• Natasha Hanks

let's talk about: muscly women.

As a personal trainer, I get told so much by other women that they don't want to lift weights, or do too much weight-lifting due to their worries over getting too "big" or even looking un-feminine. This is a sad reality of what so many women think, but they're wrong!

let's get technical.

caloric output.: how many calories are burnt whilst working out, and what difference does weight training make?

Weight training will increase your muscle mass, which means that there are even more benefits when it comes to caloric output. A modest number of calories can be burned within a session of weight training, but, this extends outside of the workout too. A study found that a single resistance training session resulted in a 5% increase in resting energy expenditure that remained elevated for up to 72 hours after the workout. Resting energy expenditure is what energy your body uses, and calories burned while at rest (burning calories doing sweet nothing, LOVE THAT!).

Increased muscle mass from resistance or weight training actually boosts your metabolism, as muscle mass requires more energy for tissue maintenance.

What does that mean? It means that resistance or weight training can help you burn calories throughout the day, helping you with your weight loss goals, not hindering!

feeling strong: one massive benefit of resistance training for me, is becoming stronger. Everyone can get behind this and benefit from it. A loss of strength unfortunately can happen with age, but if you stay on top of your resistance training, this is setting you up to remain healthy. For me, strength is not about being able to lift my sofa to the other room (even though it is pretty cool… but my sofa doesn’t require moving) it's about the mental strength and confidence that comes with this. Being physically strong makes me feel more confident in general, and this affects my day to day life! It also helps as you get older, as it keeps your bone density higher, which is a win!

'bulking': delving into my personal beliefs, I do not think I have ever looked at a woman and thought that she is too muscular. If I see a woman who may look more muscular than the average person, I am in complete awe of this! Do you know how hard that is to achieve?!

It will not come from just training with weights, three times per week. This comes from sheer determination, dedication, and a complete lifestyle change. This involves a caloric surplus (a large amount of calories over a normal recommended intake), of the correct foods. There will be a strict training plan in place, with steps and much more. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are all monitored very closely to ensure that the correct nutrients are in the correct measures. I have tried to do this myself, and believe me, eating a high-calorie diet with all ‘clean’ foods, is FLIPPING HARD!

Sadly, it is not as simple as just picking up weights in the gym a few times a week.

Women will never lose their look of femininity, this is just a perception of what people think. A strong woman is still just as beautiful and feminine as anyone else. The reality of you getting ‘bulky’, is practically non-existent.

There are soooo many benefits of resistance training, which I will not bore you with. Research has shown that it can decrease the chances of many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. It is also linked to positive mental health outcomes, improving self-esteem, fatigue, anxiety, and even your mood.

So, moral of the story is? Start lifting those weights!

Natasha Hanks

Natasha is a Level 2 Fitness Coach & Level 3 Personal Trainer at NEoneFitness. You can contact her via Instagram @tashhankspt or visit her website: www.NEoneFitness.co.uk

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