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Study shows that only 10% of Filipinas work out to build muscle despite the benefits

By The REBEL Team Published Jul 06, 2021 11:37 am

Most Filipinas work out to lose weight—more than anything else. 82% of Filipino women surveyed listed this as their primary reason for exercising, as compared to 68% of the men asked. Of the female respondents, only 10% of them work out to gain muscle. These numbers are based on REBEL signup data.

While strength training is an up-and-coming fitness trend (that we hope will stick!), it hasn’t gained as much popularity as cardiovascular workouts yet. Strength training, also known as resistance training, improves both strength and endurance while boosting overall health. It makes muscles stronger through anaerobic exercises, which break down glucose in the body without oxygen. In a nutshell, they are more intense, shorter than aerobic exercises, and are muscle, endurance, and power-building.

Perhaps the notion that women become bulky through lifting is reason enough for them to skip strength training altogether, they have benefits that are oftentimes overlooked. Here are 5 reasons why Filipinas should lift weights:

1. It helps you build the body you want.

Sure, muscle weighs more than fat, but lifting helps you lose fat too. As you gain muscle and lose fat, you’re able to improve overall health. Hit two birds with one stone as strength training helps you get lean and improve body shape and muscle definition.

2. It does wonders for your self-esteem.

Weightlifting and self-confidence can go hand-in-hand. Endorphins released through a workout make you feel good about yourself, so as your physical strength increases, your mental strength does, too. After continuous strength training with proper form, you and others will surely notice a spring in your step.

3. Increased strength helps you breeze through daily activities.

Because you’re getting stronger, everyday tasks that used to be so physically and mentally taxing will come easy. Whether it’s transferring your plants into the sun as a plantita, moving furniture around as a newly developed quarantine hobby, or even something as simple as carrying your children, pets, and groceries, nothing becomes more rewarding than seeing results from consistent workouts manifest through daily routines.

4. It lets you appreciate your body more.

We already know that women’s bodies are capable of doing so many great things—add lifting weights to that long list, and it gives us many reasons to celebrate ourselves. For the longest time, we’ve held Western features and bodies to define what beautiful means, but through the strength you gain and things you can do, may you take more pride and show more love not just for the way your body looks, but also for what and how much it can do.

5. It positively impacts bone density.

Studies show that Filipinos in their 50s to 60s have the same risk of getting osteoporosis as those aged 70 and above. Resistance training helps with boosting bone density, which means an improvement in the ability of the bones to take extra force, weight, and load. In the long run, starting weightlifting when we’re younger helps lower the risk of osteoporosis and other bone-related injuries later on.

Coach Sheena Mabilangan, a qualified PT and CrossFit competitor is an advocate for change and more openness. She aims to educate women to be ‘Able and Capable’ physically and mentally. She champions the acceptance of different body types and body love, specifically for Filipino women.

“Times are changing and so can we. I believe there is a great opportunity to apply a more active approach. Not only is this body capable of more but you reap some quality health benefits.”

Need help getting started on weight lifting or exercise in general? Download the REBEL App from the App Store or Google Play Store for tips, tricks, and workouts you can do in the comfort of your own home.