Beauty is often associated with being skinny in Western culture. However, the most beautiful bodies are lean, symmetrical and firm, or buffed. So what’s the deal with women starving themselves to look skinny? Skinny women can have just as much cellulite as everyone else. In addition, their bodies can be just as out of shape as heavier women, though their dress size can give them a false sense of confidence.
According to fitness professionals, too much focus has been placed on dieting, and cardio in women’s fitness, and not enough importance placed on weight training. Most women tend to shy away from weight training, out of fear that the increase in muscle, will make them look too masculine. The only women that will actually experience this type of transformation, are the women who intentionally build muscle mass with extra protein supplements, metabolic steroids, and/ or train for competitive body building, so don’t worry! Women who work out with weights will not see a significant increase in muscle mass, but muscle density and strength. As females, we are not physiologically designed to “bulk up”, because we lack the primary component which enables this process; testosterone. Males have a lot of this, and females do not. Females have just a little testosterone free flowing throughout their bodies, combined with estrogen and progesterone.
What the female body is physiologically designed to do, is to naturally store extra fat around the belly, hips, and bottom. This is nature’s way of ensuring that we have enough body fat, to help support a fetus, in the event of pregnancy. Weight training will help turn your body into a lean, mean, fat burning machine, because the more muscle you have on your body, the more fat your body will burn. Incidentally, this is why males often times lose weight faster than females, because they naturally have more muscle. If you want to get rid of the access fat on your body, then lift weights and build strong active muscles, to help eat the fat right off of you!
Why is muscle so important for women? It is the driving force behind your metabolism. Muscle is an active tissue that is constantly renewing itself, therefore, it requires energy (calories). Muscle uses fat as its primary source of energy, and if you have a certain amount of muscle on your body, you can eat a reasonable diet without gaining weight. This is called a good, or an efficient metabolism. The key components to achieving an efficient or good metabolism is nutritious eating, interval training (weights/ cardio), and an active lifestyle. If you are looking for a quick fix with instant results, or a pill, then this fitness regime is not for you. You will see results, and lose inches off of your waist and lower body, but it takes time! Consistency in all these things will ensure an increase in your overall health and fitness.
Be advised, that if you are concerned with the numbers on the scale, then you will really be freaked out upon weighing yourself, post consistent weight training. The most athletic bodies are often considered overweight compared to the standard height/weight chart, because muscle is so dense, and it holds about 60% more water than fat tissue. Just be cautious when comparing yourself to the BMI chart standards if you have a muscular physique.
http://www.jonbarron.org/anti-aging-program/05-08-2006.php http://bodybuilding.about.com/od/womensfitnesstopics/a/womenmyths.htm http://www.exercisegoals.com/womens-weight-training.html http://www.thepumpingstation.com/FemaleWeightTrainingMyths.html