Weightlifting for Women



By Jacob Strangis |Staff Writer|

Some female students at CSUSB do not believe weightlifting is a fitness necessity for women.

Weightlifting is viewed by some, as either intimidating or as something that is masculine and could potentially hinder their feminine appearance.

When a small sample of female students were asked if they lifted weights on a regular basis, all of them said, “no.”

“I associate weightlifting with muscle mass and bulkiness,” said student Angelica Ramos.

There is a clear assumption that muscle growth on women is potentially “unattractive” or “manly” and that cardiovascular exercises are all that is needed to achieve and or maintain a desirable physique.

The often stated perspective among some female students is that if women lift weights, they will end up looking like a professional female body builder.

“The truth is, women just don’t have the hormonal support to gain muscle mass like men. The hormone testosterone is responsible for large increases in muscle mass.

Women’s testosterone levels are a fraction of men’s,” stated Cassie Smith, senior editor at bodybuilding.com.

For those women who do weight lift on occasion the primary group of muscles focused on was the quads, glutes and hamstrings.

They only focused on all lower body and no upper body muscles.

“I start with cardio, but I like to lift doing leg workouts,” said student Andrea Montes.

By neglecting the practice of weightlifting as part of a workout routine, females are missing out on a variety of health benefits.

“Strength training burns calories and fat. Not just during your workout, but provided you train hard enough, after it’s finished as well,” said Christian Finn, a professional personal trainer with a master’s in exercise science.

The reason for this is because the more muscle an individual has on their body, their resting metabolic rate increases.

The amount is not significant, but an extra few hundred calories a day can come in handy.

In addition, during the muscle recovery stage, after a workout, calories are also being burned and the metabolic rate increases.

According to a study at the University of New Mexico, “More muscle creates a higher demand for energy, since muscle will need to maintain itself at rest and during exercise.”

Lastly, males around campus were asked what their perceptions were of women who lift weights frequently.

The responses were moderately different compared to the women’s perspectives.

“I think it’s attractive because anybody who takes care and pushes themselves is appealing,” said student Micheal Hannan.

“I prefer to have a woman that lifts, a physically strong strong woman is attractive,” added Hannan.

Males tend to view females that lift weights in the gym as highly attractive and desirable.

According to a couple interviews with male students, weightlifting is more than just about looks; it is about ambition.

“Women who weightlift consistently often have more determination and push throughout all aspects of life,” said student Nick Linares.

Weightlifting is often regarded as a sign of ambition to women who practice it frequently because it can be considered outside their comfort zone.

Thus, according to these statements, women may appeal to be more attractive to men not from just the physical benefits but the psychological impact as well.

Men and women should take advantage of the many weightlifting benefits.

Physical activity is an important aspect in an individual’s life and weightlifting is an important contributor to help achieve a healthy and happier lifestyle.

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