Sure, boot camp classes and Peloton rides have their place, but there are 5 benefits of strength training for women that are especially important! From the perspective of one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being, the effects of strength training are numerous. This article will highlight the top 5 reasons (in my opinion) why women SHOULD prioritize strength over all else.
Reason #1: Increase in lean muscle = improved metabolism = “better” aesthetics
Before diving into this reason, I must use the disclaimer that “better” is in the eye of the beholder. My definition of “better” may not be yours and that my friend is OK! The truth is, most women have aesthetic goals along the continuum of “healthy”, “toned”, or “sculpted”. Adopting a strength training routine can achieve these descriptors because this type of training builds lean muscle and as a result it can improve one’s metabolism. An improved metabolism burns more calories at rest (i.e. one can EAT more calories without gaining fat compared to that with less LBM), improves insulin sensitivity (i.e. blood sugar stays consistent), and other metabolic processes that help improve one’s physical health.
Reason #2: It cultivates a shift in perspective
Implementing a strength training routine diverts the attention from what “we’re not” to “what we’re capable of”. This mindset shift can be incredibly profound, especially for women who are susceptible to the conditioning of striving for societies’ idea of “beauty”. When we focus on what we CAN do, we can ease into the journey of it all and find solace in it instead of agonizing over what we’re not. We create an internal dialogue of challenging and celebrating what we can achieve.
Reason #3: It decreases the incidence of injury, especially common ones associated with age
Getting old sucks; however, strength training can prime the body to mitigate common injuries associated with aging. Women start slowly losing bone density at age 25 and sharply decline at the onset of Menopause. Strength training drastically slows this process down and cuts the risk for osteoarthritis and osteopenia significantly. Further, strength training can build the muscles around the core and decrease the risk of common injuries associated with aging such as those with the low back.
Reason #4: It facilitates a sense of confidence and empowerment
If you know, you know. There is an almost indescribable feeling when it comes to lifting a weight you never thought was possible. To be under a bar that could crush you, only to stand up and overcome: it’s not only a physical feat, but it births something inside a woman that screams “I’m capable, I’m powerful, I’m a badass”. This new found confidence and empowerment can carry over in every aspect of a woman’s life such as in her relationships, in the workplace, and most importantly, within herself.
Reason #5: It is efficient and effective so one can live their life
Let’s face it, life is hectic and busy. Juggling kids, a career, and finding time to actually live one’s life seems to get harder and harder as time rolls on. Implementing a proper, effective strength training program can help make the time in the gym efficient. Research has shown as sessions of 45-60 minutes (when brought to sub maximal to maximal effort sets) for 3 days a week can have a significant effect on a woman’s physical and mental health.
The effects of strength training for women are endless and this list is by no means exhaustive. If you’re new to this journey or are finding your current program is just not measuring up, seeking educational sources and coaches could be the missing link. If you’re lost or need more insight, email me at email@example.com and I would be happy to assist you!