Supposedly, it’s spring here in Wisconsin. Hard to believe with the cooler weather we’ve been having but it’s spring nonetheless. After spring comes summer, and with summer comes tank top weather, meaning bare arms. This week’s upper body and arm workout can help get you (and your arms) ready for tank tops and other summer apparel. There are many myths surrounding women and strength training so I’d like to debunk a few of those before getting to this week’s workout. Typically, men do more upper body strength training than women but it’s equally important for women to strength train as well.
Women’s Strength Training Myths Debunked
- Lifting weights will make you bulky. Unless you are popping copious amounts of testosterone, it is physiologically impossible. Your muscles will become more defined (always a good thing) but you won’t end up looking like this…
…without some serious testosterone/other supplement usage.
- Doing crunches will get rid of my abdominal fat. Unfortunately, this is also a myth. Doing a thousand glute exercises won’t get rid of fat on your bottom and doing a hundred crunches won’t get rid of a muffin top. In order to reduce the fat in certain areas, you need to reduce fat all over your body. Regular exercise burns calories and help get rid of the flab or flubber. Combine aerobic exercise, strength training and HIIT and you’ll start to see results. It’s also important to note that while abdominal exercises alone will not get rid of belly fat, they will help strengthen and tone the muscles underneath that fat, so don’t get rid of abdominal exercises all together. They’re a small part of a balanced workout program.
- Older women shouldn’t strength train. False! In fact, my almost 77 year old grandmother does regular strength training at the YMCA each week. There are many benefits to strength-training during and after menopause. As we age, we gradually lose muscle mass. After age 30, adults lose 3-8% of their muscle mass each decade! Strength training can help preserve muscle mass and prevent muscle loss.
- Only lift light weights. Again, false! Lifting heavier weights builds more (but not bulky, see above) muscle. Muscle burns more calories throughout the day than fat does so the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn throughout the day. Lifting heavier weights may also help you avoid osteoporosis. Research shows that lifting heavier weights helps maintain bone mass, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. Another great reason to lift heavier? You’ll feel great!
Now that I’ve given you just a few of the many, many reasons women should strength train, let’s take a look at this week’s workout. It comes from Popsugar and is geared towards working your arms. You’ll repeat each exercise two times. It says to use the dumbbell weight of your choice but don’t take the easy way out and lift too light either.
Good luck. As always, let me know what you think!