Building Strength, Building Resilience - Ann Marie Lawrence on the Power of Muscle for Women
Remember the days of endless crunches and tiny dumbbells? While low-impact exercise has its place, IFBB Pro and weight loss expert Ann Marie Lawrence recently delivered a wake-up call to women: prioritize heavy weight training. It's not just about sculpted arms, it's about building resilience for life.
Ann Marie's message resonated deeply. A recent study by the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that women lose nearly 40% of their muscle mass between the ages of 30 and 70. This decline accelerates after menopause, putting women at increased risk of falls, fractures, and limitations in daily activities.
This isn't just a physical threat. A study published in the Journal of Gerontology found a strong link between low muscle mass and cognitive decline in older adults. Building and maintaining muscle, therefore, becomes crucial for protecting both body and brain.
So, why do many women shy away from the weight rack? Myths abound – from bulking up to injury concerns. But the truth is, strength training, done right, offers a multitude of benefits:
- Increased metabolism: Muscle burns more calories at rest, boosting your metabolic rate and aiding weight management.
- Stronger bones: Weight training stimulates bone growth, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Improved posture and balance: Building core and back strength enhances posture and stability, preventing falls and improving overall movement.
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Muscle acts as a metabolic buffer, regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- Boosted confidence and self-esteem: Feeling strong and capable translates into increased confidence and self-worth in all aspects of life.
Ann Marie isn't suggesting ditching your Pilates class altogether. Variety is key. But incorporating heavy weight training 2-3 times a week, focusing on compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and rows, is an investment in your future self.
Remember, you don't need to become a powerlifter. Start with manageable weights and focus on proper form. And don't be afraid to ask for help – a qualified trainer can guide you safely and effectively towards your goals.
So, ladies, embrace the iron. It's not just about sculpted physiques; it's about building a strong, resilient foundation for a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. Let's move beyond the thin-and-toned ideal and redefine what it means to be a strong, vibrant woman. We've got this!
Stay connected with author and Team ICON Member Ann Marie Lawrence on:
- Instagram: annmarielawrence_
- Facebook: coachannmarie.lawrence
- YouTube: @AnnMarieLawrence
- Coaching Inquiry
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- Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643776/
- Journal of Gerontology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35796211/