esistance training is something that is often associated with bodybuilders, and becoming ‘buff’. Many Girls think if they lift weights they will become ‘buff’ or ‘bulky’, little do they know this is not the case. Like cardio training, resistance training has an endless list of benefits for both your physiological and psychological health.

So, what actually is resistance training? The definition is ‘physical training that involves lifting weights’, but this can be done in many different ways. Some examples of types of resistance training include:

  • The use of free weights (things like dumbbells or barbells)

  • Weight machines (machines which have seats with handles either attached to weights or hydraulics)

  • Medicine balls (heavy balls)

  • Resistance bands (basically giant rubber bands which provide resistance when you stretch them. There are really convenient for home or outdoor workouts)

  • Your own body weight (no this doesn't mean you’re really heavy… you can use your own body weight for movements like squats, push-ups, chin ups etc.)

Now you know what resistance training actually is, why should you do it? Here are some of the benefits:

  • Promote loss of body fat

Resistance training builds muscle, and as lean muscle increases, so does your metabolism. A higher metabolism means you will burn more calories throughout the day (who doesn't love that!). Studies have shown that approximately for each ½ kg of muscle you gain, you’ll burn 35-50 more calories per day!

  • Boost metabolism

  • Gain strength (without becoming bulky)

Let’s be honest, what’s the most common reason girls don’t want to lift weights? They don't want to become ‘bulky’! Well guess what girls, this isn’t the case!! Due to women not having the same amount of testosterone as men, it is not physically possible for a woman to ‘bulk up’! Women have one seventh-eighth times less testosterone than men, meaning we will have a much harder time gaining size from strength training… even if we wanted to. Instead of becoming ‘bigger’, girls develop muscle definition, without great changes in size.

  • Increase bone density

It has been proven, when our bones are put under stress from the force of resistance training, over a long period of time, they grow stronger in density to be able to cope with extra load and force. Both cardio and resistance training help increase out bone density, but resistance is more effective.

  • Boost confidence

Lifting weights makes you stronger, meaning next time you lift the weights you’ll be able to lift more (hypothetically- it will take longer than going to the gym twice…). This is both satisfying and motivating to continue resistance training. It has been proven women feel more confident get a massive confidence boost when they’re at the gym lifting more weight than some of the men, which is easily possible girls!!

  • Change body shape

Resistance training change your body shape, making you look more toned and sculptured if you undertake it over a period of time (like c’mon who doesn’t want abs)! It can also slim you down as well as create new curves.

  • Improve mood and reduce stress

Many people are aware of the mood boosting properties of cardio and yoga but, guess what!! Resistance training also has those benefits due to the release of endorphins! Endorphins are neurotransmitters which prevent pain, improve mood and help fight depression. This means an increase in endorphins will naturally reduce stress and anxiety, as well as simulate the mind, improve alertness and boost energy.

  • Increase heart health

Like cardio training, resistance training will increase you heart rate, aiding the health of you heart. Lifting weights also increases your ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and decrease your bad cholesterol (LDL) and will also lower your blood pressure.

  • Reduce risk of injury

Resistance training increases the strength of nor just your muscles and bones, but also connective tissue and joints. Strong joints, ligaments and tendons are essential to prevent injury.

  • Increase posture

Weight training will strengthen you back, shoulders and core, helping your posture so you can stand taller, also preventing lower back pain.

So, girls especially! no more excuses! It's been proven you won’t get bulky... and there’s a hell of a lot of benefits! Lift some weights!

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