“Strong is the New Strong”
This is the motto of our women’s weightlifting club, Iron Hill. I love it. Unapologetically proud. These women are awesome.
As a dude, I admittedly felt weird writing this article. So, I decided to throw it to the Iron Hill ladies to share the benefits they’ve seen from progressive strength training.
But, before we do – let’s address the elephant in the room: “Won’t lifting weights make me bulky?” We’ve debunked this myth in a recent episode of The Hill Radio and declared it one of 2016’s “Conversations we’re no longer having.” But, there’s still Flat Earth theorists. So, there’s that. But, science aside, why the hell should that define you? As one member said: “I’d rather feel strong than anything.” As we dig into the list you’ll see a common theme. Let’s get the nerdy ones out of the way first…
1. Increased Bone Density
One of nature’s cruel jokes is that, as we age, women suffer from an increased risk of osteoporosis. This greatly limits one’s ability to live independently for as long as desired. Great news! Progressive strength training increases bone density dramatically. Don’t fall in the trap of “too old to train.” The importance of strength training going into middle age cannot be overstated.
2. Decreased Insulin Resistance
This one is from one of our resident weightlifting physicians. In short, insulin is a hormone that regulates how your body metabolizes glucose (sugar) and fat. Insulin resistance results in higher blood sugar and, potentially, can lead to Type II diabetes. Guess what?! Strength training assists with insulin resistance.
3. Be Adventurous
Want to know one of the benefits of being Grown Ass Woman Strong (GAWS)? Doing whatever the hell you want. Rock-climbing, backpacking, hiking, kayaking – you name it. Learning to safely and efficiently move an external load through space opens up an entire world of adventures waiting for you.
4. Camaraderie and Friendship
Women who are GAWS are cool. They’re supportive, respectful of your journey, and there to celebrate when you hit a PR. As you struggle with the barbell, GAWS have your back.
5. New Wardrobe
GAWS love needing new jeans. You know the feeling – when that squat game is on point. But, let’s get real – being GAWS allows you to show off those new muscles, tone, definition, and – most importantly – that transfer of strength from the squat rack to everyday walkin’ around swagger.
Feelings of strength are the best. How do you feel squeezing out another mile on the treadmill? Proud? Jacked? Probably not. Hitting a PR with your lifting squad is one of the best feelings ever had in the gym. Imagine feeling proud of what your body can DO more than what it looks like?
7. Stress Management
This one is huge. Strength training has a dramatic impact on your cortisol (stress hormone) levels throughout the day. By doing strength training, you’re teaching your body to have a positive, adaptive response to stress – and your squad is there to build you up after your lifting sesh.
If you’re interested in joining the strong women of Iron Hill for their next lifting cycle, Coach Mindy would love to have you. All levels are welcome and will be coached, supported, and high-fived daily.