YMCA of Greater Erie

Women on WeightsThere’s something about a weight room that is immediately intimidating to women.  Women are afraid of lifting weights because they don’t want to “bulk up”. Women often peer through the glass windows and see hulky men with red faces making grunting sounds as they hoist the weights up and drop them down.

The fact is, there’s more and more research to support the importance of incorporating strength training for women into a regular exercise routine.

Here are the Top 5 reasons women should go into the weight room as recommended by the American Council on Exercise:

  1. Boost your metabolism naturally.

By adding muscle through strength training (even just a little bit), your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the amount of calories you burn daily by just existing) also increases.

  1. Gain more independence.

Isn’t it nice to be able to put your luggage in the overhead compartment without the help of the man sitting behind you? Let’s smash the stereotype of men being the only ones who are able to help move furniture and get heavy jobs done!

  1. Maintain bone density.

Due to dropping levels of estrogen, postmenopausal women are prone to osteoporosis. Numerous studies show a positive relationship between resistance training and bone density. When bone feels the “pull” from the muscles, bone growth is stimulated. Not only can strength training offset bone loss, it can actually cause an increase in bone density in women who regularly lift weights.

  1. Shape without the bulk.

Due to their lower levels of testosterone, it is very difficult for women to develop large, bulky muscles. Instead of the bulk, most women tend to build a nice hourglass figure—curves we can be proud of!

  1. Elevate Mood.

Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men, yet two-thirds of these women do not do anything to combat these feelings. The release of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin during resistance training chemically helps exercisers achieve a feeling of well-being. Weight training also leads to an increase in energy, better sleep patterns, and a feeling of accomplishment and control.

In addition to fully equipped weight rooms at YMCA branches, there are a number of weight bearing classes for women.