Why Women Need Muscle
ASK THE EXPERT FITNESS COLUMN 12/21/2020
By Mayra Ron, owner of The IN and OUT Workout
In my long path in the fitness industry as a SuperSlow instructor, I have realized the biggest impediment women have to gaining muscle is their antiquated mentality where they equate “muscle” with looking like a man. Since I serve many women over 50- and I myself am in that age bracket, I remember when I set-up my first Nautilus gym.
At that time, women didn't do weights: period. Jane Fonda was creating a workout revolution with her tights, leg warmers, and her videos. She looked great because she did weights but women only concentrated their efforts on her videos full of jumping and sweating. At my nautilus gym (it was 1984 and free weights were the norm), I changed and transformed hundreds of women’s lives proving to them muscles are feminine and it is what rendered our long youthful bodies attractive.
Muscle, I always explained, is what we need-forget about fat;This will shrink as we regain the muscle we lost through the aging process. Yet, after more than 30 years, I still encounter fear in women’s faces when I mention they need muscle. How could women have discarded what is most essential to them? There are several reasons for that but mainly it is the incorrect tradition we attribute to muscle that is a misinformed legacy from our great grandmother who was taught the same thing from her mother. Grandma told us we were going to transform into the amazing hulk if we even deemed to lift 10 pounds. The story goes on and it still amazes me how I have to constantly continue stressing to my Over50 women that Muscle is NOT the culprit.
Muscle is our friend; it will shrink that unwanted fat we accumulate from years of living. It will lift our butt, help our neck, develop nice arms, and multiply functional years in old age. And then after that, the inevitable questions seeps in: what about the cardiovascular system. Ok, what about it? Let’s separate the words- cardio is breathing and vascular is blood. Your cardiovascular system is always involved- you are breathing! YOu are also always pumping blood to the heart. Imagine how much better your system will get at pumping blood around your vessels with intense exercise. The only way to get your cardiovascular system to work harder is by performing mechanical work with muscle. Any increase in muscular demand automatically involves the cardiovascular system to a greater extent. Cardiovascular health equates to the ability of the heart. lungs, and bloodstream to supply whatever the muscles need. Ladies it is not the jumping up and down or the nonsensical repetitive body weight movements you perform that will tax your system to pump more blood; it is intense, safe, and slow weight lifting performed in a controlled manner where you can gauge the progress so that you can get stronger every workout session.
One more thing before I finish, as women we need to remember we have three times more fat than men. Have you ever noticed you and your spouse diet and exercise and it is he who gets the quickest results? It’s a fact of nature; we need muscle more than men do as muscle equates to movement-to life! So, dear ladies do not fear muscles; embrace them because you need them to live a long healthy life!
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below!
Train hard/be blessed!