The Beauty of Lifting Heavy Weights

This article is form Women’s Health, completely preaching on what I’m about!

I usually avoid magazines because their goal is to sell issues… attracting buyers by claims -Using words like “tone” … blah!

I read Strength Training Books, Text Books etc… real scientific info. Stuff that actually teaches me! 🙂


Push ups with my Benny 🙂

Please read and then go lift! 

Following re-blogged from Women’s Health:

“Why wouldn’t women want to lift weights?!” says Nadine Steklenski as she racks her barbell and backs out of the power cage. The 40-year-old director of design for Target Corporate in Minneapolis has just set a personal record (PR) of 123 pounds, and she is amped. 

Her workout partner, fellow design executive Alexis Kantor, smiles and gives her a high five. Kantor had just set a deadlift PR of 270 pounds the week prior, and it’s her turn to squat next. Neither woman is moving the kind of itty-bitty weights often boasted as the best way to a leaner, sleeker body, but that’s exactly the result they’re getting. “So far I’ve lost about 25 pounds and enough inches to have a wedding dress that’s two sizes too big — and I bought it recently,” says 40-year-old Kantor. “It’s been fun to go down in sizes and find favorites in my closet that fit again, and fit even better.” Steklenski chimes in that a friend recently stopped her in the middle of a story she was telling to comment admiringly on her newly sculpted arms.

Steklenski and Kantor used to share a common resistance to, well, using more resistance. In fact, while both women are now hooked on lifting weights (and heavy ones at that), both of these women had never lifted before they began training with me a few months ago. After all, listen to certain trainers and you might believe you’ll morph into an NFL linebacker if you pick up more than three pounds. And how many times have we been fed the message that we need to keep it light to achieve that long, lean look? This type of misinformation can be tough to shed. 

But thanks to research over the past few decades, those messages are slowly being corrected. “Lifting weights is excellent for improving bone density, joint mobility and body composition, and relieving anxiety and depression,” says Alexander Koch, PhD, associate professor of exercise science at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C. “And there is good data available now that shows being strong and having adequate muscle mass and strong bones are key health traits to help women live longer, fuller lives.” For example, a 2004 study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found women within the lowest two quartiles for sit-ups had twice the risk of mortality than women in the highest quartile. And according to a June 2013 study published in the journal Diabetes, both men and women became more insulin sensitive after 12 weeks of strength training, decreasing their risk of getting type 2 diabetes. In the same study, scientists also reported improved strength — both upper and lower body — increased lean body mass, decreased fasting glucose and insulin, and even led to greater aerobic capacity. The take-home message is that completing medium-intensity resistance training approximately three times per week improves your overall health, says one of the study’s researchers Leslie Consitt, PhD, assistant professor of physiology at Ohio University. 

Did you catch that? Lifting weights can even count as cardio. “The idea that you have to separate the two is an old-school notion,” says Jill Coleman, MS, former figure competitor and cofounder of the fat-loss company Metabolic Effect based in Winston-Salem, N.C. “The new way is faster, more intense workouts that combine weight training and cardio.” In other words, you can lift weights faster to build strength and get breathless at the same time.

The payoff is far from just physical: “Women are finding empowerment through lifting weights,” says Neghar Fonooni, RKC II, Santa Monica–based fitness coach and founder of the website Eat, Lift & Be Happy. “And more importantly, we’re encouraging and supporting each other in these endeavors, as opposed to body-shaming one another.” While there’s momentum behind meme-tastic phrases “Skinny Girls Look Good in Clothes; Fit Girls Look Good Naked,” something about them doesn’t quite sit right with many women. Yes, they’re motivating and celebrate strength, but often do so by judging or competing with others. The empowering success each woman builds inside the gym should instead be used to focus on what that strength can do for yourself and others.

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