Hopefully, I have dispelled your fears of building muscle from my previous post on why women should do strength training, in this post, we will go over the benefits of building a stronger, more muscular you.
There are so many benefits to list out that I have summarized them into 3 categories:
- Practical advantages;
- Health advantages.
Let’s start with aesthetics.
I don’t think this one requires much explanation as we all know that a fit individual will display some muscle definition. My previous blog has already explained why you won’t bulk up like a bodybuilder, and I’m pretty sure the majority doesn’t have the opinion that an anorexic runway model look is the epitome of beauty either (I hope!).
The human body is beautiful in its own right. The natural curves that defines the broadness of the shoulders, or the concave dip in the lower back to the shapely legs are all due to the musculature of those body parts. Muscle gives your body shape and curves. Conversely, fat covers the curves by caking a layer of fat over the muscles. Muscles lift up and defies gravity, whereas fat sags down.
But to further add to this point, I’d like to share with you my experience training the Miss Universe China 2014 pageant girls in which a lot of them were quite slender in figure prior to me training them. After just 2 weeks of intensive strength training, all of them told me they couldn’t believe the muscle development they were seeing on their bodies and how excited they were. They were so proud of their muscles they were practically showing them off to one another!
2. Practical advantages.
Again, this should be obvious that with increased muscle mass, your everyday physical life will be enhanced. That may mean carrying your laptop bag will be less of a strenuous activity, or replacing the water bottle on your water cooler. With increased strength, you may be able to now store your carry-on roller on to the overhead compartment without someone’s help. This increase in independency will increase your quality of life and is integral in the movement for gender equality. Of course, there is always room for male chivalry now and then, but receiving it as a pleasant surprise is one thing and depending on it is another.
Muscle is protective. It acts as shock-absorbers when you get hit or when you fall. They dissipate the force upon impact so it doesn’t go into your joints or bones sparing them from potential sprains or fractures. This is a big deal especially as we age, our bones get weaker due to the loss of bone mineral density. More on this in the next blog.
With an increase in strength comes balance. We hear the term ‘balance’ all the time in the training industry but it isn’t just some nebulous concept that you can just improve on using bosu balls and balance boards. It requires an in-depth explanation which I will write about in a future blog post.
Lastly, strength training is efficient use of your valuable leisure time. If done properly, your body will need rest to recover and build itself stronger (refer to my previous blog on overtraining). This means time away from training and more spent on being with your friends, or playing with your children, reading a new book, or improving your skills in the kitchen! We all have limited time in our days – why spend it in the gym when you can get all the benefits of exercise in just a fraction of the amount of time!
As if all the reasons listed above isn’t enough, Part 3 of this series will go into all the health benefits of doing strength training. It’s quite lengthy on its own so it requires a blog post all to itself!
Until then, stay fit by building muscle!
“The closer you get to realising your muscular potential, the closer you get to optimising the potential of your metabolic system” —Doug McGuff, M.D.