Busting Stereotypes of Women and Weights

Exercise Beyond Cardio

Society places gender roles on specific characteristics, such as masculine or feminine, based on if you’re a male or female. If the other gender crosses the gender role line, as a society we tend to judge others by stereotyping.  Unfortunately, the weight room has resided on the male/masculine side for misunderstood reasons, and there are a few myths that have kept most women out of the weight room.

Let’s debunk those now!

Myth: I do cardio to lose fat, why should I lift?

Truth: Proper resistance training will burn more fat than steady state cardio.  Unlike steady state cardio, weight training will also retain lean muscle.  This higher muscle/ fat ratio will boost your metabolism much more than simple steady paced running.

Myth:  I don’t want to look bulky?

Truth: Women don’t naturally have the hormones to bulk up like a man.  And for the record, men have a hard enough time bulking up even with larger stores of growth hormone and testosterone...it's not that easy.

Yet, even with these myths busted, the main reason everyone, including women, need regular resistance exercise has nothing to do with physical appearance or weight loss.  

To age gracefully you must learn how to hinge from this hips, squat, lunge, push, pull, and carry with adequate movement competency.  There is no better way to learn this competency than to earn it with resistance training. While classic cardio exercises have legitimate health benefits, they do almost nothing in terms of improving this physical literacy.  Just because you may have an “active” job or lifestyle, doesn’t mean you automatically can move with proper mechanics. In fact, due to accumulated movement compensations from decades of physical stress or injuries, most people’s squat, lunge, or other foundational movements are performed with poor coordination, improper muscle recruitment, or a combination of the two.  Getting back to the gym under proper guidance or coaching will improve these mechanics and keep you moving pain free and make for a much happier, healthier life.

So let’s stop stereotyping the free weight section of gyms as the “meat head” area. It should be thought of as a "Physical Education Area".  Women have just as much of a right to feel the empowerment that comes with improving your strength, after all, becoming stronger makes most things in life easier. Squats and deadlifts are for anyone who want to live a long, active life with healthy knees, hips, back, and shoulders!

Dr. Scott Dunaway is a Doctor of Chiropractic located in Clarksville Tn and owner of ChiroStrength.  He specializes in treating ailments associated with repetitive overuse habits by combining chiropractic adjustments, Active Release Techniques, and global movement assessment and corrections.  To schedule an appointment call the clinic at 931-321-1414 or submit the new patient form on www.ChiroStrength.com