The great objection to women exercising is the fear of becoming muscular. Women are physically and entirely different than a man. In women the muscles simply become firm, close-knit, and well-rounded, and show under the layer of fatty tissue intervening between muscle and skin only in soft, hardly discernible masses. The average woman (that’s you) cannot achieve a masculine monster look simply through strength training.
To be serious about strength training, eliminate the T-word-”tone”-from your vocabulary. Lifting a tiny weight for a hundred reps is a waste of time and energy, plus it never really stresses your muscles enough to make them much stronger. According to one study in which men and women trained the same muscle group 3 days a week for 20 weeks, “the women made significantly greater relative increases than men in strength.” (MacDougall et al, McMaster University)
Women and men have exactly the same skeletal muscle composition. It would not be possible to tell biological sex from muscle tissue alone.
In technical terms, “tone” refers to the ability of the central nervous system to provide passive muscular resistance to being stretched. What you probably think of as “toned” are muscles which are not hidden by a lot of body fat. By building muscle, we can speed up our metabolism, resulting in more effective fuel (calorie) consumption. More muscle means less fat in the long run. Where do we find the largest group of muscles in a woman’s body? Her legs and butt. Neglecting these areas, means neglecting the best area for building calorie-burning muscle. In addition, women tend to have much better lower-body than upper-body strength, so it’s very satisfying to work the lower body and see some great results!
I grew up loving summer and I still love the summer attitude! People tend to be happier and we seem to venture out of our “caves” that we’ve been in for 3 months of winter. Along with summer, comes humidity. I have a hard time getting out for a run when it’s 90 degrees. Three miles becomes a real challenge when by the end of the first mile in I’ve soaked through my shirt and a steady stream of sweat is dripping from my forehead.
This summer, I refuse to let all those workouts over the winter go to waste! I’m going in with a plan that I want to share with you.
First, I recommend getting up earlier if you have a night full of activities. For one thing, it’s cooler early in the morning, which will make it easier to get in the workout that you want to do. Plus, making early workouts a habit makes you far more likely to keep your workout regimen throughout the summer months.
If you are busy in the mornings, then tell yourself “it’s only 45 minutes.” Seriously, some people sit on the computer for 45 minutes when they get home. Take your workout clothes with you along with a snack. You will feel so much better if you keep it up.
Second, it’s o.k. to lower your expectations. Not a ton, but enough to keep yourself from getting frustrated. Everyone slows down when the temperatures rises, our heart rates go up faster than normal. Listen to your body and keep yourself hydrated.
I’m curious to hear from you guys. Does the summer heat impact your workouts in any way? —Sara
This is my very first blog and I feel that I should introduce myself. I am married to my husband of 17 years and we have two children ages 15 and 13, and four dogs....yes, four dogs! We are very busy with sports. Sometimes we need to be in two different places at one time. I also love to read, knit, crochet and spend time with my close friends.
I have owned our business for over seven years. I've been in the fitness industry for 15 years. Every morning starting at 5:30 a.m. I look forward coming to work. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't learn something or someone has come to me and told me a story about what fantastic changes they've had since joining the gym. I truly have the best job in the world.
My staff is one big family. They are the reason why we are who we are and why we stand out above the rest. They are full of energy and empathy.