Saturday, 17 November 2012

Women & Weight Training

"I just want to maintain myself, I don't want to be a body builder." This is precisely what my wife said when I suggested incorporating weight training in her fitness regime for better results. Most women think that just by lifting few pounds of weight they will acquire bulging biceps like that of body builders. Weight training according to them is only for body builders. A good percentage of men, as well, carry similar perceptions. But in reality, such a belief is completely irrational and doesn't have any sound base.

Let's take look at our beloved (female) celebrities. All of them hit the gym at least 3 times per week. And as part of their regime they regularly lift weights. Do they look like body builders? Another question: How often do you spot a woman with noticeably large muscles? It is practically impossible for a woman to develop muscles like men do. Why? Here are the reasons:
  • For a woman to build large muscles, a right blend of genetics is necessary. For example, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova undergo almost similar physical activities. But Serena has bigger muscles. Why? She is genetically more advantaged as compared to Maria.
  • The other factor is training. women will have to train for years before they achieve any significant size. And in the process they lift very heavy weights which are impossible for a man of average built to lift.
  • Another major factor is low levels of Testosterone. This hormone is key ingredient in the process of muscular development. Women have 20-30 times lower levels of testosterone compared to men, so developing huge muscles is anyway out of question.
  • Many women body builders(that you see in magazines and TV shows)usually inject themselves with extra testosterone for development and sustenance of bigger muscles.
Let's understand this with a very simple example. Suppose there are twin children, one boy and a girl. Since they are born to same parents they have same genetics, they eat similar type of food, etc. Now at the age of 20 they both are exposed to same type of weight training for 3 odd months. After this period, the muscles gained by the boy will be at least twice of that of the girl. So do you get the point?
Weight lifting is not about body building alone. It is an essential part of any fitness regime irrespective of the age, sex and physical condition of the individual involved. In fact it has many health benefits specific to women. for example, woman lifting weight will have greater bone density which can ward off chances of post menopausal osteoporosis to a greater extent.
Girls, I think I have cleared all the doubts regarding weight training. So stop making excuses, get yourself those adjustable pair of dumbbells and hit it. All The Best.