I am a 45 year old stay at home mom of 2 and have been weight lifting and doing cardio for 8 years now and have to say that weight lifting has made a huge difference in what my body looks like and how I feel. I have become more defined and believe it or not, I do not have the physique of a body builder even though I lift extremely heavy weight. There is such a huge misconception about women bulking up if they lift weights. Unless you are on steroids and a bunch of supplements, it is really difficult for a woman to get that bulky look because we do not have the testosterone needed to make that happen.
Another misconception about muscle is that people think muscle weighs more than fat. One pound of muscle weighs just the same as one pound of fat or one pound of feathers. Muscle is more dense than fat so it takes up less space. Who doesn’t want that.
Muscle is not just aesthetically pleasing, it is EXTREMELY important for a myriad of health benefits.
Here are nine reasons women should not be afraid of gaining muscle:
1. Muscle helps you live longer! According to Tufts University, the more muscle mass you have, the greater your longevity potential. Muscle is the number one biomarker for longevity. It is a better predictor than total cholesterol or blood pressure!
2. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. It is estimated that for every pound of muscle you gain you burn an extra 50 calories a day. Add 5 pounds of muscle and you’ll burn an extra 1,750 calories a week! That’s the equivalent of going on the treadmill five times a week for 40 minutes.
3. Muscle makes life and everyday activities easier. The more muscle you have, the more strength you have. Researchers at Tufts University determined that strength is the number two predictor for longevity!
4. Muscle improves body composition. According to world renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin, for every kilo of lean muscle that was gained, there was an equal loss of weight in body fat! Look at this way, if gained 4 kg of muscle during a 12 week program, in the same 12 weeks you would drop 4 kg of fat! So if you started at 20% body fat and 60 kg of bodyweight, your body fat would now be 13%! These body composition changes will make you look absolutely amazing and feel very empowered.
5. Muscle empowers women because of the new sense of strength and power that muscle gives!
6. The more muscle you have the more insulin receptor sites you have, and the more sensitive they will be. This means it’s easier to stay leaner and keep the fat off!
7. Muscle builds stronger bones, preventing osteoporosis.
8. Muscle improves flexibility and balance.
9. Muscle can improve the postural muscles to enhance your posture.
And most importantly, muscle makes you look great naked! Want a sexier butt? Add some muscle, strip the fat and VOILA! Want your waist to look tinier? Shape your shoulders and WOW! Want to make your legs look longer? Strip some fat and add some muscle and SHAZAM!
Now that you understand why women should not be scared of gaining muscle, here is what you need to know about muscle tissue. It can do one of two things:
Grow larger and/or stronger
Shrink and/or get weaker