Boot camp classes and Peloton rides have their place, but a structured strength training program benefits women in ways that few other exercise programs can. Brittany Kohnke, a trainer at the West Coast Training Center in Temecula, California, offers 5 reasons why life is better at the bar.
1. It increases lean muscle and improves metabolism
A strength training routine can build lean muscle and improve one’s metabolism, which burns more calories at rest. That helps improves insulin sensitivity (i.e. blood sugar stays consistent), and other metabolic processes that can improve one’s overall physical health.
2. It cultivates a shift in perspective
Strength training diverts attention from what we’re not to what we’re capable of. This mindset shift can be profound, especially for women who are susceptible to the conditioning of cultural beauty norms. When we focus on what we CAN do, we stop agonizing over what we’re not and develop an internal dialogue that both challenges and celebrates what we can achieve.
3. It decreases the incidence of injury
Women start losing bone density at age 25. And at the onset of menopause, it takes an even sharper decline. Strength training drastically slows this process and significantly reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and osteopenia. Strength training can build the muscles around the core and decrease the risk of common injuries associated with aging, such as those with the low back.
4. It facilitates confidence and empowerment
If you know, you know. There is an indescribable feeling that comes with lifting a weight you never thought was possible. To be under a bar that could crush you, only to stand up and overcome it, gives birth to something inside a woman that screams “I’m capable, I’m powerful, I’m a badass.” This confidence can carry over in every aspect of a woman’s life including relationships, career, and most importantly, within herself.
5. It’s efficient and effective
An effective strength training program can make the time spent at the gym more efficient. Research has shown that just three 45 to 60-minute sessions (when brought to submaximal to maximal effort sets) a week can have a significant effect on a woman’s physical and mental health.