Orignally Posted June 27, 2017
One of our guiding principles at MOVE is that all women can and should embrace strength training. Not only does it do incredible things for you body and overall health, but it’s also incredibly empowering.
While there is a wealth of evidence to show the benefits of strength training for women, the mere discussion of lifting often instills fear in women who have been told for their entire lives that the weight room is the domain of men and that lifting will make them “bulky.”
So as we launch our blog, it seemed fitting to address this issue as our first topic.
Why Strength Training is So Important:
Building strength makes even your everyday tasks easier (lugging the kids around, getting out of bed, carrying your groceries). In the long-term, resistance training helps us prevent bone loss, a significant issue for women as we age (by age 70, we have lost nearly 50% of our muscle mass). This type of training not only helps build muscle, but bone as well. It also improves balance and coordination, decreasing the risk of falling - and diminishing the effects of a fall - which can lead to broken bones as we get older.
Why We Encourage Strength Over Cardio:
If fat loss is a main goal of your workout program, strength training will get you there faster and more efficiently than cardio. Here’s why: When you strength train, your muscles are broken down and repaired over the next 24-48 hours. While this repair happens, your body is consuming more calories and energy to make these repairs (generally called the “afterburn” effect). This means even at rest, sitting on your couch or at your desk, your metabolism is operating at a higher rate after strength training. Work less, achieve more.
Let’s be clear: we’re not saying don't run or spin if you love those activities. However, if your sole purpose of doing types of workouts is for fat loss, strength training a far more efficient means to that end.
The Non-Physical Benefits of Strength Training:
Strength is empowering! As coaches we hear a lot about what you can’t do: “I could never do a pull up,” “I’ve never been able to do a proper push up,” and so on. What we actually see however, is the exact opposite as the women at MOVE find that with consistent practice, they can do pull-ups, pushups, and more.
What Strength Training Won’t Do:
“It will make me bulky and manly.” Hearing this always makes us wonder: why do women so often feel this way? Did they know somebody that this happened to? (Unlikely unless that person is a competitive bodybuilder or other type of athlete purposely trying to achieve this.) Did they once embark on a weight training journey and noticed the legs of their jeans felt tighter because they didn't change their diet?
There is absolutely no reason women should fear weight training. Thanks to hormones like estrogen and testosterone, as well as genetics and diet, women will end up with drastically different results then a man.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read:
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to lose a bit of body fat and gain a bit of lean muscle. It’s healthy. But we believe that fat loss is far too often considered a woman’s primary goal, thanks in large part to women-focused publications. There is no spot reducing this or that; it’s a myth. Your body is predisposed to store fat in certain areas and will also lose fat first in certain areas - it’s in your DNA code.
Heres the thing: if you lift heavy things, eat less of the bad calories and more of the good ones, you will gain lean muscle, burn more calories at rest, and burn body fat. At MOVE, we like to think of that a pleasant side effect of larger goals like getting stronger, doing amazing things with your body, moving well, and being pain free.
How We Lift at MOVE:
Although popular in the bodybuilding word, we don't program our workouts around body parts (we don't care about the size of your biceps!). We purposefully design our monthly programs around five major, compound lifts (movements which require your whole body to work). We then choose the rest of our exercises to complement the big lifts and program them in as “accessory” work. From there we fill in any movement gaps in our grand finale: Dessert (aka conditioning) .
Our workouts are 50 minutes in total: ten minutes of mobility/joint prep/warm-up, 30 minutes of lifting, ten minutes of conditioning. All of the exercises we choose are complete scalable to all fitness levels and we offer modifications to anyone as needed.
At MOVE, our primary goal is to give you the tools to become the strongest, most confident, most powerful you that you can be. Instead of goading you into chasing an ideal body type that yours isn’t genetically capable of becoming, we work alongside you to help you strengthen - and love - the one you have.
When a woman discovers her true strength and what her body is capable of, she becomes an unstoppable force.