I see women everyday concerned that they’ll end up “looking like a man” if they lift weights. This idea has been spread widely and so a lot of people still think women shouldn’t lift weights. My opinion and hopefully the opinion of every fitness professional out there is that women definitely should lift weights.
Firstly, let's address the “If a woman lifts weights she’ll look like a man” issue. Unless you have excessively high testosterone for a woman or your goal is to have muscles as big as possible, you won’t end up looking like a man. Testosterone plays a massive part in building muscle and men have WAY more testosterone than women do. This means women will have to work WAY harder to grow muscle. So when you see those women with massive muscles, they work really hard for those, for years! That doesn’t just happen to you overnight. With that myth busted let's have a look at some reasons why you should lift weights!
1. You’ll Burn more Calories
Lifting weights (especially heavy) will burn a lot more calories during your workout. You will also continue to burn calories after you’ve finished your session for up to 6 hours. More calories burnt means more fat lost!
2. Your Bones will Get Stronger
Lifting weights makes our muscle pull on our bones, which then makes our bones stronger! This may not seem like such a big deal to a young person but as you get older and your bone density reduces you will wish you had been strengthening your bones for years. Those of you who are already at the age where bone density issues can become a problem, it’s never too late to start. Resistance training (weights and bodyweight) has been shown to improve conditions such as osteoarthritis under the right circumstances.
3. You will get a Toned Look
All too often I hear women say I want to look “toned’ but I don’t want to “gain muscle”. Unfortunately this is another way women have been misinformed over the years. In order to get toned you need to gain muscle. Resistance training (where you’re adding resistance to a movement via body weight or weights) is required to get that toned look!
4. Improve Your Posture
Almost everyone has Upper Cross Syndrome (aka Rounded Shoulders) but with the correct weight training exercises it will help you strengthen your back muscles which will help correct your posture. Having correct posture also helps reduce aches and pains you may have too!
5. Improve Your Mood
Exercise in general releases Endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, this helps to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It boosts self-esteem and helps to improve your sleep! Resistance training is really easy to track progress so this also makes you feel good when you can see improvements being made!
6. Increase Your Resting Metabolism Rate
Now what does this mean? Your resting metabolism rate (RMR) is how many calories you burn while doing nothing. Building muscle increases your RMR, so the more muscle you have the higher your RMR is. The higher your RMR is, the more you need to eat to maintain your body… so you can eat more! This is definitely my favourite perk of lifting weights!
There you have it! Hopefully this has helped to debunk some fitness myths and help you ladies get out there and start lifting some weights! If you have never lifted weights before, I would recommend getting a professional to guide you as you don’t want to injure yourself by having incorrect technique.