The cultural roles and expectations that we face can make us feel self critical
I have no doubt that people who stay lean and healthy all year round are those who also surround themselves with similar people. So in that sense of culture, I believe that people with healthy mindsets are a benefit of culture for fat loss. At the same time, the images on TV and mass media are certainly causing shifts in the discussion of our bodies.
How does this all play into what it is to have a healthy body image?
Well, let’s ask what is it to have healthy body image?
- Wake up knowing you will take on the day, it will not take on you
- Feels or seeks to feel intrinsic reasons to exercise
- Finds way to challenge what the body is truly capable of physically and consequently mentally, emotionally
- Places a high value of quality of food for both internal and external human benefit
It’s ultimately not about the body fat %. It’s not about six pack abs or firm buttocks. It’s about the you, the person.
Should Women Lift Heavy?
First, let’s focus on the goal of an individual. Not all women should lift heavy particularly if the exercise is contraindicated from orthopedic needs or for some other factor that precludes strength development.
Using a reasonable program, lifting progressively heavier weights has many benefits:
- Increased calorie burn at rest
- Develops the Fast Twitch muscle fibers which allow you to burn even more calories while exercising
- Makes you stronger, more fit person
- Promotes healthy metabolism, especially in the area of systemic glucose management and insulin resistance
- Tends to put you in a good mood, feeling of accomplishments, actual achievements
- Focuses on performance, what the body can do, a healthy perspective
There are many established benefits of lifting heavy weights for women. It’s not my case to argue whether or not you want to use heavier weights, but in the case that you do want to see the benefits, then you are at the right place.
All women have different response to exercise and nutrition
Because of our genes and our environmental conditions (including what your mother ate and how well she slept), everybody has different responses to lifting progressively heavier weights. So I’ll keep it simple here.
Woman who lift heavier weights WILL DEFINITELY BURN MORE FAT…
In terms of bulking, there are two main factors at play:
1. How much food is being eaten; the quality of food consumed is just as important as the overall volume
2. The current hormonal status of the individual.
Let me elaborate on this for a moment. Just like in men, women have a range of testosterone and some women just naturally have more in their bodies. If this is the case, they may build muscle easier than other women. They may also be sexually aggressive but that is WAY beyond the scope of this.
On the other hand, diet can affect our hormones as well. Women who show a preference for frequent consumption of simple sugars, starches, alcohol, trans fats and other low quality foods are more likely to add “bulk” which is more visibly as fat mass.
Lift heavy to tone up and eat lean to stay lean
So it comes down to a discussion on body image
The worst reason to exercise is to look like somebody else. To have somebody’s butt or their legs or their arms.
You will never.
Best to focus on being you and accepting that exercise is your healing and you need it frequently.
Good luck all, thanks for reading