6 benefits of strength training for women and how to avoid excessive muscle mass

Strength training is often the most underutilised training method for women and many are yet to reap the benefits of it.

  1. Enhanced bone modelling = increase bone strength & reduce osteoporosis risk
  2. Stronger connective tissues = increase joint stability
  3. Increased functional strength = increased performance
  4. Increased lean body mass and reduced non-functional body fat = more effective mass
  5. Higher metabolic rate
  6. Improved self-esteem and confidence

(Fleck and Kraemer, 2004; Ebben, 1998)

Modifications to avoid hypertrophy (increase in muscle mass)

  • Either reduce intensity <70% but more likely increase intensity to loads allowing less than 6 reps
  • Reduce volume (number of sets/reps)
  • Reduce number of exercises per body part (i.e. arms, legs, shoulders etc)
  • Use additional aerobic training – but again be careful here due to performance mal-adaptations!
  • Change exercises more frequently
  • Use compound exercises (whole body exercises such as squats, press ups etc)
  • Reduce time under tension (how long it takes for you to complete a rep/set)
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