9 Compelling Reasons Why All Women Should Strength Train

Strength Training for Women at Home

A martial art expert once told me and my friend to just concentrate on strength training and a healthy diet to get a thin, toned body. We took no notice of him because we thought that weight training was just for men and we didn’t want to get bulky, so we stuck to our cardiovascular routines.

Several years later, we were still in the same shape – not thin and toned!

It’s only been in the last few years or so that I have really started to do regular strength training exercises to try and slim down and change my body shape. This is in response to the ongoing noise from fitness experts encouraging women to do more weight training with less emphasis on cardiovascular in order to lose body fat and be toned. You also now see a lot more women in the weight sections of the gym too.

So what I’m going to attempt here is to try and convince you that you need to do some form o strength training to keep you looking and feeling younger in many different ways.

Strength Training ~ Weight Training ~ Resistance Training

… they all mean pretty much the same thing

First of all, so you know exactly what strength training is, here’s a definition:

“A type of strength-building exercise program that requires the body muscle to exert a force against somr form of resistance, such as weight, stretch bands, water, or immovable objects. Resistance exercise is a combination of static and dynamic contractions involving shortening and lengthening of skeletal muslces.” (Source www.definitions.net)

So if losing body fat and toning is your goal, then strength training is your tool.

And before you ask; no, you won’t get bulky (I’ll explain why in a minute).

9 Reasons Why Women Should Strength Training

For Losing Body Fat and Toning

Have you been to a Body Sculpturing class before? Well, this is the type of toning exercise I’m on about. Toning by strength training (working your muscles) is the exercise that will change the shape of your body and make it toned to get rid of cellulite and wrinkles.

Strength training for women is great to help you lose body fat as you keep burning fat after you’ve exercised. In fact, you burn the most fat when you are ‘at rest’ i.e. not training but sitting reading a book afterwards or even sleeping, for example.

Let me explain. When you strength train with weight or a stretch band or just using your own body weight, you’re forcing your muscles to resist (work against), therefore making them work harder than what they’re used to. Then after you’ve finished your workout, when you’re ‘at rest’, the after-burn and healing of the muscle increases your metabolism to burn more calories and build lean muscle mass.

So here are five reasons to strength train for weight loss and body shaping:

  1. Increase metabolism (even when resting)
  2. Lose body fat
  3. Tone and sculpture body (lean, without bulk)
  4. Gain strength
  5. Helps blood circulation (decreases cellulite on thighs and posterior)

Strength Training For Anti Aging

Yes, strength training as benefits for anti aging too. This is why you should continue your strength training routine well into your later years (60+ if you can).

Here’s four reasons why:

6. Reduces the risk of Osteoporosis – Strength training increases spinal bone and mineral density
7. Reduces the risk of Arthritis, Injury & Back Pain – It increases joint stability
8. Reduces the risk of Heart Disease – You are at less risk when leaner and helps the blood flow to the heart
9. Improves Posture – We tend to ‘stoop’ when we get older, strength training will prevent the stoop.

So there you have it, nine compelling reasons why strength training for women is a must.

Why You Won’t Go Bulky

Normal women like you and I don’t go bulky when strength training because we’re not athletes nor body builders. The only women you see with bulky muscles are the body builders who weight train to go to competitions – you know, the very bronzed ones.

The main reason why women don’t go bulky, even when pushing heavy weights, is because women have ten to thirty times less of the hormones (testosterone) that cause muscle hypertrophy (increase in the size of muscle).

Women have significantly less testosterone than men.

So we can strength train to tone and define our muscles and gain strength, but because we have significantly less testosterone than men, we cannot go bulky like a man simply because the hormones are just not there..

As for those bronzed competition body building ladies? Well, they train for hours per day every day to continuously build up their muscles. It’s their full-time job, whereas you and I only need to do about 15 minutes a day, three times a week.

Examples of Different Ways To Strength Train at Home

There are dozens of ways to strength train, I’m no expert so I can’t list every single strength training exercise here, but I can give you a few ideas which I know of that ladies like us can do safely  in the comfort of our own home.

Toning DVDs: Get a toning DVD from your local library, eBay or Amazon. Get some hand weights (or bottles of water) and use those to go along with on the DVD.

You Tube: There are literally hundreds of YouTube videos specifically aimed at strength training for women.  If you want to tone your arms, put those keywords into the YouTube search bar. You can do the same for any area of your body that you want to tone.

Books: If you like to learn new things from a book, then there are many books you can get to learn how to strength train at home. Again, have a peek on Amazon as there’s sure to be one there.

Online Memberships: If you want a really structured and well-planned out routine, then join an online fitness program such as Beachbody.

Beachbody is a great online fitness membership as it’s well established and has helped literally millions of people over the last twenty years. Beachbody’s focus in on healthy eating and fitness workouts to lose weight and get toned.


Strength Training for Women

Try Beachbody on Demand for 14 days FREE

There’s no harm having a little peek and trying it out free for 14 days is there?

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My Strength Training Exercise Plan

I tend to vary things up a bit as I get bored easy, but it’s also a good idea to change your routine around after three months or so anyway so you tone and shape different muscles and different areas of your body.

This is what I do and mix up:

DVDs: I have various dvds in my collection ranging from pure body toning to dance aerobics to a mixture of both. Most of the fitness dvds out now are split into different sections ranging from aerobics, toning the upper body and toning the lower body. The good thing about these dvds is that you can use your remote control and skip to each section. So I can do the whole routine including aerobics and toning, or if I’m just i in a ‘toning’ mood, I can just skip straight to that section and workout for ten minutes.

I have two sets of hand weights, 1lb and 2lb. That’s enough for me at the moment!

Step Aerobics: Although this is classed as a cardiovascular workout,step aerobics really is great for toning your bottom, thighs and legs – boy you can certainly feel it the next day! Of course you could also use your hand weights at the same time ato tone your arms and upper body. I do this from home as I bought a cheap stepper from Amazon (or try eBay) and use YouTube to find step aerobic videos – for free!

Setting Up Your Own Strength Training Plan

It’s totally up to you to choose how you want to lay down your own strength training routine. Just remember that you don’t need to do hours of cardio thinking it will help you lose weight faster – it won’t!

Related Reading:
17 Easy Home Fitness Workouts That Will Whip You Into Shape Fast

Resistance training your muscles help you lose body fat hours after your training session – burning fat ‘at rest’ remember? You can totally define the whole shape of your body with strength training whilst also enduring those anti aging side-effects.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. The trick is to do your own strength training routines in a way that’s easy for you and doesn’t feel like torture!

How Often To Strength Train?

This is the beauty of strength training as you don’t have to spend hours on it every week.

You should aim to spend around 15-20 minutes per session three times a week.

So you could do Monday ~ Wednesday ~ Friday and do different parts of your body on those different days.  This way you’ll get a good all-round body toning weekly workout.

Do I Need Any Equipment?

Not really, you can use your own body weight to use as resistance.

However, you can use:

  • Dumb Bells
  • Resistance Bands
  • Kettle Bells

If you want a complete home workout and cannot decide what’s best for you, then read this article 17 Easy Home Fitness Workouts That Will Whip You Into Shape Fast.  It’s broken down into two separate sections on Cardiovascular exercises and Strength Training Exercises.

So just to reiterate, here are the nine compelling reasons why all women should strength train:

  1. Increase metabolism (even when resting)
  2. Lose body fat
  3. Tone and sculpture body (lean, without bulk)
  4. Gain strength
  5. Helps blood circulation (decreases cellulite on thighs and posterior)
  6. Reduces the risk of Osteoporosis – Strength training increases spinal bone and mineral density
  7. Reduces the risk of Arthritis, Injury & Back Pain – It increases joint stability
  8. Reduces the risk of Heart Disease – You are at less risk when leaner and helps the blood flow to the heart
  9. Improves Posture – We tend to ‘stoop’ when we get older, strength training will prevent the stoop.

So, do you think that you’ll start doing your own strength training workout at home to reap all the above benefits?

I hope so because you deserve this type of health and self-care.

And best of all, it doesn’t cost anything and strength training for women can be done in fifteen minute sessions only three times a week!


Strength Training for Women

Try Beachbody on Demand for 14 days FREE

There’s no harm having a little peek and trying it out free for 14 days is there?

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