The common misconception about strength training or weight training – is that – as a female, an increase in strength will cause in increase in muscle bulk.
Okay – so maybe the photo above may seem a little scary – in actual fact you aren’t expected to be squatting over 95kgs to experience the benefits of strength training! In fact, if you ever underestimate the ability of achieving massive strength without the bulk then there’s the living proof. (Of course if you ever do decide that you DO want to squat over 95kgs, speak to Kelly about your interest in Powerlifting. Kelly is the 2011 IPF National Powerlifting Champion (57kg), and has held a National AND an Oceania Record of 155kg for the Deadlift).
The good news is that challenging your muscles with a simple lighter set of hand weights are enough to make changes in your muscle tone and increase lean body mass.
Making the effort to have toned muscles will mean you have strong muscles. Strong muscles are firmer – they look better – and they help avoid potentially debilitating bone and joint injuries.
Also, increasing and maintaining adequate muscle mass is one of the best ways to keep body fat at bay (that’s a benefit in itself!).
Strength training is also beneficial for overall sports performance. Cyclists are able to continue for longer periods of time with less fatigue. Skiers improve technique and reduce injury. Whatever sport you play, strength training has been shown to improve overall performance as well as decrease the risk of injury.