Every woman over the age of 40 should be doing some sort of strength training. Please see Functional Resistance Training and The Benefits, to see why, as well as the various examples of what you can be doing.
It is not just men that should be working on their muscle mass but women as well. You don’t have to be a gym bunny to do this, in fact using your body as a barbell is the answer.
Outcomes of Resistance Exercises.
- Muscle tone and definition.
- Shape – Out with being a stick insect.
- No wobbly bits, especially those chicken wings.
- A firm butt. No muffin tops.
- Confidence and self-esteem.
- Good posture.
- Wolf whistles and compliments
Perhaps you still need convincing that you will not end up looking like Ms. Muscles. So here are some more reasons
You will not Bulk up doing Strength Work
- Testosterone is what gives men big muscles. Women do not have high levels of this hormone.
- You are not on steroids.
- The toned appearance comes from losing the fat and exposing the muscle. You burn fat not muscle doing resistance training. Conversely, when you do cardio you can lose fat and muscle.
- It is important to choose an appropriate programme with the correct weight and reps. Heavy weight promotes strength and not size. The primary stress imposed on the body is placed on the nervous system, not on the muscle. Therefore strength will improve by a neurological effect while not increasing the size of the muscle. Heavy weight and low reps is the answer. Once you have toned up enough then you change your programme to one of maintenance.
- The above point will also ensure that you will not only strengthen the muscle but also the connective tissue and bones.
- Remember that weight gain is not bulk gain. The number on your scale will go up when you embark on a strength programme but this is simply because muscle is heavier than fat. Fat takes up a whole lot more space, so when you lose fat and put on muscle, your clothes will fit more comfortably.
Quick and easy Strength Workout – no equipment needed.
Do 8 to 10 reps of each with a 10 second rest before moving on to the next exercise.
Repeat the circuit (5 exercises) as many times as you like with a one minute rest in between.
Use maximum effort for each exercise but do not compromise your form as this could lead to injury.
Do some dynamic exercises to warm up and skip for 30 to 60 seconds.
Static stretches to cool down.
- Push up. You can do a modified or wall push up if you are not able to do a proper one.
- Squat jumps
- Tricep dips
- Reverse lunge with twist
I do resistance work at least three times a week and have done for years. Look at my pictures. Am I bulky, over muscled, too big? I don’t think so!
Have fun and enjoy.