'I am a woman and I can lift twice my body weight'

sweating it out

'I am a woman and I can lift twice my body weight'

One of the greatest fears in life is the fear of death. While there is no way to reverse time, it is possible to age gracefully. Incorporating strength training into your exercise regimen is a great way to reclaim your health and vigour.

I am 5’1” tall and weigh 48 kgs. I can lift more than twice my body weight. I love engaging in weight training, as it has made me stronger, fitter and more confident. The activity has reversed my age and given me sculpted arms that get me a lot of compliments.

Building muscle mass

Strength training or weight training is not done to test how much you can lift, but to increase the muscle mass in your body.

Your body is made up of water,  bone, fat and muscle, and the more muscle you have, the stronger and less prone to injuries you are. This means, all your joints will become stronger and you will evade osteoporosis and arthritis as you grow older.

We all have the basic muscles. As we start weight training, we start using these muscles, thereby helping them grow. The single most important rule when it comes to muscles is ‘Use it or lose it’.

Stronger bones

Weight training also enhances bone density. As you grow older, your bone density reduces, making you weaker. Brittle bones mean easy injuries, hospital visits and restricted movement. If you wish to be strong and self-sufficient in old age, start weight training today. It will help you maintain bone health and keep osteoporosis and osteopenia at bay. Contrary to popular belief, weight-bearing exercises, when done with proper guidance, are not bad for your joints. They  can help you stay fit and healthy.

You won’t get bulky!

Men and women are made differently. Women don’t have the high testosterone levels that men do that makes them capable of  becoming bulky. So if you’ve been steering clear of the weights at the gym because you’re scared of turning into a female Schwarzenegger, you are terribly mistaken. Unless you take to professional body building and start taking steroids, you will never become as bulky as a man. On the other hand, you will achieve a lean, toned and strong body that mere cardiovascular exercises cannot get you.

Burn fat even while resting

Adding weight training to your fitness regime will help you burn fat faster. Yes, cardio is important to lose weight. However, after a weight training session, your metabolic rate remains high for up to 36 hours post workout. This means rather than burning say 60 calories an hour while sitting at home and and watching TV, you’re burning 70. While you may think, “Big deal, 10 extra calories”, know that over a period of 36 hours, it’s a considerable amount of energy. 

Weight training will help you break the monotony of your workout that only consists of cardio exercises. Also know that too much cardio is not good for the body, as you are likely to lose muscle mass along with the unwanted fat. So get off the treadmill and pick up the dumbbells for a few minutes every day.

Lastly, weight training greatly improves your mental health. As a woman, you may have spent your whole life believing that you couldn’t lift heavy weights like a man could. But with the help of a trainer you can start off slow and get better over time. Before you know it, you will be lifting weights you couldn’t have imagined you’re capable of lifting. The self-confidence you gain through this will reflect in your personal and professional endeavours. You will become happier and stronger.

I for one am proud that I lift more than most men around me. It makes me fearless. I suggest you give it a shot as well.

(The author is co-founder of The Tribe Fitness Club and Nike Elevated Trainer)

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