Should Women Lift Weights?
Thoughts have changed a lot over the last few years, it’s become more and more acceptable for women to lift weights and this is a good thing.
Not every woman needs to be an athlete, not every woman needs to be physically strong, but there are a lot of benefits to be gained from adding weight training to your lifestyle.
#1 You’ll Lose More Fat
When you lose weight, you typically lose a combination of muscle and fat. This makes you smaller and normally improves appearance but not nearly as much as it could. If you maintain or add muscle mass whilst losing weight, that means 100% or more of your net weight loss will be fat loss. The way to maintain it is to train it.
I’ve trained men who have had only small decreases in weight but lost massive amounts of fat, this is because when muscle mass is gained quickly and fat loss occurs gradually, the makeup of the body is changed more than the size of it.
Women don’t generally gain muscle at this rate, but you can still take advantage of weight training to lose more fat and improve definition much faster than you otherwise could.
#2 It Won’t Make You Bulky
Lots of women avoid lifting weights, particularly heavier ones for fear that it will make them bulky or give them a thick waist. I’ve heard bodybuilders say the same thing!
It just doesn’t happen like that.
Certainly a woman should think about which parts of her body to emphasise if she wants to maintain and improve on her feminine physique but if you’re not going heavy on arms every day then you should be fine. And the waist thing? Despite lifting squatting and deadlifting heavy for years, I have additional holes in my lifting belt because it became too big for me. Lifting doesn’t make your waist thick, fat does.
#3 It Will Help You Fight Ageing
As you get older, things often start going downhill. Your bones become weaker (especially in women), your muscles shrink and your body loses its toned appearance.
Guess what improves all three signs of ageing? Weight training!
Maintenance of Muscle Mass
When you place a stress on the muscular system, it responds with muscle growth. If there is little stress on the muscular system, it responds with muscle loss. Most people do less as they age, which leads to muscle wasting. If you lift weights and aim to improve your strength along the way then you will stay fit when everyone else is having trouble getting out of their chairs.
Maintenance of Bone Mass
The skeletal system is quite similar to the muscular system. Although it appears that there is a limit to new bone growth as you age, you can certainly maintain your bone density and offset many of the ills that are considered by many to be part of the normal ageing process.
Maintenance of Good Looks
Everyone wants a toned body. Even if you have no aspirations for washboard abs, you’d still probably like to have a flat belly. As you get older and activity levels go down, you typically gain weight in the form of fat and lose muscle each year. This combination can leave many with what can only be described as a flabby body. If you put the brake on this process with weight training then you can maintain your tone and eat more without fat gain.
#4 You’ll Become more Injury Resistant
Weak muscles often amplify forces on the body. Strong muscles protect against most things.
I’ve been in a few accidents that I know would have been way worse if I didn’t have strong muscles supporting my joints and acting as shock absorbers for my bones.
Even the little things in daily life are improved. You’ll have better balance so you’ll be less likely to fall, you’ll have stronger muscles to stop joints from overextending and causing injury and if you do hurt yourself? Your bones and muscles will be stronger and less likely to suffer a significant injury.
:Learning to lift also teaches you proper movement patterns so you don’t herniate a disc when moving furniture!
#5 You’ll Become Fitter
Weight training gives you many of the benefits from exercise, even if you’re not huffing and puffing for an hour at a time.
- Better mental health
- Better heart health
- Better cardiovascular fitness
- Stronger bones
- Stronger muscles
- Stronger tendons
- Better co-ordination
- Better metabolic profile
Plus, squats and deadlifts built a great butt, and who doesn’t love a great butt?
So if you’re not doing weight training as part of your routine, why the hell not?
Until next time,
P.S If you want to learn how to lift with the best of them, check out the women’s strength group. Email me and I’ll hook you up with a free taster session if I have spaces available 😉