It wasn’t that long ago that female weightlifting was considered a novelty, or even completely unheard of. It wasn’t until 1983 that the International Weightlifting Federation paved the way by unanimously accepting control of Women’s Weightlifting, holding the world’s first Women’s International tournament in Budapest in 1986.
Fortunately though, society has evolved since then and there is much more equality in the world of competitive weightlifting. With woman such as Judy Glenney, who basically pioneered the way for women and weightlifting, the world now boasts female weightlifting champions from around the globe.
Weightlifting isn’t just about bodybuilding or competitive training though. Many women shy away from lifting weights because they mistakenly consider resistance training to be all about bulking on muscle mass so your biceps bulge like She Hulk.
The simple fact is that incorporating resistance training into your routine will actually help you shed those unwanted pounds faster than cardio alone. Not only that, it will help you do so whilst maintaining and developing those sexy feminine curves! So if you want to avoid or tone up those bingo wings, bring more definition to your waist and tone your buttocks, then resistance training is what you need.
There are many health benefits that should help influence women to consider incorporating resistance training into their workout regime, which include:
Muscle Burns Fat: The more muscles you have, the more effectively your body works to burn calories. Simple. With each and every muscle contraction you experience, whether it be the muscles used to blink, chew food, or even the muscles contracting to stand you upright, you burn calories. And the more lean muscle mass you have, the more muscles are working and contracting so the more calories you are burning. As you work to strengthen and tone your whole body, you are gaining results both inside and outside of the gym.
Effective Form of Weight Loss: When participating in endurance training, your body burns calories during and for a short period after completing your workout. Resistance training though requires higher levels of oxygen for hours and even days after completing your workout, because your body is working to repair the muscles fibres you have stressed and torn. This use of oxygen is called ‘excess post-exercise oxygen intake’, and burns more calories. So for that reason resistance training can be considered a more effective form of weight loss than aerobic exercise, because the positive effects of weight loss can last for days after your workout.
Sculpt Your Feminine Body: When aiming to lose weight and tone your body, you need to make sure there is a healthy balance between resistance training and endurance training, so that you don’t lose all your feminine curves. When participating in endurance training you can be burning off both fat and muscle, however with resistance training you are able to burn calories, whilst maintaining and growing the lean muscle that shapes your feminine body.
Improved Health: It is not just the aesthetic appearance of your body that is positively affected through resistance training. Studies have shown that the resistance training may be more effective at increased energy through energy balance and fat oxidation, than endurance training. Lifting weights is also beneficial for both heart health, by reducing abdominal fat, lowering blood pressure and reducing glucose levels, which also improves bone density. Maintaining bone mass and density becomes more and more important for women when they approach menopause as the body stops secreting oestrogen and the risk of osteoporosis increases.
So, even if you don’t yet feel confident with hitting the weights section of your local gym, grab yourself some dumbbells and a resistance band and start to work some resistance training into your workout routine at home. If you do, you will be amazed at the positive changes that you will experience in your whole body and wellbeing!
Why not join in with the Female Weightlifting conversation in our 66fit LinkedIn group? You can also find us on Facebook as 66fit Australia, 66fit UK and 66fit Deutschland along with Twitter and G+. Come and meet us in person at the NEC Birmingham for either Leisure Industry Week (LIW), 22nd and 23rd September 2015, Stand No: Hall 4/C29 or the Occupational Therapy Show on the 25th and 26th November 2015. Also at the Sonnwendlauf in Seelbach, Germany 19th June 2015 and the Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Gold Coast Exhibition and Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia 2nd to 4th July 2015.