There are many benefits for men AND woman to strength train. Ladies, strength training will NOT make you bulky or manly! When performing the right exercises with the correct weight and repetitions, there are endless benefits that include increased metabolism, lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, other diseases, injury prevention, and improved bone density! There is no cut and dry strength training program, all of them are individualized so it is important to figure out what program would be best for you. But first, lets talk a little bit about what your metabolism is and why it is important for it to move at a proper rate.
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) are the calories you burn just to live, and it is driven by many factors including your sex, genetics, and age. However, the largest determining factor is your total body mass, meaning the more cells an individual has, the more “furnaces” they have burning at any given time! Individuals who are taller and have a larger bone structure tend to have a higher BMR than individuals who are shorter with a slimmer build. Since we cannot change our height, it is important for us to develop muscle mass and increase the cell count in our body to help increase our BMR, and how do we do that? Through strength and weight training! Every pound of muscle burns roughly six calories per day at rest, which is about three times as many calories as a pound of fat, which burns roughly two calories per day! Think of it like this: if a woman adds 10 pounds of muscle and loses 10 pounds of fat, she’ll burn 40 extra calories per day. While this is not the 250 calories we were shooting for this will still add up significantly over time.
So what is the best way for individual’s to strength train and gain muscle mass? Every person will be different but lifting heavier weights and doing repetitions in the range of 8-12 will help strengthen an individual’s muscles and increase their muscle mass! Other things that will help you build muscle would include making sure you are getting eight to ten hours of sleep per night, eating plenty of food and especially protien, making sure to get nutrient dense food before and after your workouts, and make sure your workouts include compound exercises. Finally, the best thing you can do for yourself is weigh in weekly and make sure to keep a journal of your progress. Journals are important for both food and exercise as we don’t always recall things the way they actually happened.