I’d like to convince all women over 40 to begin strength training for weight loss/maintenance, and muscle toning. But first, you need to understand what strength means, how it would benefit you and why it is more important than cardio when it comes to body composition. I also want to mention that cardio plays an important role with your health but offers vastly different benefits as Strength training does.
With Strength, the basic principles of overload, gradual progression, and specificity (the muscles you train are the ones that get stronger) are universal, regardless of your age, sex or activity level. What is important is that there are certain times, in this case, a woman’s lifespan (adolescence, pre/post-partum, pre/post menopause) when strength takes on special importance.
To share the stories of two Female clients who have had different training backgrounds the benefits strength training has had on their lives: Lina, a COO of a multinational, who has followed the traditional passive path of most woman (yoga/pilates/cardio) says:
‘’I had always spent my time running and yoga, I tried pilates and although I enjoyed them both, I was constantly experiencing neck and shoulder pain when at work. Within 6 months of training strength my shoulder improved, and I haven’t experienced any headaches. I’ve been able to get back into horse-riding and have started to notice muscle definition in my legs which I’ve never had’.”
Shirley, an Executive Director has been in the weight room since she was 14 says:
‘’ I’ve been strength training in one way or another ever since – 38 years! It doesn’t seem that long.
Strength training has been immensely beneficial in so many ways. Obviously, it had physical benefits in the sports that I’ve played – basketball, soccer, and various forms of martial arts. The mental game of lifting also translates to any activity that requires focus, persistence and a bit of bloody-mindedness!
Beyond sport, the fact that I’ve often been the only woman in the heavy weight room of the gym and needed to insist on my right to be there, take up space, and train the way I want to has, over the years, contributed to my confidence generally. This is something that has flowed over into my professional life where, as a lawyer and a manager I have also had to insist on my right to take up space and be heard.
I’d recommend strength training for all women – the benefits go way beyond the physical’’
A regular strength program is essential to remaining active, living independently, and avoiding falls later in life. It not only offsets Osteoporosis and maintains bone density and muscle loss, but also improves quality of life by developing the Strength to support aging joints, maintain good posture, lift children, strengthen your back, and continue to participate and enjoy any activities that have always been a source of joy.