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We welcome our very  guest post on our blog by Nirupama Sinha, who is a fitness coach and expert. To read more click her bio below

She is a dietitian, Sports Nutritionist, Fitness Trainer and Consultant.

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Should Women Do Weight Training of Lift Weights?

Yes, you read it right! Pick up those heavy weights! No more pink dumbbells! No more cross trainers and step machines! Heavy dumbbells and barbells packed with heavyweights it is. But why. Hold on for just a minute and we’ll get there.

Many women avoid strength training because they’re afraid it will give them massive, Schwarzenegger-sized muscles.  But while strength training can initially increase your overall weight (muscle is heavier than fat), it certainly won’t cause you to look bulky, and will make women look smaller, firmer and toned.

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Women simply do not have enough testosterone, a key hormone that allow for increased muscle mass. In fact, women have ten to thirty times less of the essential hormones than their male counterparts. Unlike most men, women who seek to gain muscle mass certainly do not have an easy time accomplishing this goal.  Most female strength athletes with large muscular physiques are only able to achieve this from an extremely vigorous and specialized workout plan over a long period of time and are often taking muscle-building drugs.

I hope I am able to make this clear that women don’t build huge muscles but a toned body.

Some of the reasons why every woman should add strength training to her workout regimen:
• To preserve bone mass and decrease the risk of osteoporosis
• To reduce blood pressure
• To improve her athletic performance
• To create strong tendons and ligaments
• To lower the risk factors for various diseases
• To reduce your risk of injury, back pain and arthritis
• To boost resting metabolism (a number of calories your body burns when it’s not doing anything), and fight the creeping weight gain of advancing age.

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For some of you already have been lifting weights in the gym since long and some of them must be lifting heavy too. Now the question is, what is this heavy and how would you define heavy weights and workout?

Although the average woman won’t lift the same load as the average man, all the general strength training principles apply equally to both sexes. That means that to get the benefits of strength training, you need to do it often enough ( at least three times a week), and with the right weights (keeping the weights heavier enough that you can only perform between six to twelve repetitions per set). And to make it more understandable Let me explain you this by differentiating into three levels. Beginners, Intermediate and Advance

Beginners: I understand you can’t jump directly into heavy lifting. Begin with a comfortable weight that you can do 15-20 repetition and 3-4 sets of each exercise.

Intermediates: Ok, by now your body must have adapted amount of weights you been lifting since two months. Now its time to increase poundage say by 20-30% whatever you be lifting till now. Put some more strength and now your repetition should be around 10-12 for each exercise. But make sure you have to pick up weight enough heavy that you won’t be able to lift last 13th repetition.

Advance: Here comes the heavy lifting part. We always judge heavy lifting by no of repetitions. So by now you are stronger and are ready to take your strength to the next level. Pick up the weight that is enough heavy that you perform till failure, not more than 5-6 rep max. Your weights should be enough heavy that you not able to do 7th or 8th repetition at all.This is called heavy weight lifting

So, should YOU Strength Train?

If you want to lose weight, burn more fat, look and feel stronger and have stronger bones, then ABSOLUTELY!

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