For over fifty years people, have been strength training to aid in their sporting performance or otherwise, like yoga, pilates or stretching. Although women first began strength training for sports in the 1950s to enhance their performance in track and field, they have traditionally participated in strength training less than men.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about weight training haven’t grown old with time. By and large, it is women that shy away from such a valuable exercise because they are afraid of bulking up or getting “manly.” Even some men are still thinking that weight training can transform them into a “Hulk.”

Such exercise has not been considered feminine, and a lack of research and information regarding the effects of such training on women has made it a predominantly male activity. Since then, women’s sports participation has grown rapidly, and strength training has grown in popularity among active women.

Let’s get the facts straight:

  • Women who practice the same well-designed strength training programs as men benefit from bone and soft-tissue modeling, increased lean body mass, decreased fat, and enhanced self-confidence.
  • No one is going to bulk up, plain and simple.
  • No, big muscles will not develop over time. In fact, bodybuilders you see on television or in magazines, typically train for several hours a day while consuming enormous amount of calories over the course of several years.
  • Strength training is now helping in various diseases and is a way to combat stress. We just might all it need it these days.

Are Pilates and Yoga just as good as Strength Training?

In terms of measure, strength training is definitely the ultimate method for building muscular strength, promoting muscle tone and fat loss. While the benefits of Pilates and Yoga are wonderful and focus on very controlled movements, they should be considered as an enhancement rather than a replacement to strength training.

In my experience of creating and managing fitness programs at Miraval for six years, guests were participating in equal ratios to Pilates, Yoga, Strength Training, Aerobics and Stretching classes, we also had a unique department for yoga and meditation. In fact, an annual trend analysis is conducted by IDEA, the world largest fitness organization, on how often the activities were offered one or more times a week in major facilities in the US and here are the results:

  • Strength Training 98%
  • Low impact Aerobics 95%
  • Stretching and Flexibility 95%
  • Yoga 91%
  • Personal Training 88%
  • Pilates 76%
Written by Nordine Zoureg, former Mr. Universe, Home Cures That Work (Barton Publishing’s monthly newsletter) contributing author. Learn more about exercise and weight loss from Nordine by becoming a Home Cures That Work member today!
Click Here for our Special Blog Offer.