When I grew up, the models were super thin, had no muscle tone, and some cases, they were almost waif life (think of or Google the model Twiggy). Super thin was the ideal body type set for women by the media. Fast forward to 2023, and models are now represented by all body types. A one size fits all woman doesn't exist. I love my strong-fit body; I used to hide my "thunder thighs" in the old days, but today I use them to run long distances and lift weights. The thunder down under gives me power.
Then came the "cardio age"; we were told to burn calories by doing tons of cardio, hours on the "treadmill", aerobic classes and more. Again the women portraying doing this were super thin.
Where did I fit in? I haven't been super thin since before puberty. I had this natural strength that wasn't encouraged.
For years I ran; in fact, I ran, and I ran and ran some more. My body never changed; it stayed the same. In some sense, I felt disappointed. While I still love running, I now do it for other reasons.
Then I discovered lifting; lifting it's such a great feeling. I put my naturally strong body into a sport that suited it. My body changed; I saw muscles develop and my shape change. Lifting heavy was the answer.
Don't get me wrong, I still am not super thin, but I have no desire to be so. I love the curve of my glutes (butt muscles), and my strong arms and thighs have muscle development.
As a side benefit, lifting burns more calories. You'll change every aspect of your body by lifting weights and becoming strong. People with increased muscle mass burn more calories at rest than those without. It takes more energy for your body to sustain lean muscle. Therefore, your resting metabolic rate may increase due to lifting weights.
Did you know bone density starts to decrease once you exit your 30s? Dropping dramatically in your 60's. Your bones rely on resistance training to stay healthy and strong. Weight-bearing exercise is very beneficial for bone health. With this in mind, seriously consider how you can add weights to your workout. If you are in peri-menopause, the time to start lifting is now. Don't wait.
Want to run and cycle faster? Strength training may be the answer. Not only will your daily activities improve and get easier, but any sport you play will also benefit from getting strong.
Start where you are, don't look at pictures of women lifting super heavy weights and think, I can't do that. Start where you are, and work towards increasing over time. Your future self will thank you. Imagine being stronger, fitter and loving how your body moves.
Weights will not make you bulky; a pound of muscle is smaller in size than a pound of fat. Put a peach beside an apple as a comparison. Muscles don't weigh less than fat (often misquoted sentence), but muscle is denser than fat. Another often misquoted sentence is fat turns into muscles or that muscle turns into fat. Both are wrong; they are different tissues and don't magically transform. You can gain fat and lose muscle tone. You can lose fat and achieve muscle tone.
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