Yes, that’s right. I believe, without a doubt in my mind, that women should lift weights. It’s time to step down from the treadmill and back away from the pink weights.
Women (and men) have this preconceived idea that females should not participate in weight lifting.
“I don’t want to look like a guy”
“Lifting weights will make me bulky”
“I’ll gain fat without doing my cardio”
I’m going to put an end to those thoughts circling in your mind, right now. These statements could not be further from the truth.
Why Women Should Lift Weights
Without getting too far into biology and human anatomy, the fact is that women are made different from men. We, women, do not have the same biological structure, physical composition, or hormone make-up that men do. In order to gain muscle like a man, a woman would need to heavily supplement, in addition to committing to a tedious workout schedule and specific nutrition plan.
Take it from me, a female who has participated in consistent strength training for 5+ years and still doesn’t look manly. At least, I’d like think so. To prove my stance on this topic, I’m sharing my top ten reasons why women should lift weights:
This one is self explanatory. Lifting weights will help you gain muscle. No, it will not (notice the emphasis) make you look bulky. Yes, it will help you achieve the “toned” look you work so hard for.
When strength training, your body breaks down the muscle. Once it’s broken down, it needs to build back up. This process can take 24-48 hours. Guess what? This means your body is continuing to work after your workout is done. Therefore, more calories are being burned, resulting in a greater fat loss. Alternatively, when solely participating in cardiovascular training, your body stops working and burning calories the moment your workout is finished.
Increase Metabolic Speed
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. This is good news for those of you who say you have a slow metabolism. If you want to increase it’s speed, try strength training. A quicker metabolism results in more calories being burned and increased fat loss.
Gain Strength and Stamina
When you gain muscle, you gain strength. Come on ladies, how cool is it when you can pick up a heavy box, open a new jar of pickles, or perform a pull up all by yourself? Increased strength is a wonderful thing, making you more self-sufficient, increasing bone density, gaining confidence, and more!
Burn Extra Calories
Like stated previously, increased muscle mass = a faster metabolism = more calories burned. Win, win, win. Amirite?
Achieve Aesthetic Goals
As the fat melts away, your lean muscle mass will begin to shine. Again, not to fret, this does mean you will “look bulky.” I promise. You’ll gain muscle definition, feminine curves, and hopefully, a nice booty to rival the Kardashian crew.
As you begin to strength train, you’ll notice an increase in strength and endurance. As a result, you’ll probably feel more energized throughout the day. Walking through the grocery store, taking the stairs at work, or playing with your children won’t seem like such an exhausting task.
Drop Pant Sizes
Pant size > the scale. You’ve probably heard this before because it is so true. Muscle weighs more than fat, so naturally, as you gain muscle the weight on the scale will increase instead of decrease. That is OKAY. What matters is that your overall dimensions are decreasing. As the number on the scale rises, the love handles will begin to disappear.
As strength training starts to give you that “toned” look you’ve worked so hard for, your confidence will soar. This is probably the best result from weight training. As mama says, “if you got it, flaunt it,” and I second that.
I hope you think of this post the next time you step into the gym. When you’re debating heading to the treadmill or the squat rack, think of me and do both! If you don’t know where to start, I’d love to help you. Contact me for personal training services via the “Contact” page.