I have spent some time gathering resources to motivate friends and family to start a resistance training routine. I value many different forms of exercise. However, resistance training provides added benefits which are not as easy to attain via alternative exercise plans. I have decided to integrate several external references, mostly by female authors, within my plea to encourage resistance training.
Fitness Magazine asked a great question: Why aren’t more women lifting weights? The answer to that question, as you may already know, is that many women are not motivated to start a resistance training routine out of fear of ‘bulking up’.
My egotistical macho manself would have guessed that women want to be dependent on men for anything that requires strength, and all men have built and maintained enough muscle mass to satisfy these needs. The men will be there to unscrew the pickle jar lid, hoist the 18ft Christmas tree onto the minivan, and rescue the injured child from the aggressive pitbull. Then again, men have to work all day so there are some flaws to that theory. Anyway, back to the science…
Men and women will not gain excessive amounts of muscle mass with a 3-4 hour per week resistance training routine. Without questionable hormone or steroid supplementation, it is simply not possible. Resistance training is not an immediate weight loss miracle either. In fact, it is possible that the scale may read heavier after starting a practice of resistance training. Muscle is more dense than fat, and a hydrated body is heavier than a dehydrated body. In addition, after years of cyclic dieting routines and inadequate caloric intake, the body becomes conditioned to store additional calories if they are provided (hence why dieting is rarely a good idea). If the number on the scales is your primary obsession, I am not willing to bet that resistance training will not offer immediate benefits.
Resistance training is not an immediate miracle, but with practice it will improve strength, bone density, and muscle tone. Plenty of popular 10 best reasons internet articles have also thrown the mental health and physical disease curing miracles of the resistance training routine. If you are curious as to the research behind these proclamations, here are a couple of studies covering the physical (fighting obesity, diabetes, and general inflammation) and mental health (fighting depression) benefits.
Once you are halfway convinced that weightlifting is right for you, there are plenty of easy starter references awaiting your attention. Since over thinking the over-bulking result is inevitable, the most readily available website workout options recommend spot toning and lightweight exercises for you to accomplish your materialistic and topical goals. They earn plenty of advertisement money since that is what people want to see. Since you won’t be seeing the promised results, you will revisit their site multiple times to make sure you are following the routine appropriately. You will also be more likely to buy their additional help books and advertised supplements. Please let me know if you would like me to kindly critique popular suggestions from a specific article!
Spot toning your biceps, stomach, and hips overlooks significant areas of muscle mass. Therefore, the metabolic and physical responses you had desired from your body will not be significant. On the other hand, more complex exercises incorporate more muscle mass. This requires more areas of your body to work, and your body becomes accustomed to working with itself. A beneficial exercise routine of complex exercises can be completed in as little as thirty minutes, while benefiting from spot training would require closer to an hour and thirty minutes for similar results.
If you are not comfortable with exercises, it is necessary to start with light weights. To avoid injury and wasted time your body must be comfortable with the motion before significant weight is involved. [Rather than suing me for personal injury, please consult knowledgeable references for appropriate introductory training] Once you are comfortable with the exercise, it is absolutely necessary to continue increasing the weight. If your body is comfortable performing the exercise with excessive repetitions, you are not lifting enough weight to attain your desired benefits. Your last repetition should cause your muscles to fail. Again, please to not pass out with a squat bar on your shoulder, but if you are simultaneously chatting with gym friends and completing weightlifting set, it is time to increase the weight!
Here is a quick list of my favorite complex exercises to use as a starting reference.
- Clean and Press
- Bent Over Row
- Pull-up/Lat pull down
- Push-up/Bench Press
- Shoulder Press
- Upright Row
- Shoulder, back, and chest fly
Bodybuilding.com is one of the best weightlifting references. The following article motivates resistance training and includes a weightlifting schedule. There are also images and a detailed explanation for each exercise.
Strongerbyscience.com wrote the best research summary I have seen to this day covering strength training for women.
Even though this reference is topical and sub par, Harvard is a name that everyone respects so I am including it.
Nothing more needs to be said. It is time to get to the gym!