Many women still believe that being skinny, not muscular is more attractive to the opposite sex and that lifting weights will make them appear too big, too powerful and ultimately not feminine. Really? Are there still women out there who want to be skinny bitches? Well here’s a little secret, hormones – more specifically testosterone, plays a crucial role in the development of strength and muscle mass in both men and women. And on average, women have about 1/10th of this hormone compared to men. That means no matter how much iron you push you’ll never get close to being the size of the Rock. Now that we got that covered, there are like a million reasons why you should lift weights and want muscle, well not a million but here are seven you should consider.
Muscle Protects Bones
Weight training enhances bone re-modeling, causing an increase in bone strength and bone mass. Any weight bearing exercise, such as squats, overhead presses, or even dead lifts, work directly on the bones in your spine to help strengthen and protect. A recent study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that women with osteoporosis improved their bone density by approximately 3 percent, over an 8-month period of high intensity weight training.
Additionally, one of the functions of skeletal muscle is to protect the bones from external impacts by absorbing and redistributing the energy of any shock felt to the system. Therefore, having a little extra muscle on your body can help protect your bones from breaks, in more ways than one. Be sure to add compound movements to your weight training routine such as squats, dead lifts and pressing movements to keep those bones strong.
Muscle Burns Ugly Fat
The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate. Lifting iron changes body composition, by decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. Compared to fat, muscle is more metabolically active, and can cause an increase in fat oxidation, which is when the body utilizes fat for fuel and calorie consumption. After weight training the ‘after burn’ is in full effect, your metabolism can remain elevated for up to 48 hours post-workout.
A 2014 study found that just 20 minutes of daily weight training resulted in less abdominal fat gain in woman than doing the same amount of aerobic exercise. Weight training has also been found to increase production and release of growth hormone, and testosterone, both important for increasing lean mass and burning fat. Muscle also helps make the body more insulin sensitive – which means you can utilize sugar and carbs more effectively, versus those who don’t lift.
Muscles Make You Feel Like Wonder Woman
The simple act of lifting weights and building muscles, can improve not only your exterior appearance, but also your inner self confidence. Accomplishing a simple task like a workout, leads to a sense of accomplishment, especially if you have a weekly plan to follow with set goals. But it’s not just a sense of accomplishment, performing a workout makes you focus on something other than your supposed first world life problems.
Don’t believe me, simply try and perform a heavy squat while thinking about that stupid fuck boy that blew you off. Not going to happen. When you’re in the zone, the only thing you’re going to focus on is 1) your form, 2) your breathing and 3) finishing that set. Weight training is a mental game – it makes you focus only on the task at hand, which in turn can give you a new perspective and ultimately give your mind a break from over thinking. As a result you’ll not only gain confidence, weight training can also reduce depression, improve sense of well-being and give you mental strength.
Muscle Builds Curves and Makes You Sexy AF
Contrary to popular belief women who lift weights do not get big and bulky, but instead grow some sexy curves in all the right places. Most women think that if they even give a glimpse to a dumbbell that somehow that will translate into an enormous amount of muscle. If only it were that easy. Research suggests that women have only 2/3’s the strength of men. In fact, women have about 40 to 60% of the upper body strength and about 70 to 75% of the lower body strength of men. That means you can develop a nice round booty like JLO, but will never have the big biceps of the hulk.
Muscle Helps You Sleep
Those who lift weights have been shown to improve their sleep quality, while also improving their ability to fall asleep more easily. When we train, we burn calories, causing us to consume energy. This is a good thing! One study on 24 college students doing a full body weight training workout including leg presses, curls and crunches performed at a moderate intensity at different times on several days, showed that lifting weights in the morning helped participants to fall asleep 45-minutes faster versus days when they hadn’t worked out. Additionally, training helps to release hormones including growth hormone that can help with recovery process, but can also help to rejuvenate the body during sleep.
Muscle Lets You Go the Distance
Weight training and building muscle can help increase blood flow to fat tissue, which in turn helps stimulate transportation and oxidation of free fatty acids. This increase in blood flow to stubborn fat areas, allows for more fat to be burned off as fuel by the body. Increasing fat burning means we can conserve our lean muscle and conserve our glycogen, the muscles primary source of energy. This translates into long lasting energy and endurance during workouts.
Muscle Makes You Live Forever
Well maybe not forever, but it can certainly slow down the aging process. Weight training has been shown to improve cognitive function including planning, organizing and strategizing, not to mention improving memory! It has also been found to help improve blood pressure and have benefits for cardiovascular health. Lastly, weight training with older populations, has been shown to reduce markers of oxidative stress and increase antioxidant enzyme activity, while also affecting gene expression.
One study showed that after 26-weeks of resistance training the researchers identified 179 genes associated with age and exercise showing a reversal of their gene expression. This means that weight training was not only slowing but also reversing the aging process at the genetic level. The gene expressions of the resistance trained older subjects’ demonstrated characteristics similar to those of the younger group.
Be Fierce & Rule the World!