When people think of weight training, the image that typically comes to mind is some big, bulky man lifting hundreds of pounds, sweating profusely, and grunting loudly. This is the stereotypical idea of what weight trainers look like.
While weight lifting has become more popular among men in recent decades, women are starting to get in on the action too.
If you’re a man, maybe you’ve heard how much you can bulk up with weight training. Or, if you’re a woman, maybe you’ve heard you’re going to look like a man if you do weight training. But it’s not about gaining bulk….
You can get toned, lose weight, or bulk up with weight training. It also provides many benefits for both men and women when done correctly. Here are six ways you can experience the health benefits of using weight training.
1. Strengthen Muscles
When you weight train, you can effectively strengthen your muscles. Depending on which muscles you want to target, you can incorporate different weights and different exercises to support muscle strength.
There are weight machines, such as a Smith Machine and cable machine. There are also free weights with dumbbells ranging from 2.5 pounds each to 70 pounds or more.
2. Correct Posture
This is a big one! You can help your posture by weight training. There are a lot of people who slouch or complain that their posture has become weaker over time.
Because many of our jobs involve sitting at desks all day, our posture worsens the more we maintain a sedentary lifestyle. If you need to keep your office job, weight training that specifically targets the back can help your posture.
In my experience, the best exercises that target the back involve the use of the cable machine. This machine has many ways to work out your back and even has the workouts posted on the machine for your convenience.
3. Slow the Progression of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is especially common with the aging population, but it also can affect a younger crowd. This is a condition by which the bones become weaker.
Though weight lifting cannot reverse osteoporosis, it can help delay the progression of the disease by creating strength in the body.
4. Tone Your Body
Many women believe weight training makes their muscles grow, which means their bodies look bigger. This is not always true!
Women benefit from weight training as much as men do, and there are many ways to strengthen the body without becoming bulky.
For example, if you use a lighter weight in your workout and do more repetitions in a set (four sets of 12–15 repetitions of a movement), you are working on muscle endurance and building strength while also toning your body.
5. Gain Muscle and Bulk
As mentioned before, strength training doesn’t necessarily equal bulking up. However, it can serve that purpose, if done a certain way. Most bodybuilders want to gain, gain, gain! They use strength training to add muscle mass and bulk up.
6. Lose Weight
Because you burn a lot of calories during weight training exercises, you will notice weight loss as a byproduct. How much weight you lose by strength training depends on your diet and the amount of cardio you are incorporating into your workout.
Traditionally, weight training is used to build muscle mass and strengthen your muscle, but paired with a decent cardio workout schedule, you will notice more weight loss.
There are incredible benefits to incorporating weight training into your workout routine. From weight loss to muscle strength, it is definitely something that will enhance any diet or workout.
Weight training has become a more popular workout for both men and women as they see the many benefits it brings. If you are a beginner, I recommend joining a gym so you can ease into it. Reach out to a trainer to get the maximum benefit when you add weight training to your workout.