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Thu, Sept. 19

Weighing in on the benefits of weight training for women

The point of working out with weights is to improve muscle tone and bone strength, a health benefit desired by both men and women.

The point of working out with weights is to improve muscle tone and bone strength, a health benefit desired by both men and women.

Women and lifting weights do not mix at all. You shouldn’t even try it. Or if you must, do more reps using light weights so you don’t even break a sweat. And do not forget, it is not good for ladies to squat. Leave all that to the other gender; they are just better at it …

How ridiculous, right? It’s hard to believe that some people still cling to the thoroughly debunked notion that if women lift weights, they will end up with Arnold Schwarzenegger-type muscles. Bulky. Ugly. Too big. Too manly.

Or maybe more to the point they will be too awesome, too intimidating, and too strong to be considered the (ahem) weaker gender.

The point of working out with weights is to improve muscle tone and bone strength. Everyone seems to agree that strength is a good thing. Increasing your strength improves your endurance; it enables you to run faster and longer with more ease.

Strength staves off chronic back or joint pain. Building muscle mass is also associated with an improved immune system, more mental clarity, and steadier emotions.

But what exactly strength is depends on your perspective. Physiologically it’s the ability to create muscular tension. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Weight training is a type of strength training that uses weights for resistance.

Weight training provides a stress to the muscles that causes them to adapt and get stronger, similar to the way aerobic conditioning strengthens your heart. Weight training can be performed with free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells, or by using weight machines.”

I think strength is more than what we can find out from any numbers alone. And sometimes, when we have a so-so day and still go to the gym, the output will be less pounds pulled and pushed, but more satisfaction that we did it.

To me strength equals resilience and grit, traits that I have aspired to through my lifetime. To my total surprise, one of my beloved clients recently gifted me with a lovely book by A. Duckworth, Grit. The Power of Passion and Perseverance. My client also wrote a dedication for me: Be Fit Fit rhymes with GRIT. This book is a present for you. I couldn’t dream of anything more perfect and was immediately entranced by this special book

Strength is also your perseverance and how hard you push both in life and at the gym. It is about going a bit further when you do not feel like it or going a bit faster when you are tired. It is about dedication and the training you do at 6:00 a.m. when most others are still asleep.

Simply put, strength is commitment and attitude. And never doubt that you are stronger than you know.

Magdalena is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training Studio (www.befitfit.biz) and a Realtor at the Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International in Sedona. Visit her Be Fit Fit blog at www.verdenews.com.

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