Weightlifting Dreams/ Bodybuilding Fears Part 2
let’s continue to look at some of the beliefs we have about weightlifting and the thought patterns that can hold us back from our health goals.
Chances are you won’t look like a bodybuilder unless you train and eat like a bodybuilder.
While many men lift weights regularly in the gym and do not look like bodybuilders, some women fearfully hold onto the misconception that if they lift weights they will turn into a bodybuilder or appear too muscular. Women end up losing out on the benefits of weight training with these kinds of unfounded fears. Body weight training and weightlifting are necessary to build fat-burning muscle, strength and bone density. All of these combined have numerous benefits but one of my favourites is being less prone to injuries as one ages.
Without a good amount of muscle mass it’s also impossible to stabilize the body at a healthy weight. Excessive cardio and starvation diets won’t have sustainable results.
We don’t have a realistic idea of what fit women look like.
In this age of doctored social media pictures and heavily edited magazines we just don’t know what women’s bodies are supposed to look like. People have sculpted their bodies with suction or implants and created unrealistic ideals for many more observers.
Fit women aren’t necessarily skinny and they aren’t always big and muscular either. Most women have a healthy dose of fat and muscle on their bodies. Some have muscle covered in layers of fat and some have such a small percentage of fat that it almost looks like they are all bone. When I’m deciding which fitness people I will follow online I keep that in mind. I try to follow people that are interesting, helpful and realistic. One of the pages I find so inspiring features really strong women competing in lifting, and training exercises and each of them is so unique.
This ingrained fear of looking manly is keeping women trapped in ignorance to the long lasting beneficial effects of weight training. Instead of being fearful of getting the wrong kind of muscle, why not attempt to push yourself physically and see what levels and benefits you can achieve. You’re much stronger than you think! When you go to the gym, attempt to build up your strength by lifting heavier.
If you’re looking for some reasons to start training and lifting weights here are a few:
1.It’s great to be strong and to be a woman!
2.It’s great to have muscles and be a woman!
3.Being healthy and building your muscles and bones for old age is a smart move.
4.Moving those joints isn’t going to get easier as you age without you doing the work.
5.As you age your metabolism slows, so gaining weight is inevitable. Muscle will help you keep that regulated!
6.If you get an injury your recovery will be easier if you can depend on your otherwise capable and strong body.
Whatever your body preference is for yourself or for others I think it’s important for us to remain respectful even when we see things that we may not like. No one would want to be on the receiving end of mean spirited comments about how their body looks. Regardless of how you feel about it, remember to respect the work that someone else has done on themselves. Don’t let fear or sexist ideals about women’s bodies keep you from your health goals. Confront your own ingrained beliefs that could be holding you back.
It’s up to you to change your mentality and priorities so that you can reap the benefits of your hard work. You’ll be glad that you did!
Have you noticed and subtle or overt messaging that made you worried about lifting weights and how you would look? Have you ever been made to feel less feminine because you had muscle? Let me know in the comments!