Yes, Women Lift! The Importance Of Resistance Training After 35

As for that little myth about steering clear of lifting anything heavier than your flat iron to avoid bulking up, Jackson says, “First, let me tackle the myth that women who lift are manly and less feminine. It just won’t happen. Women have testosterone levels about 15 to 20 times lower than men—hormonally speaking, we’re just not likely to bulk up.”

Of course, that’s where diet ties in. “Let’s tackle another big myth that taking protein equals gaining muscle mass. Ingesting protein does not cause you to develop muscle. It actually helps repair muscle after it has been broken down by resistance training,” says Jackson. “Muscle tissue only grows when you add resistance to it. You can drink all the protein in the world but you are not going to gain muscle,” she continued.

“Just like your body needs protein to repair muscle, it also needs carbs – whole grains and oatmeal – healthy fats like salmon, other fishes, nuts, leafy greens, oils such as flaxseed, avocados, and seeds – which are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.”

As for how to track whether you’re on the right track, Jackson cautions us about clinical charts tests like the body mass index chart. “Here’s the reality about the BMI (body mass index chart). From a clinical standpoint, we realize that when anyone has a body index of 30 or greater they are more prone (at risk) of developing chronic diseases,” said Jackson.

“With that being said, the BMI chart doesn’t take into consideration one’s race, muscular structure or age. So, when we look at the BMI chart, it needs to be read with a grain of salt – used only in a clinical stance. For example, for me, because I carry a lot of muscle tissue, on a BMI chart, they have me at a 24% body fat. I’m only at 14-15% so according to my height and weight, it’s not relevant – because all of our bodies are composed differently,” she continued.

So what do you use as a frame of reference? “How is your blood pressure, diabetes, or on meds for high cholesterol?,” Jackson said. She continued, “I would say the best indicator is your lab work.”

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