This article is meant to stress the importance of strength training for women.
In many ways it is more important for women than men.
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I’ll talk about all that after I talk about my childhood and growing up with girls.
A brother’s point of view:
Women have it tougher than men in quite a few ways.
I’m a middle child with an older and younger sister, so I learned this at a young age.
The differences began in Junior High.
Life was really simple for me and my nerdy friends.
(We were interested in junk food, video games, sci-fi movies, new wave music, and seeing girls we went to school with in bikinis at the beach.)
Our challenges were pretty straightforward:
*Cool Ranch or Nacho Cheese Doritos?
*Finding quarters for the arcade.
*Should we watch Weird Science or Revenge of the Nerds for the 28th time?
A good day was a pocket full of quarters, a Charleston Chew candy bar and a fresh pack of Red Vines.
My sisters had a whole different experience.
I’ll discuss teenage sister drama in a sec…
…right after a bit of music.
The music theme for this post is overly peppy dance music that I like to listen to while lifting heavy weights.
It feels like I’m getting away with something.
I’m SUPPOSED to play stuff like Metalica but actually get a better workout with this type of music.
A sample from my “inappropriate for hardcore lifting” playlist.
(If this song could smile, it would. The synthesizers sound happy and the women in the video look like they are having fun. I have nothing but love for this slightly cheesy, but awesome tune.)
I think my sisters each owe me a trophy for successfully making it through the four to five year period when they were about 12-16.
Heck, maybe it should be a medal.
Once my sisters hit Junior High there were lots of tears, slammed doors, and yelling.
Only from them…
Something minor would escalate to a huge surge of emotions.
I’d look over at my friends and we knew EXACTLY what to do.
We would move out like Marines that needed to get extracted from a dangerous situation.
“Move it! Move it! Hostiles in the area. We need to get out of this hot zone and head to the beach.”
I realize this is a long intro for a strength training post.
I just want you to know, I have been surrounded by women my entire life.
…and that I’m battle-tested 🙂
I believe I have a decent understanding of women, except for the period between the ages of 12-16.
Nobody knows how to handle this 4-5 years of madness.
I find the best strategy is to hide, or quietly sneak away while they scream that they shouldn’t have to go to school because they have a HUGE zit on their forehead.
“OMG, Eddie is totally going to see this gross zit.”
Around age 17-18 both my sisters became angels.
I honestly thought this to myself back then…
“Where has this wonderful girl been hiding the last 4 years?”
From this point on, they have been amazing women and I’m lucky to have them as sisters.
(Luscious Jackson was a legitimate post-grunge rock back that threw a curve ball with this song. This sounds nothing like any of their other tunes, but might be their best.)
I like to think of ALL of the women who read my site as one of my sisters.
Yes, that means YOU.
If you are under 25 this is an awkward family situation.
I’m 47, so our mom had you REALLY late in life.
I’m also a little jealous.
Dad bought you a phone when you were 10. I had to share one phone line with our entire family when I was growing up.
Dad would get on the phone and interrupt me.
This was normally during an intimate moment, like telling Rhonda that I thought she was the “coolest chick” in High School and “just as hot” as Paulina Porizkova.
I really knew how to smooth talk the ladies back then 🙂
Since I see you as a sister…
My goal is to help you make good decisions when it comes to working out.
Much LOVE, sister!
Let’s discuss strength training.
Strength Training Can Speed Up Fat Loss?
Strength training is important for women
Possibly even more important than it is for men.
Women have to rely on Growth Hormone to do a large portion of the work for fat loss.
Men have high levels of Testosterone in addition to Growth Hormone.
This makes it easier for men to lose body fat.
A study from 2006, explains it perfectly:
“Growth hormone, produced in the pituitary, plays an important role in bone and muscle development, particularly in women. Men, on the other hand, rely to a greater extent on muscle-building testosterone. Since women rely on growth hormone to increase muscle and bone strength, the more growth hormone stimulated by a type of exercise, the better its outcome.”
Growth Hormone is more crucial for women than men.
It is important to exercise in a way that stimulates growth hormone.
I recently wrote an article on how to lift to increase growth hormone.
Studies have found that heavy weights lifted at a slow speed are a good way to boost Growth Hormone levels.
Not all sets need to be slow, just make sure some of your sets some of the time are slowed down a bit.
(Nelly Furtado is a strong bad-ass woman in this video, with killer dance moves. A catchy song and fantastic video.)
Heavy weights don’t necessarily mean that you will get big and bulky.
My Women’s Course is all about lifting heavier weight without increasing muscle mass substantially.
It is about how to gain strength and improve definition without becoming bigger.
…but there is nothing wrong with being bigger, either.
You are my sister and I’ll support whatever goal you are after.
How Strength Training Increases Bone Density
Bone health is especially important for my older sisters.
When you strength train, the bone density improves from the bones having to support that weight.
What is also interesting is that the bone density improves from strong muscles simply pulling on the bones.
So bone density improves both during resistance training and as a result of having stronger muscles.
A message to my younger (millennial) sisters.
Once you reach a certain age it is easier to maintain bone density than it is to increase it.
So build strength and bone density NOW to epic levels.
(I simply can’t be in a bad mood when I hear this song. The message, the beats, and the vocals are basically pure joy.)
The way to do this is with a regular resistance training program.
This will make aging a much smoother and enjoyable process.
Strength Training and Self Confidence
It simply feels good to gain strength.
There is something about improving physically, that carries over to other areas of life.
I’ve noticed that a lot of my strong and fit sisters are also crushing it in other areas of life.
For me personally… when I get into peak physical condition, everything else seems to flow smoothly.
If life feels chaotic?
Make a habit of getting into the gym.
It doesn’t solve all problems, but I’m convinced that getting stronger with a good exercise routine will help you in other areas.
(One last feel-good song with a killer beat.)
Ignore some of our obnoxious brothers in the free weight area.
I told you that girls have a four to five year period of 12-16 where they are tough to be around at times.
Guys in the gym have a period of 16-36 where they can be tough to be around.
Some of our brothers drop weights, try to look tough and engage in bro-like behavior whenever they get within 10 feet of a free-weight area.
They will act somewhat normal at around the age of 40 🙂
As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.
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