If you belong to the bracket of people who still believe that weight training or resistance training is just for guys, it is time someone set the story straight. Stop living in the 80s. Do not resist weight training; make it a part of your fit life.
Women have more estrogen running through their veins. Have approximately two-thirds the upper body strength of men and are proportionately stronger in their lower bodies. There is no way a woman can have muscles as big as a man, with the exception of a few who have great genetics and no doubt a naturally high-level of testosterone, or are using anabolic steroids.
When women weight train, they not only increase their strength -- regular training with weights also provides more benefits.
The most important concern for women as they age is the possibility of developing brittle bones or Osteoporosis in later life. Weight training increases bone-density and prevents Osteoporosis.
Benefits of weight-training
* Increases muscular strength .
* Increases bone and ligament strength.
* Improves overall health.
* Increases flexibility.
* Is a major stress reliever.
* Helps control body fat.
* Strengthens the heart.
* Increases both hemoglobin level and red cell count.
Myths about it
Myth 1: Weight training makes a person muscle bound.Truth: It has been scientifically proven that weight training actually increases flexibility. Researchers also say that it all depends on the type of training; if you adapt a good stretching routine into your daily workout, you can increase your flexibility level above the normal.
Myth 2: Weight training slows a person down.
Truth: A lot of Olympic professional athletes weight train for their respective sports, to increase strength and improve overall performance. A lot of Olympic sprinters have strong muscles, which help them move faster.
Myth 3: Weight training is not for everyone.
Truth: Studies have shown that strength training can prevent or reverse debilitating muscle loss, especially as you get older. Having strong muscles helps at any age. They improve balance, prevent falls and reduce the risk of injuries to joints and muscles.
In fact, as you age, it is even more important that you weight train because as you get older, the metabolism generally slows, making it difficult to control body weight.
Myth 4: Drinking water before and during exercises causes an upset stomach and cramps.
Truth: Drinking adequate water during exercise is crucial! It is the most important nutrient to an exercising individual, especially in hot weather.
Doctor’s approvalAlways check with a physician before embarking on any
Always warm up before you start with your weight training program
How to breathe
If you are a beginner, stick with the rule of ‘exhaling as you exert and inhaling as you relaxes the muscle.
Learn the movement first without weights or light weights initially, till you are confident about the technique.
Always fully extend and contract the muscle involved through the entire range of motion. Do not try spot reducing; it does not work.
Sets and reps
Start out with one set of 10 reps or the lower number of the specified range with light weights. Take brief rest between sets before you start the next exercise.
Weight train at least twice a week.
Jot down the poundage, reps sets done on each day.
Once you master the correct technique, you can progressively overload, i.e. increase the weight steadily where you can do at least minimum reps in good form.
Rest and nutrition
Proper sleep is crucial, as muscles grow when you are at rest or, rather, when you are not in the gym. Stop smoking and excess drinking and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
As far as possible, eat at least five meals a day. Remember that in each of your five meals, approximately one part of the calories should come from fats, two parts from protein and three parts from carbohydrates.More importantly, eat healthy -- lots of fibre-filled fruit and vegetables and plenty of water. For a more personalized diet, consult a dietician.