Traditionally, the distribution of exercise preference between genders in the gym trends towards women being cardio-crazed, and men sticking to weightlifting. The reality of the situation is that most exercisers wont achieve their body weight goals or genuine fitness without a combination of both cardio and strength training.
Though the myth is slowly being dispelled, many women still steer clear of lifting weights in an effort to avoid “bulking up”. In pursuit of the lean, slender physique, women tend to spend the majority of their time hoping to burn calories on cardio machines. What they don’t realize is that they are shortchanging the health and strength of their bodies, as well as their own fitness and weight loss goals.
What should debunk the myth feeding into the apprehension of building bulging muscles is that women do not physically possess the levels of required hormones that, in the male body, lead to the bulky muscle build. Even if a woman tried, she would most likely need hormone treatment and supplements to gain the muscle mass that men more easily attain, let alone the massive amount of time and effort dedicated solely to the pursuit of big muscles.
In fact, the muscles that women avoid building can actually lend themselves to weight loss efforts. Muscle content translates to a higher metabolism, as it burns calories at a higher rate than fat content. This means that even while resting, a body with lean muscle will be burning more calories than one that has a higher body fat percentage.
Muscle also takes up much less space than fat does. Think of that concept applied to the way a pair of jeans fit; a muscular set of thighs and glutes will actually take up less physical space than one that is slimmer but consists of fat content. Not only will the muscular body be smaller in size, it is less prone to the dreaded jiggle that accompanies excess body weight and the aging process.
The building of lean muscle-the only kind that women are able to build- allows for a toned look that is far from masculine and very attractive.
In conclusion, women should shake the stereotype and the fear of a bulky body shape, and strive to make weight training a permanent part of their workouts. Aside from the fact that females are typically physically unable to build hulking muscles, studies are increasingly finding that weight training is highly correlated with weight loss.
The benefit of making lean muscle a fitness goal also involves the simple beauty of strength. Why shouldn’t a woman want to look and feel strong and physically capable? There is something to be said for being able to fearlessly tackle physical challenges because of the fundamental belief that the body is proficient and powerful.