Women and Resistance Training #1
There is a myth that exists that women who engage in resistance training will become big and bulky like their male counterparts. This is in fact a myth. The primary anabolic (“building up”) hormones involved in building muscle tissue are testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor or IGFs. The focus for this entry will be on testosterone. Testosterone can influence this building state by interacting with other hormones, influences on the nervous system and finally directly on skeletal muscle itself (1). Testosterone follows the path of tagging along with proteins until they reach androgen receptor sites, which binds to DNA and ultimately induces protein synthesis or muscle building (1). Now women have about 15 to 20 times lower resting concentrations of testosterone than men do (1). There have been studies to show that while women exhibit testosterone increases post resistance training, those increases are significantly smaller than men (2,3). So, with the platform set to the main reasons why women will not become “bulky”, here is your first reason as to why women should engage in resistance training:
- Promote fat loss – A study of women ages 40 to 55 years found that women lifting at higher intensities (more weight) had increased post exercise energy expenditure (4). This means that they burned more calories. This was also found to be true in younger women athletes (5).