It’s a sad truth that many women avoid weights. Either they’re made uncomfortable by the macho association with the weight room or they’re afraid of looking bulky. In reality, strength training is an necessary part of maintaining weight loss and weight training is a great way to build muscle. All too often, women focus on burning calories with cardio, but if they’re not also strength training, this can result in a loss of muscle mass.
Diane Mueller, a bodybuilder and team leader for 911Strong.com, says that women don’t have to worry about bulking up. “If you’re a female, you don’t have the hormones to bulk up the way that a male or someone who uses chemical enhancements would, which is basically testosterone.”
Getting started in one of the biggest hurdles in creating a weight training program. “The biggest fear is stepping into the gym,” says Diane, adding that many women feel fear being judged. “I think once they get in there, and once they look around, they see that there’s so many different types of people in the gym. Not all of them are body builders.” To help get over any initial intimidation, Diane suggests getting a training buddy. “It’s nice to go with a friend. You feel a little more confidant when you go almost anywhere with a friend.”
If you’ve never done weight training before, it’s important to learn proper form to avoid injury. Diane suggests starting off with a personal, who can help you create a foundation. “Go to the gym, find a personal trainer that you feel like you could connect with,” she advises, rather than taking on something by yourself. “Trainers can talk with you about your nutrition, they can help you set up simple exercises routines to help you get results.”
“It’s so important for women to get into the gym and to get into weight training, because the weight training is so important to weight management,” says Diane. Staying motivated is the other part of the equation, so whether it’s a training buddy, a personal trainer or an online forum, find someone who helps you feel good about what you’re doing. “It’s so important to be encouraged.”