How is Weight Lifting Good for You

How is Weight Lifting Good for You

How is Weight Lifting Good for You

I HAD to write this article. I am a big fan of weight training and I love how strong it makes me feel. Not to mention the high that I get every time I pick up a bucket full of water at home to mop the floor and realize how easy it is (sadly, fitness enthusiasts can’t get out of chores. I tried, but I got a sneer from my mom with “you do your so called strength training and you can’t even lift a bucket like me” after which I had to get off the couch and prove her wrong. Sadly, moms can’t be out-smarted or out-argued.)

On that note, I want to debunk some fitness myths that I have been hearing ever since I started training. It is a good thing I practice yoga and meditation on a regular basis or I would have certainly punched the invariable fitness-moron (oh, there’s always one hanging around at the gym, eyeing the poor lone girl in the weights section) who asks me if I am a bodybuilder when I’m minding my business and doing my deadlift.

1. “I don’t want to become masculine!”

What exactly is masculinity? No really. I honestly don’t know what the above statement means. Strength training makes you stronger, fitter, and more toned. Is strength a masculine trait? I don’t think so. The era of the thin waif-like models may lead you to believe that strength is not feminine, but a woman is feminine as much for her strength as for her sensitivity. Let’s face it; the damsel-in-distress act doesn’t really impress anyone anyway. Especially if you are conditioning yourself to be like that because it’s “feminine”.

2. “I’ll use only the 5-pound dumbbells. I’m a girl, I should not lift heavy.”

How is Weight Lifting Good for You

So, does this mean that you are never going to pick up your children? They are going to weigh more than 5 lbs, you know. And as for big muscles, did you know that our ancestors drew water from wells (a feat which I am yet to accomplish, by the way)? In fact women who live in villages still do that and they don’t have “big” muscles.So, if your true capacity is to lift 15 pounds, then what exactly are you trying to achieve by limiting yourself to 5 pounds? I’ll tell you what: you are just wasting your time. Higher reps with light weights take you absolutely nowhere. If it doesn’t challenge you, then baby, it isn’t a workout. Start reducing the reps and increasing the weight, that’s the way to get the best out of lifting. This doesn’t mean you should pick up a 20 kilo dumbbell straight away; you are just going to injure yourself. Increase the weights progressively.

3. “I’ll look like a female bodybuilder! I’m sticking with the treadmill.”

For heaven’s sake! I have been doing weights for 4 years now and I don’t remotely resemble a female bodybuilder. As women, we just don’t have enough testosterone (Yeah, the male hormone!) to bulk up. As for the bodybuilder women whom you keep looking at and thinking that weight training will make you like that, here is some information: they take muscle growth supplements (don’t confuse this with protein supplements now), steroids, testosterone injections and what not to become like that. Why? Because they go in for weight lifting competitions and winning those are their priority. It takes years for people like you and me to even grow a centimeter of muscle, so quit worrying!

4. “Weight training will increase/decrease the size of my breasts.”

I seriously don’t even know how people come with such nonsense. Breasts are made of fat, not muscle. If your fat percentage is extremely low, say less than 11% (and believe me, it is next to impossible for a normal person who leads a normal fat-burner-free life to even get below 20% fat, so don’t stop your morning run now) then you might risk looking flat chested. In any case, where we tend to put on fat is also a result of geneticsso if you look flat chested even at 30% fat, it can’t really be helped (but you might still want to start reducing fat immediately because at 30%, you are borderline obese, breast factor aside). It also depends on hormones, but that’s a discussion for another day.

5. “If I stop training with weights, all my muscles will turn into fat.”
Yeah I really heard someone say that. I’m not even kidding (I would never make such an ill-humored joke anyway, my sense of humor is not quite that bad *smug*). Muscle and fat are two entirely different species. Can a dog turn into a cat? Can rice turn into wheat? Can stone turn into gold? (Oooohh, how I wish!) The answer is NO.

What actually happens is this. Muscle is an active tissue. When you stop training with weights, you lose your muscle mass. See, muscle is a magical thing. It performs this magical thing called “afterburn” which means your metabolic rate goes up even when you are not working out (more fat burn, yes). When you lose muscle, you lose all these fringe benefits.:D which means your metabolic rate comes down which eventually leads to you piling on fat. And this is why you need to start lifting, fast! :)

Apart from the myths mentioned above, I know some women who are simply terrified of the dumbbells. They don’t mind doing push-ups (if they can, I can’t do more than 5 “full” push-ups), tricep dips, or even pull ups. But they wont touch dumbbells because they don’t like weights. If you belong to this category, I just want to tell you that push ups and pull ups are “weight training” too, just that you use your body weight instead of dumbbells. So stop clutching at straws and pick up those weights! :)

Weight training is among the best things you can do for your body (it’s right up there with stretching, massage and organic food). It strengthens your bones (we know how women are prone to osteoporosis), tones muscles and makes you feel like you can take on anything! :)

Seen Shruti? She is strong, lean, toned and oozes fitness from every inch. She is also a dedicated lifter. :) Enough said :)

Stay fit! :)

Image Source: 1 2

Also Read
My today’s Lower Body Workout Routine with Weights And my Pre and Post Meals
Upper Body Weight Training Exercises

21 thoughts on “How is Weight Lifting Good for You

  1. Nidhi

    Superb post Ramya.. Weights are the best.. Shruti is a champ. I wish I could lift like her. I always tell people that I am the Ramu kaka of my house.. Because I am tall also so all time doing the storing things and keep lift this and keep there type of stuff and run and get grocery things :P .. Yest my bhabhie was picking up my barbell. She was like OMG so heavy. I told her that it is lighter than my niece so she was like ohh yeahh suddenly was picking up the barbell easily :D

    Weights are the best. Please write on your BBQ nation exp also :)

     
    Reply
    1. Ramya

      Ramu kaka of the house :-P haan many times it’s just that barbell n all look intimidating na even to ppl who can actually lift more than that :-D will write in bbq nation wala experience too. Thank uu :-* n merry Christmas!

       
      Reply
  2. Ankita

    I love love all ur posts Ramya :) very well-written…there is absolutely no reason to stay away from weight training…I feel so proud of the fact that I can run faster, climb 22 floors (yep, my ofc is on 22nd floor and I climbed once just for once) and lift more than many other people…the feeling of strength is matchless… :)

     
    Reply
      1. Ramya

        U climbed 22 floors!! Wow! :-) ankita ur office must have such a wonderful view naa.. I know, strength is the ultimate feeling! Thanks Ankita :-) am still waiting to read ur post, it’s been so long, miss them!

         
        Reply
        1. Ankita

          Yeah…u can see the whole city almost from my office :) i m not finding enough time yaar :( I want to finish the article soon but just stuck at the moment :( will try to send soon :) I hope u had a great Christmas :)

           
          Reply
  3. laveena

    lol straws.!!!! superbly written ramya,i love ur writing style
    p.s. earlier i was just into stalking all the posts on the blog ,now i feel i should comment here often to let u all ppl know how much i appreciate the very existence of this blog and ur efforts.

     
    Reply
  4. Rama

    Great write up Ramya..I never lifted weights until Nidhi posted earlier bat weight lifting..u knw the guys in my office gym stare at me when i go near the weight station..i dont mind

     
    Reply
    1. Ramya

      I know rama it happens every time a girl picks up weights! Good going, continue with weight training, it’s the best gift for the body :-)

       
      Reply
  5. Sahiba

    As always I LOVED your post Ramya.. Had a hearty laugh.. you know I am fed of answering girls like that. first they ask what to do to get that figure please suggest please suggest and when we tell them weight training is the best choice. They are like “Noooo, I am not a man” God, I don’t know when people will change their minds.
    Anyways pleeeeees write more often Ramya. You know how much I love your writing, don’t you? :) :)

     
    Reply
    1. Ramya

      Aww thank u so much Sahiba :-* hehe I know, I keep coming across ppl like that every other day :-D I miss ur articles Sahiba u write tooo naa.. :-)

       
      Reply
  6. shilpa

    There is a new gal in a gym who is quite thin ( may be with high fat percentage whic is invisible hehehehhe ) and she walks at 5 speed for 20 long minutes!!! and comes up and tell us “Hey don use weights u sholder becomes wider!!!!” . I always have hearty laugh within ;)

     
    Reply
    1. Nidhi

      Shilpa where have you been girl? You asked me so many time on almost all my articlessto write on back pain when i wrote you disappeared

       
      Reply
  7. Nitasha

    Hi …
    I started weight training after this article.i weight train twice a week.have a small doubt.which is better way of weights training.machines or free weights,,,

     
    Reply
  8. Yashaswini

    This one’s such a misconception among women esp. the ones who want to lose weight. First of all, women are always scared of looking bulky/ manly. Add to that the stares at the lady by the conventional men in the gym [as rightly mentioned by you :D ], most get discouraged to lift weights and infer weight training is not their cup of tea.

    I love doing weights too and feel empowered to lift my own luggage when travelling, helps me stay fit and it makes me look and feel great too :-)
    Well crafted article! esp your sense of humor :D We need more such fitness articles to create awareness, dispel myths and arm us with right knowledge to get healthy..Keep blogging :-)

     
    Reply
    1. Ramya

      Thank u babe :) I know how u love weights and ur toned arms and legs are the perfect example that women do NOT bulk up with strength training :)

       
      Reply

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