Why Women Should
Why women should start lifting weights
If you are reading this then I am guessing that you’re either thinking about starting to lifting weights or that you are interested in the facts and smashing some myths around women lifting weights.
There is a lot of information in this post but you can always save it and refer back to it as and when you need it.
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There are many misconceptions when it comes to women lifting weights.
Many women believe that lifting weights (dumbbells, barbells, etc.) will result in your body bulking up; therefore most women stay away from weights altogether. The same can be said for women taking a protein supplement. Many women believe that consuming a protein supplement regularly will result in similar body enhancing outcomes. Therefore most women avoid consuming a protein supplement as they do not wish to have that bulked up look.
These statements are false, yes; it is possible for women to achieve a high level of muscle mass with specific weight training exercises and a precise diet to see these extreme results. However, this does not happen just by lifting weights as women’s hormones differ from men’s. A woman would need to be consuming 70-100g of protein per day to gain this bodybuilding look. Whereas the recommended daily protein intake for average women is 45g per day (aged 18-70 in the UK), this equates to about 15g per meal.
Other benefits to gaining muscles by lifting weights include: helping to prevent common everyday injuries such as falls, as your muscles protect your joints, strengthen your bones, increase your balance and coordination, as well as reducing your risk of diseases such as Osteoporosis.
You may have heard fitness professionals saying ‘you cannot build muscle and lose weight at the same time’. This is correct however what they do not explain is that you can build muscle mass and lose body fat at the same time.
How is this possible? You might be wondering. It’s because muscle mass weights more than body fat, and by building up your body’s muscle mass you are igniting your body’s resting metabolic rate. This is the rate at which your body burns calories when you are doing nothing, for even hours after your workout (1)
Lifting weights and resistance training can be hard on your muscles and therefore they need plenty of time to recover. Protein works best in repairing your muscles and rebuilding them stronger.
However, in this busy world you may not have time to make a meal and consume it within 30 minutes after exercising. This is where protein supplements come in handy as they are in a powder form; making it super easy to make and consume within the optimum time after your workout has finished (within 30 minutes after exercising), as well as having them on the go.
Let’s now answer the age old question, what do protein powders actually do?
As we know resistance and weight training tears your muscles and protein helps to rebuild your muscles. Whey is an excellent source of protein but it isn’t the only one. In recent years, pea protein has been getting more popular; this is mainly due to the fact it does not contain any milk (whereas whey protein does contains lactose, a milk sugar that many people have trouble digesting) or animal products, therefore pea protein products are Vegan/ Vegetarian friendly or for people that are dairy intolerant. There are other types of proteins and these include; hemp, mix plant, casein, egg, and brown rice protein.
All these protein come in various forms, the most common are; Protein concentrates: produced by extracting protein from whole foods using heat and acid enzymes; Protein isolates is an additional filtering process which removes more fat and carbohydrates, further concentrating the protein; and Protein hydrolysates is made by heating with acids or enzymes. This breaks the bonds between the amino acids which allow the hydrolysates to be absorbed more quickly by your body and muscles (2).
Taking protein supplements are most beneficial when you are lifting weights as it helps to maximise your muscle gain and reduce your body fat. Whereas if you add this supplement to your diet without lifting weights, you most likely will not see much difference. Add a supplement can also have other health benefits, if you struggle to consume enough protein in your current diet. The recommended daily amount of protein average women should be consuming while strength training is 45g per day (55.5g for men), this divides into around 15g per meal. Many people find eating enough protein in their day difficult, which is another reason for taking a protein supplement.
If you are lifting weights but would prefer not to using a protein supplement, consider this first: you are actually likely to hinder your body and lose muscle mass as strength and resistance training rips your muscles, protein repairs it. Without this protein your body cannot repair itself before your next training session. You need to make sure you are eating enough to have the energy to do your workouts.
Do not be mistaken in thinking that a protein supplement can also be used as a meal replacement. Yes, the more protein you consume the fuller you may feel but there is not enough nutrients in just a protein shake to earn this title. A supplement used by our clients called ‘Snack Saver’ is a meal replacement shake with a secret. It not only
*Our protein supplements do not burn your fat nor do they slim you down. All our supplements go through scientific testing and are compliant with the United Kingdom and European regulations.
Benefits of Whey Protein
As well as whey protein being an excellent source of high quality protein and easily digestible (if you do not have a daily intolerance), the protein has a high nutritional value making you feel more fuller for longer.
Other benefits include:
- Promoting muscle growth when paired with resistance training and lifting weights
- It can be effective at moderating blood sugar levels when taken before or with high-carb meals*
- Reduce short-term inflammation
- Sustaining feeling fuller for longer
- Boosts your metabolism which helps to burn more calories after exercise
*Please seek medical advice from your doctor before adding a protein supplement to your diet if you have concerning blood sugar levels or other medical / health needs.
It is very easy to add a protein supplement to your diet, we recommend Muscle Reboot a product used every day after lifting weights and loved by our clients. You should take 1 scoop per day, thirty minutes after resistance training and weight lifting. For other brands please follow their instructions on the packaging.
Consuming too much protein can lead to adverse effects such as pain, bloating, cramps, nausea and diarrhoea. To avoid these adverse affects the key is use the protein supplement in moderation by following the product guidance on the package.
Beginner’s Guide to Lifting Weights
Another concern that many women face is that ‘women should not use heavy weights when strength training to avoid injuries’.
Women usually start out lifting weights that are lighter as this is to support your muscles without overstraining them, not because you cannot eventually lift heavier weights. You should gradually progress to using heavier weights to keep improving your strength. The key is to take the appropriate steps to building up your muscles.
You should follow a beginner’s guide to weight lifting as weight lifting is all about working out smarter rather than for longer. Around 3 to 4 per week, 20-30 minutes per workout for the average person, doing moderate to heavy weight lifting will not make you bulky. Instead you will watch yourself get leaner and more defined.
What Nutrition Means to You
Most people live busy lives and do not have the time to spend hours a day trying to lose weight, gain muscle or tone up. Plus doing many hours on a cardio machine a day does not sound appealing nor is sustainable unless you just love running, or are training for a marathon. Whereas lifting weights allows you to lose body fat and build muscle during the same workout session.
The number one rule for toning up your body is that ‘it is made in the kitchen not in the gym’.
First you may want to change your nutrition to a healthier and balanced one, but what does this actually mean?
We have some great resource for you right at your fingertips; to find out about the cooking resources available to you click here.
It is too simple just to say, the average person needs to cut out the sugars you are consuming, lower your carbohydrates, increase your vegetables, fruits and protein intake.
First you have to understand how your body converts food to energy and fat storage. For a person not doing physical exercise our ‘body’s still require at least 1,200 calories a day in order to maintain their body’s essential functions’(3), depending on your physical build.
Why your body needs protein?
Your body needs protein for a number of reasons the main being to support growth, in particular during pregnancy and adolescence, repairing your muscles, body cells and tissues. This includes during recovery periods during and after a workout as well as after injury or illness. To produce your digestive enzymes, control your body functions by producing hormones and to provide your body another source of energy. Protein especially helps rebuild your muscles after weight lifting training and other strenuous exercises.
The foods we consume are categorised into seven groups these are; carbohydrates, fats, proteins, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. They work as macronutrients in our body’s which provides the structural material that our body needs to do day to day functioning’s. Our body uses the acids and enzymes in our stomach to digest the food we eat. Once our stomach has digested the food and the sugars and starches in the food it breaks down into another sugar, called ‘glucose’.
Your body image
Through the media, women see many negative views surrounding body image with simultaneously supermarkets promoting ‘lose weight options’.
These negative views often lead to many issues which start from early adolescence and continues into your adult years. Side effects from years of negative programming are;
- Lack of confidence
- Self-esteem issues
- Under-eating or over eating
- Trying the latest ‘fad’ diet
- Yo-yo dieting
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
People (mostly women) end up believing that ‘they need to cut out certain food groups, or not eating to lose weight‘. Apart from being incredibly harmful and dangerous this also does not do these desired effects.
In fact you are more likely to lose muscle mass rather than body fat as your body does not realise that you have a full fridge nearby, nor that you can just nip to the shop if need be. It believes you might never eat those food groups or food again. Therefore instead of ‘normally’ using your carbs (glucose) as energy first and burning off your body fat, it holds onto you body fat and uses the next best thing which is your muscle mass.
Promoting a positive body image
There are many ways you can promote a positive body image, the one that will have long lasting effects and have the most positive impact into your lifestyle is through changing your mindset.
Through strength and resistance training you can boost your confidence in two ways;
First you see physical development from losing inches off your body by burning fat and successfully build muscle mass which boosts your metabolic rate. This as we know already, helps your body to burn fat long after you have finished your workout.
The second comes from your inner strength, as you workout your body releases hormones called endorphins these are nicknamed ‘your happy hormones’ as they do exactly that. These hormones help you to feel more confident in your body and your ability as a result. The more challenging a workout is, the more you have the find your inner strength to resist quitter. Once you overcome this struggle, your body rewards your efforts with your endorphins. Lifting weights can have a positive impact on your life your body enjoys receiving these endorphins.
Simply put, the more physical strain you place on your body by lifting weights, the happier and more confident you will feel afterwards.
Having a healthy diet sometimes isn’t as easy as you are made to believe either; next time you are at the supermarket, check the back of the packaging for its ingredients. You may be surprised about what you find is in your food products or at least how much sugar is in them despite the product saying ‘High in Fibre, Contains Calcium, etc’. You need remind yourself to ask ‘but what else does it contain’.
Products nowadays have to tell you exactly what ingredients are in the products by placing this information on the labels. Do yourself a favour and turn the product around, a quick rule to remember is that the first three ingredients listed, this is what the product has the most of.
The simplest way of gaining your desired results without spending hours weighing out your food is to use containers and your correct calorie count formula to work out how much of each food group you should be consuming per day. These results can vary depending on your body weight, nutrition/ fitness goal and overall fitness level. Please click here to view what we offer or for a free 15 minute nutrition consultation.
There is a lot of guidance in the world about nutrition and many people creating plans to help you. After much research, the best and most valuable plans have been the ones that also include fitness workouts.
All our workout programs include nutrition plans, two nutrition courses, your correct calorie calculation, meal preparation guides, recipes, workouts, daily support, calendars, tracking apps, online private support groups, and a free month’s supply of protein supplement.
For best results pair it with our Snack Saver Shake to curb your cravings or for a complete nutritious meal on the go, it is not just another protein shake, it is a highly dense nutritional supplement scientifically designed to include all your necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which are not found in normal foods.
Working out alongside your nutrition is how to see your results more quickly.
It is very important to seek professional advice from your doctor if you plan to drastically change your diet; you have any medical or dietary requirements or are pregnant. If you are a minor or are researching for a minor, then you must consult your doctor. They will be able to give you the correct advice and you can take this advice to your nutrition consultant or fitness coach.
Research has shown that lifting weights and doing other forms of exercising with a support group significantly increases you likelihood to succeed with your fitness goals, than when you do not. It also states that you are more likely to feel ‘more accomplished’ and ‘sustain motivation’.
One study relieved that ‘people for four times more likely to complete who publicly declare their goals than those who keep things private’ (4).
Our support group is run via our private app. It is a safe space for women to share their goals, lives, struggles and a way for us to help track your overall progress. It is a place where everyone can ask questions, we run regular games, win prizes, exchange recipes, tips, advice and more.
We provide daily motivation, check-ins, offers, and support.
There is not a magic pill to create a more lean body but there is a way where you can create a lifted bottom, strengthen your core, flatten your tummy, slim down your thighs, say goodbye to those ‘bingo wings’, and feel more confident in your clothes. All by ditching that dreaded cardio machine which you may have spent hours on a week with little results, and pick up your free standing weights (dumbbells, barbells etc.) or resistance loops while allowing your body to gain muscle which will in turn reduce your body fat.
Lifting weights can improve your confidence as it makes you feel strong. This strength not only effects your physic but your inner strength (mindset) as well. You feel empowered, confident and happier after a workout due to the endorphins that are released (happy hormones). In tern your brain is telling yourself that your muscles are growing while boosting your metabolism – all working together as a huge confidence booster.
The fact is that weight lifting can increase your body’s muscle mass which diminishes naturally with age. It will be replaced by increased body fat percentage; if you do not work to maintain it through strength and resistance training. Weight lifting increases your resting metabolic rate, which means after a weight training session, your body is still burning energy (calories), which translates to burning off your body fat whilst building your muscle mass.
2 kg Dumbbell
3 kg Dumbbell
Set includes: [2x 1kg] [2x 2kg] [2x 3kg]
Red, Pink & Blue Dumbbells
Yoga Mat: Perfect for your Recovery Days