There is a common misconception that weight training is a male-centric activity. According to gym owners in the city, there has been an increase of 30-50 per cent in women taking up weight training.“In India, people lack knowledge as to how their bodies work. We try our best to encourage people to lift weights, especially women, as they shy away from weights,” said Najeeb Aga, owner of Energy Fitness.
When asked about weight training, most women gave the same answer – they do not want a bulky muscular body like men. This is a typical fallacy that has been hovering around for ages.
“Weight training and exercises help in gaining more muscles, which in turn, helps in burning more fat as muscles act like a furnace which keeps burning fat,” Aga added.
Women should pick up an exercise regime balanced between both cardio and weight training, rather than thinking weight training will make them bulky.
Although an important form of exercise, cardio exercises burns fat only whilst the workout and not after. “It takes two days for a muscle to recover and during this recovery period, the torn bits of the muscle heals itself, resulting in bigger and stronger muscles,” said Ravi Sharma, co-owner of Kamal’s Fit and Fab. Hence, people training with weights tend to see quicker results due to the formation of muscles. He further added that people tend to quit after the first week due to excessive body pain.
Some find it difficult to understand that an individual’s body weight is just a number on the scale and does not determine the fat percentage in their body. For example, a woman who is overweight, with no prior experience of hitting the gym, will see no considerable difference in her weight for two reasons. One, muscles are much denser than fats. Two, water fills up the fat cells to maintain mass. Hence, no change can be seen on the scale.
But she will be able to see a massive transformation in her body, which now includes toned muscles. Without knowing these facts, people quit with an excuse that weight train has not helped them in losing fat. Whereas people overdoing cardio will see a decline in their weights due to loss of muscles, hence people stick to cardio without knowing its after-effects.
Compound exercises involves the activation of a number of muscles at once, burning the highest amount of calories. In today’s world, we don’t see many women performing the three major compound exercises – deadlifts, squats and bench press.
When women begin weight training, they tend to fall in love with gymming as they see what it does to their bodies. Further, weight training will help boost their self-esteem as they gain strength and remain healthy.
“Weight training has helped me to be stress-free and avoid menopausal weight gain,” said Meilan Liang, an avid gymmer.