Hit the weights, ladies

Julien Solomita, Sports Editor

Every time I walk into a gym, the sea of women taking up the cardio equipment always puzzles me. Without fail, women religiously work out on slow moving, low intensity cardio machines, while men dominate the weight room.

Why is that? Because everyone says that’s what’s supposed to happen. There is no rational reason for women to fear weight training.

Women should be lifting weights just like men. Just give it a shot, and see how your body reacts.

The vast majority of people who attend gyms are aiming to be lean and fit. They carve out time in their daily schedules to sweat and get in shape.

But for some odd reason, people are under the impression that men lift weights to get big and strong, and women have to stay away from lifting because they want to stay lean, feminine and keep from bulking up. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and it’s downright silly that so many people think this way.

Fitness expert Martin Berkhan said, “Concern yourself with 250-300 pound deadlifts (a lift involving picking up weight off the floor) and 200-250 pound squats, avoid starvation diets, and enjoy the ride. You’ll be much happier with the outcome of that, than say crackers and yogurt, 2 hour daily cardio sessions and those Mickey Mouse curls you read about in Cosmo.”

Berkhan is the creator of Leangains, a fitness lifestyle that involves lifting heavy, eating big and staying lean. His method to the madness is simple: lift heavy weights to get strong and lean. Whether you’re male or female, staying away from weights will slow your progress and yield poor results in getting fit. There have been many documented instances where women recorded big time numbers in the weight room and came out looking fit and attractive.

When Linda Hamilton returned in the “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,” looking in vastly better shape than she was in for the first movie, people began to wonder what she did to get so fit. The big secret: Hamilton lifted weights.

The metabolic conditioning that comes with weight training is vastly superior to the slow moving cardio machines, such as the elliptical. After deadlifting a lot of weight for around five sets, a person has pushed his or her body to exhaustion simply because the central nervous system along with the activated muscle groups are firing on all cylinders during the strenuous movement.

The body is left in an extreme state in which the weight lifted forced the burning of significant calories, and the entire body is left more conditioned that than it would be from any machine.

Who said that females couldn’t look feminine and great from lifting weights?

Aside from looking great and burning big time calories, lifting weights will elevate your fitness to a new level and grant you an appreciation for a real workout.

Learn the lifts, perfect your technique and stay away from ineffective cardio machines. I’m going to go deadlift.

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