Skulpt Blog | Official Blog of Skulpt | Skulpt.me

Why Women Need to Lift Too

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. We are taught by society that some things are better suited for women than they are for men, and vice versa. Unfortunately this paradigm seeps into almost everything that we can think of, including health and fitness. Women by and large navigate towards aerobic type activities like Spin, water aerobics, and Zumba, while most men prefer to grunt it out in the weight room. But building muscle is just as important for women as it is for men.

In a National Health Interview Survey, it was reported that 21.9% of males and only 17.5% of females utilize a resistance or strength training program, two or more times per week.¹ A survey was conducted by Precor, a manufacturer of strength training equipment, on 500 women between ages 18 and 55, to determine the various reasons as to why women lack participation in strength training programs. The survey concluded the following top ten reasons²:

  1. Happy doing their cardio workouts
  2. Don’t want to look big and bulky, like a bodybuilder
  3. Boring
  4. No one ever showed them how to use the equipment
  5. Don’t have time for strength training
  6. Feel self-conscious doing strength training
  7. Strength training is too complicated
  8. Strength training is for serious athletes
  9. Need to hire a personal trainer to learn how to use equipment, cannot afford personal trainer
  10. Have injury that prevents from participating

From fear of looking bulky, to not knowing how to use the equipment, and not willing to steer away from their cardio routines, it’s clear that more women need step up their weight-lifting game.

Here are two major reasons why resistance training is a key component to helping women increase muscle mass and muscle quality.

  1. Resistance training helps to eliminate or reduce the effects of age related muscle loss (sarcopenia).
  • Sarcopenia is found mostly in women below the age of 70 (but in men above the age of 80)
  • Sarcopenia results in reduced performance, frailty, and an increased risk of falls³
  • Sarcopenic obesity results in a decrease in muscle mass and an increase in body fat⁴
  1. Resistance training helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Osteoporosis accounts for over 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures annually⁵
  • Of those affected with osteoporosis, 80% are women⁶
  • On average, women attain peak bone mass that is 10% below that of a man⁶
  • Women start to lose bone mass as early as 30­35 (while men do around 50-55)⁶

Resistance and strength training is for women too. Ladies, get your MQ up!

 

______________________________________________________

  1. Arikawa, A., O’Dougherty, M., & Schmitz, K. (2011). Adherence to a Strength Training Intervention in Adult Women. Journal Physical Act Health, 11­118. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3032419/
  1. Boost Strength Training Participation Among Women. (2013). Precor Fitness/Strength Training Awareness, Attitudes and Usage Study.
  1. Kirchengast, H. (2009, June 1). Gender and age differences in lean soft tissue mass and sarcopenia among healthy elderly. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19739465
  1. Stenholm, S., Harris, T., Rantanen, T., Visser, M., Kritchevsky, S., & Ferrucci, L. (2008, November 11). Sarcopenic obesity­definition, etiology and consequences. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633408/
  1. Stenholm, S., Harris, T., Rantanen, T., Visser, M., Kritchevsky, S., & Ferrucci, L. (2008, November 11). Sarcopenic obesity­definition, etiology and consequences. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633408/
  1. Riebe, D., Mazzeo, R., & Criswell, D. (2010). Human Development and Aging. In ACSM Certification Review (3rd ed.). Baltimore, Maryland: American College of Sports Medicine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *