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Tue, 06/17/2014

Why Women Should Join the Guys Who Lift Weights

When going to the gym to do some weights I always joke about going in the corner with the weights to join the guys feeding on iron. I am not the beefy guy who thinks loads of muscles are good for anything. But I think that strength is very important for an upright, healthy body, especially when you have a desk job. Also it supports other sports I do: running and golf. Both sports require a strong core, meaning a strong back and strong abs. And if you train one part of the body, you should train the rest as well to assure a symmetrical, balanced complexion (especially in the weight corner one can observe men who ignore parts of their body while training others excessively. The resulting unbalance of how the body looks is kinda weird.) However, training with weights not fixed to a machine has a lot of benefits since it trains more muscles because the body has to hold the weights itself in a certain position (which is not the case using a machine because it does it for you). Women tend to avoid training with free weights, because they do not dare to join the men in the iron feeding corner. Actually there is no reason why not. Most people in a gym are more concerned with themselves as with others and not all men are bodybuilder-pros or intend to be. And: you can observe quite skinny men starting out with weights. So if they dare, why not you? Joining a gym is about getting and staying fit and healthy, not about obsession (more about this on last weeks blog-post). As a woman there is no reason to be afraid to look all muscular and unfeminine after a while. Women rarely bulk up as dramatically as men because they have lower testosterone levels. So if you want to, you can train with men because in most cases, men and women can and should train the same. Women only have to train a bit harder to make the muscles show - if this is their intention. The benefits of strength training – which are the same for men and women – are according to Women's Health: torching tons more calories, your confidence will get a kick, you'll boost your cardio performance, you'll strengthen your bones, you'll see results almost instantly, your risk of injury goes down.

No matter how muscular you want to look, even the muscles you need (and want?!) need to be build. Therefore it is necessary to observe your diet. Especially after workout it is helpful to take in proteins, which you either can mix yourself or can buy readily mixed in different flavors.

And if you do not care about all these, be aware of this: as you certainly already know, people tend to live longer due to better nutrition and healthcare. That also means that you have to support yourself in one kind or another to be still fit in old age. From 60 onwards your physical abilities drop to about 70 percent to decline unstoppable to zero about your 100th birthday which becomes more and more likely you will celebrate (more about the challenges of physical and mental integrity in old age on this blog-post). A recent study found that more muscles are linked to longer live in men over 55 and women over 65.

And when boredom or fatigue strikes during a workout try out some tricks to motivate yourself like having a mantra ready or telling yourself that you can make it for some more minutes or for two or three more repetitions just to tell yourself that there is no reason to stop now since you already got to this point or you could get some music on your play-list that pumps you up.