Should women train the same as men?April 16, 2022
Why We Need More Strength Training as We AgeApril 30, 2022
Strength Training for Women
Closing the Gender Gap in Resistance Training
Yes, Ladies, lifting weights is important. Here’s why.
Visualize your local gym at peak hours and tell me what you see.
Let me guess…
- Men are doing things such as bench pressing, squatting, deadlifting, and lifting free weights.
- Women are walking on the treadmill, in spin class, or performing mat exercises in the multipurpose room.
While browsing the research, I was not surprised to find facts such as:
- Only 20% of women resistance train 2 or more times per week. (1)
- There is often a 27:1 ratio of males versus females in the free weight section of a gym. (1)
- When asked, only 1 out of 5 women will tell you they take part in any form of weight training. (1)
From the perspective of a female healthcare provider, this is infuriating. Especially considering these facts:
The Benefits of Resistance Training for Women
|Increase lean muscle mass||Improve bone health|
|Improve mood and decrease stress||Decrease injury risk|
|Improve overall strength||Reduce risk of heart and metabolic diseases|
*Please note, this is a simplified list and strength training has many other benefits for a woman’s body*
For years, women have been misled. No, lifting weights does not cause you to become bulky or less flexible. If anything, it helps you stay healthy and strong into your golden years! Now, we want you to know that we are not telling you to drop your cardiovascular routine for strength training. However, we need to address this often neglected fact:
|“Your normal walking, running, cycling or other cardiovascular exercise routine is not going to help increase your muscle strength or bone density. To improve your bone and muscle strength, you must subject your body to loads exceeding those performed daily.” – Dr. Ashley|
Read that statement one-more-time (please)!
A combination of aerobic training and resistance training are crucial for longevity. Although cardiovascular exercise is imperative for heart and lung health it does little for musculoskeletal health. Put simply, it does not place enough external forces on our bodies to improve the strength and capacity of our muscles, tendons, and bones.
So, what’s your excuse?
Now that I’m not the only lady in the Feldman PT crew any longer, Meg and I seek to make a difference. We want women to feel empowered and understand that resistance training is what will help keep us healthy throughout our lifespan.
We understand that for many women, the biggest barrier to implementing resistance exercise is unfamiliarity with the environment. The weight room is a scary place, especially if you’ve never been introduced to basic principles. What we want you to understand is that it is never too early or too late to start! Believe it or not, current literature suggests that young females should begin supervised strength training as young as nine years old.
Many of our goals lie in breaking down barriers and refuting myths regarding female health and wellness. We hope that over the last several posts you have learned something about you and your health.
We are always here to help, whether it be to introduce you to a strength program or point you in the right direction. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns!
Oh, and on a side note… check out Joan MacDonald, @trainwithjoan on Instagram or www.trainwithjoanofficial.com. She should be an inspiration to every female out there!
Here’s to creating strong & resilient women! Until next time.
- Hurley KS, Flippin KJ, Blom LC, Bolin JE, Hoover DL, Judge LW. Practices, Perceived Benefits, and Barriers to Resistance Training Among Women Enrolled in College. Int J Exerc Sci. 2018;11(5):226-238. Published 2018 May 1.