Women need to embrace gaining muscle.
1. You’ll Be ‘Toned’
The problem though, is that many women still have a poor association with muscle mass, and believe that more muscle means looking like a bodybuilder. But it doesn’t work like that.
A question we like to ask is: do you want to look skinny? Or do you want to look lean, strong and defined?
So if you want firm glutes with shape, shoulders and arms with ‘contours’ and definition, and a strong midsection, then you need to build muscle! A nice bonus is that you’ll look and feel healthy!
2. You Can Eat More Food
Muscle is very costly on your energy (caloric) demands. While the exact number of calories burned per extra pound of muscle is difficult to quantify, the real take home is that the more can ‘invest’ in your body to create a ‘bigger engine’, the more benefits you’ll be able to reap.
The best example of this is in the seasoned lifter, who is able to consistently able to diet on more and more calories with less cardio each time she decides to drop body fat.
This isn’t because she’s learnt how to diet better; it’s because she’s spent time building muscle in between! Now her metabolic rate at rest is higher, and perhaps more importantly, she’s able to apply more intensity in to her training. More loads, better mind muscle connection and more stress / damage to the body within each session. This combines to dramatically increase their caloric output, even if on paper, they’re doing the same thing.
Another example of the effect of muscle mass is in a couples’ scenario. Have you ever noticed how the guy can always seem to get away with more junk food?
The two could share share a pizza over the weekend. The guy’s bodyweight stays the same, but the girl’s increases 2-3 lbs overnight, with a few hundred grams sticking.
Not fair, we know….but as a woman, being naturally lighter in body mass than a man means your calorie demands won’t be as high. So if you want to eat pizza without gaining body fat, focus on adding muscle!
3. Injury Prevention
When you combine this with everyday tasks done wrong, it’s no surprise it can be so easy to blow your back out.
Instead, if you were to focus on building muscle mass through a well structure, balanced training program, your muscles will learn to coordinate with each other and function in unison. Muscles suffering from ‘amnesia’ will remember how to work again, and the imbalances you’ve picked up will start to iron out.
4. You’ll Be Strong
Much of this comes from being able to perform cool feats of strengths in the gym. While the by-product of lifting progressively heavier is extra muscle mass, and the lean, defined look that comes with it, the real benefit ultimately ends up being the way it makes you feel.
There’s nothing quite like deadlifting well over your bodyweight for reps off the floor. Or pressing a big weight over your head. Or one of our favourites, going from zero to multiple reps of weighted chin ups!
Speaking of which, have you read this article here?
Or seen this video?!
The initial draw to weight training for women is to improve how they look, but eventually it’s a great idea to come away from that and focus on using it to get strong, and setting personal bests.
It’s so critical to have this shift in mindset from focusing on aesthetics, to focusing on performance. Otherwise what tends to happen is once they hit a certain body fat percentage, dress size or look, one of two things happens: 1) they keep pushing for ‘more’, often at their own detriment, or 2) they hit their goal, feel lost, relax too much, and end up back at square one.
To help this mindset shift, it’s important to pick some ‘indicator’ lifts and set targets to achieve with them.