​Why Women Should Lift Weights


If yoga and running are the cornerstones of your fitness routine, but you aren't seeing the results you desire, then you should consider trying some resistance training. Contrary to popular belief, resistance training does not result in large muscles and a masculine figure; in fact, it can be highly beneficial as a means of toning the figure. Of course, to ensure you are using the correct resistance training exercises, it is important to take different factors into account. This article will provide information on the different reasons why women should lift weights.




1. More Effective Method for Fat Loss


Do you think that weightlifting will result in those bulging biceps that rip shirts? Well, think again. While the majority of weightlifters opt to use weights as a means of adding bulk to their muscles, it does not have to be this way. When combining weightlifting with specific cardiovascular exercises and resistance training, the training will come out on top to burn more calories. This is highly beneficial because the weight training will assist in burning fat both during and after the exercises.

For example, if you have completed a heavy bought of strength training, the oxygen you continue to consume in the hours following the training is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. When the body utilizes more oxygen, it requires greater calorie expenditure and presents with an increased metabolic rate - this is why you feel hungrier and want to eat more.

gym wear

2. Increased Muscle, Increased Calorie Expenditure


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As you continue to increase lean muscle mass with strength training, the body utilizes calories more effectively. Daily muscle contractions range from a simple contraction to a heavy squat dependent on how many calories you are burning in the day. Needless to say, sitting burns fewer calories than standing, and standing burns fewer calories than walking. The more muscle contractions a body experiences during the day, the more calories the body will burn; therefore, the higher the amount of lean muscle mass you will have as a result.


3. Building Curves


Believe it or not, but it is possible to obtain a curvy body shape by engaging in muscle contractions on a daily basis. While endurance exercise routines can help you lose weight, the weight takes form in both muscle tissue and fat. If you are losing both muscle and fat, you will easily lose curves as well; however, strength training can assist in sustaining the curves while still losing some weight.

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4. Improved Sleep Patterns


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Studies have found that strength training can improve a person's quality of sleep dramatically; thereby, assisting a person in falling asleep more quickly, engaging in deeper sleep patterns, and waking less frequently during the night. According to a study in the International SportMed Journal, morning resistance training can affect the quality of an individual's sleep and lengthen the time of sleep after a night of training.


5. Increased Energy Levels


Another reason why women should lift weights is the increased energy levels experienced by the individual. According to research published by the National Institute of Health, increases in energy expenditure can beneficially affect a person's energy balance and their fat oxidation. So, instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, why not consider lifting a weight or performing some resistance training?

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6. Improved Heart Health


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It is a well-known fact that "pumping iron" can reduce a person's risk of cardiac disease and was approved as one of the healthier forms of exercise for people at risk of heart conditions by the American Heart Association. Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning also discovered that individuals lifting weights are less likely to experience heart disease risk factors including elevated blood pressure, a large waist circumference, and increased glucose levels. Researchers in Brazil also noted in a clinical trial that while the heart rate of an individual was increased during weight training, the blood pressure and resting heart rate was dramatically lower the following day.


7. Bone Health


As a person ages, the individual becomes at risk of losing both muscle mass and bone; this is particularly true for postmenopausal women as their body no longer secretes the hormone estrogen. One method of combating bone loss and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis is by undergoing resistance training. A clinical trial performed at McMaster University discovered that one of the reasons why women should lift weights was to maintain healthy bones in later life. It was found that after one year of beginning resistance training, the postmenopausal females on the trail increased their spinal bone mass by approximately ten percent.

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8. A Form of Stress Relief


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It is a well-known fact that exercise is generally a good method to manage stress; however, researchers have discovered that individuals who train using resistance training methods manage stress more effectively and with fewer negative reactions to stressful situations when compared to females who do not exercise. Moreover, the resistance training studies conducted on older adults indicate how moderate weightlifting improves cognitive functioning and memory. So, next time you need to blow off some steam opt for the gym and lift some weights!


9. Build the Body You Want


Regardless of whether you are looking to gain a leaner appearance or wish to change the shape of your body completely, strength training is the most effective method to make the change. By lifting weights you can lose fat, improve your cardiac health, and alter your body's muscle definition and shape. This is often the primary reason why women should lift weights or believe they should be lifting weights.

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​10. Increased Self-Confidence


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Believe it or not, self-confidence can be associated with weightlifting. Studies have found a strong correlation between the act and the emotion as weightlifting improves a person's mental strength. This can result in increased self-confidence and will often make a female feel more assured of her position in the world.


essential home gym equipment

Be honest with yourself: Buying a treadmill for your home is great, but assuming that you don’t go over the weight limit for it is not the brightest idea. If your condition is this bad, then you know it must be dealt with. Just start by getting on the scale for once. Every step counts. Nobody has to buy an entire home gym as soon as they feel it will be their ultimate savior. Go with patience, and results will come faster than you think.

Make use of technology: Truth is you’re not going to need music to get through a workout. Still, it can help. Working out doesn’t have to be the most boring thing on the planet. A certain dullness may even harm your end goal! The advantage of working out at home is that you can choose to listen to whatever you want, whenever you want. Also, having a television to play exercise DVDs or even Internet access to follow YouTube videos makes organizing workouts easy.


As can be seen, there are various reasons why women should lift weights. Using the ten reasons above you can determine if strength training is the best option for your particular training needs.

Features:

  • ​​​​Uses comfortable high-density foam for padding.
  • Made with steel tubing for frame.
  • High durability standard.
  • Designed for use with all kinds of weight.
  • Compact size.

Breakdown:

The high-density foam that is used to pad the upper part of the bench is comfortable even for extended periods of time. The frame itself is made with a strong steel tubing, which will increase the lifespan of your bench as well as add a high degree of durability. Another way this flat bench is reinforced is with a powder-coated finish to protect it against typical wear and tear, but also to ensure its safety against corrosion caused by moisture.

marcy 3

The Final Rating

Features:

  • Uses comfortable high-density foam for padding.
  • Made with steel tubing for frame.
  • High durability standard.
  • Powder-coated frame.
  • Tested to support weights up to 1000 lbs.
  • Comes with 10-year warranty for frame.

Breakdown:

Much like the entry before, we see some repetition of what the Marcy Utility Bench had to offer, and we are likely to see some of these options repeated again. The comfortable padding is needed in order to use the bench appropriately, and the added grip to the fabric over the padding is a great touch. The bench is made of steel tubing and is tested to support a weight of one thousand pounds and powder coated for increased resistance to corrosion and rust. It also comes with a ten year warranty that covers damage done to the frame, which positively sets it apart from the competition. Other than that, costumers get a thirty day warranty to return the product if there is a problem with the padding.

rep fitness flat bench 2

Features:

  • Uses comfortable high-density foam for padding.
  • Made with steel tubing for frame.
  • High durability standard.
  • Powder-coated frame.
  • Tested to support weights up to 600 lbs.
  • Lightweight.

Breakdown:

Now we are really starting to recognize some standard features. Once again we see the high-density foam padding and the steel tubing used to make the frame. It is also powder-coated to protect the bench against rust and corrosion, which is ideal if you will be keeping the bench in a humid area. This bench recommends a weight of six hundred pounds, but has also been tested for weights up to one thousand pounds. The bench itself is less than thirty pounds. Quite impressive, if you ask me.

adidas flat bench 2

Features:

  • ​High-density foam with box stitch padding.
  • Made with steel tubing for frame.
  • High durability standard.
  • Powder-coated frame.
  • Tested to support weights up to 3​​​​00 lbs.

Breakdown:

The CAP Barbell Flat Bench has everything we have come to expect in a bench with high-density foam to help absorb the weights you’ll be lifting as well as a sturdy steel frame for durability. This flat bench is also powder-coated in order to help protect it from moisture and corrosion. It is tested to hold weights up to three hundred pounds.

cap flat bench 2

Features:

  • ​High-density foam ​for comfortable padding.
  • Made with steel tubing for frame.
  • High durability standard.
  • Powder-coated frame.
  • Tested to support weights up to 5​​​​00 lbs.

Breakdown:

This bench has a high-density foam cushion on top and the frame is made of highly durable steel. It also boasts a powder-coated frame to protect it from wear and tear in humid conditions. Tested to support weights upwards of 500lbs, those who are getting super serious into lifting will find that this Reebok product meets their needs.

reebok flat bench 2
bench press hurt shoulders

​Why this Happens

The simple truth is that the human spine isn't designed to lie straight. It is flexible, but just because it can bend straight doesn't mean it's comfortable.

It's not just your spine, however. Your shoulder blades are designed to sit on top of your spine and muscle system, not parallel to it.

What does that mean in practical terms? That when you lie on a flat bench that's too flat and too hard, you push your muscles and bones out of place. No wonder you get so sore after a workout.

shoulder anatomy

​How to Avoid this Problem

The flippant answer is "get a padded bench", but that's only partly true. Getting a bench that's padded is important, but it's even more important to get a bench that suits your body size and shape.

Too much padding will throw off your weight and make your pump less stable. Not enough padding and you won't fix the problem at all. So make sure to try various benches. You might also mark down material and thickness, just in case you ever need to replace it.

Ultimately, getting a flat bench that doesn't leave you in pain is simple. That doesn't make it easy however. You'll have to do a lot of research and be absolutely certain that the bench suits you. Otherwise, you may never manage to fix the back pain after every workout. You're already dealing with stress on the skeletal system with increased muscle mass. No need to risk further injury due to lacking equipment or lack of certain exercises!

chest flat bench workout

​Dumbbell Press

Hold a dumbell in each hand, similar to how you would for a barbell press. Let the dumbells touch your chest then push them upwards, straightening the arms. Try to move in a straight line, not 'arcing' the dumbells as you go. Pause for one second at the top, then lower the dumbells towards your chest, pausing for one second at the bottom.

Perform 2 sets of 5 repetitions with a light weight. Then perform 3 more sets of 5 repetitions, increasing the weight slightly with each set.

​Dumbbell Flys

Lie on the bench with a dumbell in each hand, resting on top of your thigh. Use your thighs to help raise the dumbells and lift them, so that you are holding them out in front of you, shoulder with apart, palms facing in. Open your arms out away from you until you feel a good stretch in your chest, then bring the dumbells in to touch again.

Perform 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

back flat bench workout

Dumbbell Rows

Stand in front of the bench with one knee up, slightly bent over. Hold a dumbell in one hand. Perform an upward 'rowing' motion, pulling the dumbell back and up. Switch to the other side and repeat the motion to work both sides.

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps per side.

Dumbbell Back Flys

This works in a similar fashion to the chest-focused dumbell flys, but you are lying on your front with the dumbells on the floor in front of you, and then using your back muscles pull the dumbells back and out, as if you are flapping your wings (slowly, and with full control).

Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions with a moderate weight. Take care not to go too heavy with this exercise because it is a hard one to perform with good form.

abs flat bench workout

Leg Raises

Begin working the abs with leg raises. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight in front of you. Slowly raise your legs so that they are at a right-angle with your body, keeping your back pushed against the bench (do not allow it to round). Slowly lower your legs again.

Repeat 12 times for one set. Perform 3 sets with a short rest in between.

Sit Ups

Lie flat on your back with your knees up. Rest your hands on your legs. Slowly sit up to touch your knees (do not 'fling' your arms to help you). Slowly relax to lie down again.

Perform 10 repetitions for one set. Repeat 5 times.