For a good chunk of time, resistance training was only for men. The idea of a woman in the gym was unbelievable. We’re supposed to be small and petite not muscular and strong. Move over patriarchy, now gyms everywhere are providing classes, programs, and just an overall increase in women participation!
What if you don’t want to go to the gym, but want to resistance training? You can absolutely 100% do resistance training at home! You can get a couple piece of equipment (Amazon is your friend) and be able full circuits at home.
What types of training can I do?
- Functional Fitness
What do these forms of training involve?
- Hypertrophy: Includes high volume (12-15 reps and sets) with low intensity (lighter weights).
- Strength: Includes low volume (3-8 reps and sets) with high intensity (heavier weights).
- Endurance: Similar to hypertrophy, except there is a larger rep range of 15-25 reps.
- Circuits: Includes supersets (performing exercises one after another) with limited rest periods in between each round.
- Functional Fitness: Includes mainly bodyweight exercises to improve mobility, balance, and stability (yes, you will still increase muscular strength).
Now, to the main point, why should you do resistance training?
The most common benefits you most likely hear is increased metabolic rate, leaner physiques, and so on. Let’s talk about the two lesser known benefits:
- Our bone density can be strengthened through resistance training. This is critical because as women we lose bone density faster (especially during/after menopause). This reduces the risk of Osteoporosis (woohooo!)
- It can make pregnancy and labor easier. Women, who have done resistance training before pregnancy and continued during have found a reduction in symptoms. Also, when it comes to labor, women have an easier time at giving birth vaginally.
***Please note physicians often discourage trying new training during pregnancy and recommend doing it beforehand. Please speak to your physician or OB-GYN about training during pregnancy as each woman is unique!***
Also, if none of those sound appealing there are other options. These I have been trying myself as doing free weights was becoming hard for my body. Pilates, Barre, and some forms of yoga (such as power yoga) can also be ways to get the benefits of resistance training.
- Pilates: Is a form of strength training that uses little to no equipment, in which it focuses on mental awareness, flexibility, and posture.
- Barre: This uses aspect of ballet (no dancing) involved by focuses on contracting the muscles and using small ranges of motions. This is not only important for strength but also improve balance and posture. A bonus is it is easier on the joints!
- Yoga: This form of training is known for its benefits for flexibility, but can also involve strength too. Doing multiple flows involves contraction of muscles especially if involving handstand yoga poses. In order to lift your bodyweight for certain will involve the development of muscle!
What is key to enjoying training is doing something you love! If resistance training still isn’t for you, doing other forms of physical activity can be just a beneficial. This is about your life and what makes your lifestyle kickass. I myself have been looking into different forms of training such as Pilates, Plyometrics, and so on. However, strength training will always be something I incorporate into my routine!