I was speaking to a new member in the Wellness Center about her resolutions and fitness goals, like many women she wants to lose weight and tone up. I asked her if she signed up for a Personal Wellness Plan and then asked her if she would like to join my Women On Weights group exercise class. Her response was “I don’t want to have huge muscles”. As a Fitness Professional, this response or “I don’t want to bulk up” are what many women feel will be the result of weight training. Women have a much lower testosterone level then men so while body type and genetics can play a role in the outcome of weight training, in most cases they are not capable of building large muscles.
Truth is there are many benefits to strength training, and for some, this many be the missing piece when trying to attain fitness goals.
Some of the benefits include:
- Increase bone mass – strength training can help prevent osteoporosis.
- Increase lean muscle mass – Lean muscle burns calories and fat! For every pound of lean muscle you have you can burn up to 35-50 extra calories per day.
- Boost metabolism - Strength training boosts your metabolism and increases your metabolic rate resulting in burning more calories at rest. Simply put, the more calories you burn, the more likely you are to slim down and lose weight.
Other benefits include improved balance, enhanced performance in athletics, decreased risk of coronary disease, and injury prevention. Strength training is and should be an important part of a balanced exercise program. YMCA Wellness Staff are trained and ready to help guide you through a safe and effective program so that you too may benefit from all that weight training has to offer.
Nancy Gildersleeve has been a fitness professional for over 17 years. She holds many group exercise certifications as well as personal training and pilates. Additionally she has worked as an examiner for the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America. Nancy is an avid runner and completed her first marathon in October 2011. She is the Associate Executive Director of our Schenectady branch and serves as the Health & Wellness Product Group leader for the Capital District YMCA.