There are many myths and misconceptions about women who lift weights. One of the most common myths is that women who do bodybuilding risk injury or end up looking bulky and masculine. But this is not true. Instead, there are several benefits to strength training every day and using free weights, resistance bands, weightlifting, as well as bodyweight exercises. It can help intensify your weight loss regimen!
HealthShots reached out to fitness expert Mukul Nagpaul, founder of Pmftraining and ambassador of the Fit India movement, to find out what to keep in mind before trying bodybuilding for women.
Nagpaul says, “Weight training is an effective way for women to achieve their fitness goals and build strength. But before embarking on a strength training program, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of how it works.
Here are 7 essential things women should know about bodybuilding:
1. Weights can be adjusted to suit individual needs
Weights are not available in one size. It’s important to choose a weight that’s appropriate for your current fitness level and start with lighter weights as you get used to the movements. Nagpaul advises choosing a weight that you can lift 12 to 15 times without feeling tired.
2. Proper form is essential
Be sure to lift with the proper form to reduce the risk of injury and ensure you get the most out of your workout. This involves keeping your back straight, using your core muscles, and making sure you’re not overstretching or arching your back. Negligence can lead to unwanted injuries when lifting weights or exercising.
3. Plan it around your menstrual cycle
Compared to weight training during the luteal phase (it begins around day 15 of a 28-day cycle and ends when you have your period), weight training during the follicular phase (which is the growth of an egg in your ovaries) resulted in greater gains in muscle strength. If you start paying attention to menstrual cycles, you might find that the follicular phase is when your strength training is most effective. Before your period or while you suffer from PMS, relax and reduce the intensity of your workout.
4. Weights should be increased gradually
Nagpaul says, “In the beginning, it’s important to slowly increase the amount of weight lifted so that the body adapts and gets used to the new load. Once you get used to the weight, you can slightly increase the amount of weight or add additional reps.
5. Weights can be combined with other exercises
Weights are effective for building strength, but incorporating other exercises such as cardio, bodyweight movements, and dynamic stretching can maximize the benefits of strength training.
6. Weights should be used with caution
Weights are effective for building strength, but they can also lead to injury if not used correctly. Be sure to listen to your body and take a break if necessary. It’s better to lift safely than risk an injury that could keep you away from the gym for a long time.
7. It’s a complete workout
Strength training is a type of exercise that tries to work all the major muscles in one session. It increases metabolism and helps burn calories. Perform exercises including calf raises, bench presses, pull-ups, deadlifts, push-ups, squats, and lunges. If you have a pair of dumbbells, you can train every muscle in your body with them.
To take with
Women can achieve their fitness goals and build strength through weight training, but only if they are aware of these seven key points can they do so safely and effectively. With good physical condition, gradual weight increases, and the combination of weights with other exercises, strength training can become an integral part of a woman’s fitness routine.
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