Women and Weight Training by Vinata Shetty

Weight Training is not a Masculine thing! How far can we go with our gender distinction. Weight training is absolutely important for women all the more given the amount of strength they need to multi-task whole of the day. Vinata Shetty guides you through in this article.

The moment you talk about fitness and the various components that fitness encompasses, strength training will rank very high up on the list.

Yet, when it comes to strength and conditioning based activities it is relegated as more of a "man's domain" or for the athletic population.

Women in particular feel that way!

Truth is that we are all athletes. An athlete is defined as, "someone who is proficient in sports or some other form of physical activity".

By that definition, anyone who trains is an athlete. The requirements of an athlete and an elite athlete are more or less the same, the difference between an athlete and an elite athlete is only by degree. 

So in saying that, the importance of strength training cannot be undermined. The gender is hardly the criteria to determine which activity is best suited for them, but instead what is the functional need of the individual? 

It's safe to say that today every person wants to be independent for as long as possible if not for as long as they live. That process of being independent begins early on. Hence exercise is a means to achieve that. As we age, we start losing muscle mass, almost a kg every decade from the age of 25!! To prevent that loss of muscle it's important to weight train thus reversing the aging process.

Women who are fearful or becoming body builders need not be!! Weight training doesn't do that, it's the type of weight training based on what kind of look or goal you are trying to achieve that will do that.

Truth is, strengthening the muscles will in turn strengthen the joints and increase their integrity and thereby decrease your risk to injury. It will enable you to perform activities of daily living with greater ease and also help strengthen your postural muscles and deep seated muscles and prevent back pain. It will increase your BMR and help maintain your weight balance. For post menopausal women weight training can greatly help in retarding and even reversing the effects of osteoporosis. The reasons and benefits to weight train are plenty, sadly, so are the excuses by women as to why they avoid it.

There are plenty of ways to improve muscle strength, just as there is more than one way of improving your aerobic capacity. Start with moving just your body weight to begin with. As you get stronger, an external load or resistance can be used. Many women fear risking injury when they think of weight or strength training. Truth is that more women who suffer from injuries have probably never even seen the inside of a gym! The ones least likely to get injured are those with a stronger musculature. The risk of injury due to workout can be greatly minimized if training under supervision and with an experienced and trained coach.

Start gradually and progress at an appropriate rate and that should keep injury risk at bay.

Choose strength and conditioning programme that is in keeping with your fitness level and aligned with your training goals. Ask yourself what is that you would like to do if you had the physical capacity? That should give you an idea of your fitness goals. Once a goal is established, so can a workout plan towards achieving it. And then come to the next goal! So the journey of fitness continues and the so does the boundaries of your fitness levels. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

So ladies, don't be afraid to lift some weight! Start with a programme at least twice a week to begin with. When you lift, the daily grind won't seem like one. It will enable and empower you!!

And remember, while it would have been better to have started yesterday it's never too late to start!

About The Author

Vinata Shetty

Vinata Shetty is a Reebok Master Trainer and Rehab Trainer from Mumbai.

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