Ok, now before you hit back or shut down your browser in disgust it’s not for the reason you may be thinking, I’m not a chauvinist or mysogynist. In fact I am a firm believer in the benefits of strength training for women for exactly the same reasons as I am a believer in the benefits of strength training period.
Strength training can benefit women (especially older women) in all of the ways mentioned in the posts I linked above.
You Will Lose More Fat.
Stop wasting your time doing pure cardio and actually build a bit of muscle (don’t worry you won’t get “bulked”). More muscle = more calories burned at rest, which means more fat is burned. Women that work out with weights will have an easier time controlling their body fat levels which are more important than just body weight.
Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis.
This is arguably more important for women than men, strength training can increase your bone mass as well as muscle mass. As we age our bones weaken, weight training along with calcium can halt or even reverse this trend. Women typically have less bone mass than men and post menopause they lose it faster than men. Weight training should be a vital part of any strategy for mitigating the symptoms of menopause and planning for a longer more active life.
Those are just 2 benefits that are of special importance to women, however they are far from the only benefits of strength for women. Rather than go through all the reasons again, I recommend you check out some other posts that have already covered the topic in more detail. Everything in those articles applies to women equally as much as it applies to men.
The Myth of Getting “Bulky”
Just watch this video and decide for yourself if any of these girls look “bulky”. It also happens to be set to a great song by Linkin Park which is an added bonus.
Forget that silly urban myth about bulking up from strength training, whatever pictures or videos you may have seen of female bodybuilders absolutely do not represent the results that 99% of women that engage in resistance training can expect to achieve.
Gaining large amounts of muscle is extremely difficult even for men, for any women to achieve it requires years, sometimes decades of hard training, consuming huge amounts of protein and of course a lot of expensive (and arguably dangerous) pharmaceutical support. No woman that lifts weights a few times per week and eats a healthy diet is going to wake up one morning looking like Iris Kyle. Get that silly notion out of your head, there really is no downside to strength training for women.
Image credit – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jontunnell/3261718664/