Last March, Rich Barlow of BU Today reported on the survey findings conducted by Boston University’s College of Arts and Sciences psychology instructor Andrea Mercutio and coed Dominique Cheung. The duo asked at least 1,000 Boston women on their views on weight lifting. Based on the poll, younger women who go to all-female gyms are more open to weight lifting than those who go to co-ed gyms, but in general, women were reluctant to lift weights for fear of appearing too manly or muscular.
Barlow shared the story of Sarah Kuranda, who attests to the benefits of weight lifting and says that she has become “leaner and stronger” as a result of an exercise regimen that includes strength training. Burnaby locals can follow Kuranda’s example and incorporate strength training into their workouts. To ensure optimum results, they can sign up for membership at a dependable gym in Burnaby like She’s Fit! that offers an all-around workout program inclusive of cardio and strength exercises.
Barlow mentioned that only 17.5 percent of women respondents meet the aerobic and strength training recommendations put forward by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Aerobic programs include activities such as jogging and biking, something that Burnaby locals can easily do since the city has a lot of great biking trails in areas like Deer Lake Park. Meanwhile, women who prefer exercising in closely supervised indoor settings can join an all-female health club in Burnaby such as She’s Fit.
Kuranda admits that while she gained weight as a result of strength training, this is not entirely alarming given that her body now has more muscle tissue than fat. Indeed, women who wish to lose weight can take up strength training to gain both bone and muscle mass, and in the process protect themselves from debilitating conditions like osteoporosis as they age. For better results, a woman can reinforce her strength training program with a customized diet plan.
Barlow also delved into the issue of women’s fear of appearing bulky once they start lifting weights. Olympic lifter Holley Mangold contests this notion by saying that the average woman is physically incapable of turning into the Incredible Hulk due to the lack of testosterone in the female body. The key to maximizing the benefits of strength training is by learning safe weight lifting methods, which one can learn from a physical trainer.
Clearly, a fitness regimen that includes a sensible diet plan as well as regular cardiovascular and strength training can help a woman achieve optimum fitness at any age. The challenge, however, lies in overcoming preconceived notions about what women can’t or shouldn’t do in terms of strength training.