Strength Training for Women

Once reserved for only competitive male athletes and bodybuilders, strength training should be an essential part of any woman’s fitness program. If woman strength trains she doesn’t have to torture herself with low calorie diets or spend hours on a treadmill trying to make noticeable changes in her physical appearance. With strength training, women can lose weight, build firm muscles and achieve a lifetime of fitness and well being even as they age.

The way that most women try to lose weight is to burn off those extra calories by spending hour after hour sweating them off on a treadmill or some other aerobic activity. I am not saying that there is no need for aerobic exercise. Every woman should include some form of aerobic exercise in her workout routine. But a more productive way to burn those extra calories would be to burn them off when you’re not exercising by increasing your RMR.

What is RMR? How do I increase the number of calories that I burn when I am not exercising? Well let’s talk about RMR, or resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories that you burn just maintaining your body vital functions in a resting state. This typically accounts for about 65 to 75 percent of your bodies total calorie expenditure. So if you raise your RMR, you’ll increase the number of calories that you burn when you’re not exercising.

So how does a women go about raising their RMR? You raise your RMR by strength training of course. When women strength training they increase the size of the muscle fibers throughout their body. That’s how the body natural response to the stress of weightlifting. When your muscle fibers enlarge and become stronger they also consume more energy, which in turn, increases your RMR. With strength training, an average woman can increase their metabolic rate up to 15 percent.

Strength training also helps women to increase their bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. By the age of 20, the average woman has acquired most of her skeletal mass. As a woman ages, her bone density decreases. By the time a woman reaches menopause, she most often experiences a large decline in bone mass. Recent studies have shown that women who strength train two or three times a week, not only increase strength by building and enlarging muscle fibers, but they also see an increase in bone density. This increase in bone density will help to keep a woman’s bone healthy and strong, as she gets older.

In recent studies published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also found that strength training exercise can improve:

• An older persons balance. Which helps to reduce the chance of slips and falls.

• How the body controls glucose levels helping you to manage diabetes.

• The amount and quality of sleep a person gets at night.

• A person’s self-confidence and self-esteem.

The benefits that a women can receive from strength training two or three times a week, will carry on throughout her whole life cycle. Helping her to stay strong and to live a fit and healthy lifestyle as she ages.