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The Strength Within

The Strength Within

"I don’t want to get big” was my first statement upon walking into Crossfit Delray Beach. I was assured that learning how to deadlift would not turn me into the next female Arnold Schwarzenegger and so the journey began. I think it took me about two weeks to forget my initial reactions to weightlifting. Now I have to say that Crossfit is not just weightlifting. In fact, the amount of other exercises far out numbers lifting any weight. It is a combination of body weight exercises, gymnastics, running, rowing, weightlifting and the list goes on. That being said its generally more lifting than females are used to and many women have the same reaction I had.

To answer the question, no you will not get big, become the next Arnold or win Ms. Olympia by doing Crossfit. What you will get is stronger, bones, better body composition, and more lean muscle tone. Over the last three years I have immersed myself in learning about weightlifting, and the importance of incorporating it into a workout routine. This is especially important for females since our exposure is usually more limited then men. I wanted to write this post on weightlifting because it has so many benefits, and is an important component of female fitness whether you are a runner, triathlete, yogi, Pilates or pure barre devotee.

By incorporating weightlifting into your fitness routine you will build more muscle, which in turn burns fat more efficiently creating a leaner more defined body. Your energy and functional strength will be greatly improved, helping to make everyday tasks much easier. You will develop greater joint strength. You will also Improve bone strength which is very important in the defense against osteoporosis, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Will women that lift weights be stronger? YES! Are they going to bulk up like men? No! It is simply not physically possible. We can not naturally produce the amount of testosterone needed to increase muscle size by that much.

Weightlifting is not about lifting massive amounts of weight. The type of weightlifting CrossFit advocates is more in line with Olympic weightlifting. In CrossFit, we train movements and not just muscles. If you decide to learn more I would recommend weightlifting exercises that have the most impact on your hormones and neurological system. Exercises like the deadlift, squat and press and if you are interested in learning more about the Olympics lifts like the clean, jerk and snatch do your research find your local Crossfit or athlete training center. All of those lifts are great multi-joint exercises that have a profound effect on your neuroendocrine response. This in turn influences your physical fitness and athletic development and your ability to get everyday tasks like going to the grocery store done more efficiently. Learning to perfect these types of weightlifting and power lifting exercises takes time. There is no question that these exercises are demanding. However, weightlifting is dynamic, fun and many people rapidly master the basics and then progressing on to the more challenging Olympic lifts. Whether your looking to lean out, improve your marathon time or just make simple daily tasks easier looking into weightlifting is a great place to start.

If you would like more information and online resources email me at sloanesapan@yahoo.com!

AUTHOR: Sloane Sapan

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