Five Reasons Women Shouldn’t Skip Weight Training

It’s that time of year again – when nearly everyone has one or two resolutions about either losing some weight or getting in better shape. Yet for many women, cardio exercise has been the “default” setting at the gym and in fitness ads…which skips a major component of overall fitness: strength training. You don’t have to commit to suddenly becoming the best in your reading group at CrossFit, although if you want to we have an ARTICLE about that. Free weights can be intimidating, and weight machines can look like something out of a medieval torture scene – but here are five reasons to consider taking a break from that treadmill and planning some time pumping a little iron:

  • You’ll burn more calories doing nothing: If weight loss made your resolution list, consider adding some strength-training days to your gym/fitness schedule. The more muscle you develop with strength training, the more calories you’ll burn even when you’re just commuting to work or reading a book.
  • You stay motivated by seeing progress: It’s an easy to quantify progress when you can see from week-to-week how much more you manage to lift. Going from 5 lb to 10 or 15 lb etc weights is a great way to stay motivated.
  • Who needs milk when you get better bones with pumping iron? As women age, bone-density is a real kill-joy. Studies have shown that weight lifting can help reverse the bone-density loss experienced by women as they age. Get a jump on it and do your bones a favor!
  • You won’t hulk out: A lot of women cite fears of looking masculine or bulky as a reason to avoid weight-training. Lucky for them, it isn’t possible (without some performance-enhancing substances) to achieve a significantly masculine-looking physique by strength-training. In fact, depending on the amount of weight and the number of repetitions you do, you can choose if you’re lifting to tone or lifting to build muscle.
  • It can count as cardio: If you reduce rest between sets, you can get a good cardiovascular workout lifting weights just like you might while doing aerobic activity. You can combine any number of workouts to turn your next session into a real calorie-torching extravaganza!

The great thing about strength-training is it doesn’t have to involve a pricey gym membership. You can find good quality free-weights at relatively inexpensive prices in a variety of fitness and general big-box stores. If you need assistance knowing how to put together a successful workout to meet your goals or to work around any problem areas, consider a consultation with one of our physical therapists in our Sustained Optimal Performance program.

Of course, if you’re already dealing with an acute or lingering injury, be sure to consult your physical therapist before beginning any new fitness regimen. If your injuries have left you unable to lift weights, hit the gym, or do other favorite hobbies contact us for an injury assessment or to begin treatment. We have several easily accessible locations in central Indiana with a large team of highly trained physical therapists ready to help you get back to an active life sooner!