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Published On: Sun, Feb 16th, 2014

The Secrets to a Cuerpo Fina – The Truth About Women and Strength Training

For a very long time women have shied away from strength training. They believed that hitting the weights would make them bulky with big clunky muscles. For years women have opted to just “do cardio” and take three Zumba classes in a row rather than weight train. Here is a great article by the Dynamic Duo – Chris and Eric Martinez out in California writing about all the benefits weight training can give you. Read on and learn!  – Joey Olivo

The Secrets to a Cuerpo Fina

We have to admit, we were a bit skeptical about writing this blog. But, then again, we’re tired of hearing women say “Lifting weights will make me buff! No quiero musculos grandes!” or “Lifting weights will make me look like a man!”

Time and time again we hear this and the biggest reasons are the magazines, internet, infomercials, lack of accurate information, our culture, etc.

The many sources that have led to this portrayal of woman thinking that if they lift weights, then they’ll become buff and muscular and look like a man has gotten out of hand. It’s these types of sources that drive women away from strength training and it drives me nuts because there are so many positive side effects to strength training and there are a lot of women out there missing out. Weight training is the key to building a lean, curvy and feminine figure below are just a few reasons to start strength training to build that cuerpo fina.

Among the many, many positive side effects of picking up some heavy metal and hitting the weight room is that it can boost your libido (sexual drive) immensely. Feeling strong and looking strong is sexy. Everyone, man or woman, wants to look and FEEL great naked.  If you’ve never thought that picking up a barbell or man handling dumb bells in the gym could be fiercely sexy and empowering, maybe you should give it a try. Studies have shown that regular exercisers report a higher sex drive, possibly related to hormonal surges that occur immediately after lifting heavier weights.  Complex, compound movements (e.g., squats and deadlifts, another reason why we love squats and deadlifts!) are great libido boosters.

Français : Force athlétique

Français : Force athlétique (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’re not saying it’s for everybody, but at least give it a try, so you can see what we mean with this empowering feeling you get when you go toe to toe with these weights. Try spending less time on the treadmills and ellipticals and get out of the group fitness classes for a change. There are nothing wrong with these things, but we want you to see that lifting weights can be fun, challenging, and it can shape your body the way you want it.

Realistically, the group fitness rooms and cardio machines are always full. Another reason for this is because of the intimidation factor. Weight training is very intimidating to some people, especially beginners. We can agree here because there’s always your typical power lifter, body builder, or just regular “staying fit” person. The one thing they all have in common is that despite their seemingly tough nature, they’re also among the nicest, most gracious people you’ll ever meet in the gym.  They’re usually happy to help you out, give you a spot, clear the floor for you when they see you doing walking barbell lunges, and some of them even cheer you on! Instead of being intimidated and looking at it in a negative way, look at the big picture behind it all, which is getting that sexy body and be positive!

Though women on average have about one tenth the testosterone of men, the level of testosterone varies greatly among women and influences women’s strength development more than is typical in men. Women who have higher testosterone levels may have a greater potential for strength and power development than other women. An individual woman’s testosterone level fluctuates, so a woman who is near the upper limit of her testosterone threshold may have an advantage in developing strength compared with other women. Also, Men average about 39 to 48 lbs more lean body mass and 6 to 13 lbs less fat than women. Men typically have a taller, wider frame that supports more muscle, as well as broader shoulders that provide a greater leverage advantage.

So, this is why you must not believe all of those portrayals and stereotypes when it comes to strength training. Most people don’t know the accurate information behind it and just automatically assume that woman who weight train will become masculine like men.

Here are the positive side effects to strength training and why woman should consider it:

  • Enhanced bone modeling to increase bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Stronger connective tissues to increase joint stability and help prevent injury
  • Increased functional strength for sports and daily activity
  • Increased lean body mass and decreased nonfunctional body fat
  • Higher metabolic rate because of an increase in muscle and a decrease in fat
  • Improved self-esteem and confidence
  • Reduces the risk of Sarcopenia (Sarcopenia is an age related loss of muscle mass which negatively impacts health of men and women. However, because women have less muscle mass to begin with, they are at a greater risk of sarcopenia as they age.

To wrap all this up, we hope we’ve encouraged you to step off those cardio machines and get out of those group fitness classes for a change. Strength training in our opinion is truly the best form of exercise and we really think that it benefits people in so many ways. If we could just get past the stereotypes, portrayals, inaccurate information and culture of being strong is considered masculine, we would all reap these incredible benefits of strength training. We also wanted to add since we’re huge advocates of strength training and if we’ve persuaded you, then remember when you step foot into that weight room, don’t be intimidated and literally train like a man to look like a goddess.

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses!

Consequently, women should strength train in the same ways as men, using the same program design, exercises, intensities, and volumes, relative to their body size and level of strength, so they can achieve the maximum physiologic and psychological benefits. Don’t be afraid to weight train, all there are is positive benefits ahead of you and keep in mind you’ll thank me later when you put on that sexy bikini and cocktail dress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

About The Authors:

 

Chris and Eric Martinez, CISSN, CSCS, CPT, BA, also known as the “Dynamic Duo” operate a world class online training and nutrition consulting business “Dynamic Duo Training.” They’re also fitness and nutrition writers, Diet Doc permanent weight loss coaches, and exclusive Team K Peaking Directors that love helping people reach their goals. Their philosophy is “No excuses, only solutions.”

 

Visit them at:

Dynamic Duo Training

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The Secrets to a Cuerpo Fina – The Truth About Women and Strength Training