin their workout programmes. This is because they fear that they will put on excessive bulk if they start lifting weights on a regular basis. However, this is purely a myth; according to the Women’s Heart Foundation, high levels of estrogen make it very difficult for women to become overly muscular. At most, the changes they will see in their strength will be limited to muscle tone, their physical strength, and their endurance levels.