I love lifting weights! Way more than cardio (which probably means that I need more cardio!)… but many women believe, for one reason or another, that weight-lifting is not appropriate for them. Please keep reading today`s article by guest blogger, Samantha Olivier, to dispel this myth!
One of the greatest myths in fitness is that weightlifting is something that was made for exclusively men. There is also a widespread belief that women should just run a few times a week, do yoga and Pilates while all else will come naturally. Most of these claims are, however, as far from reality as it gets.
In fact, all those movie stars, who claim to have gotten in shape by using these methods, probably did either CrossFit or weightlifting. So what is the truth then, should women lift weights or not? Let’s find out!
You Won’t Look Like a Bodybuilder
First of all, the very idea that one could come to look like a bodybuilder by accident is outright insulting. Just think about it. There are people out there dedicating their every waking hour to bodybuilding.
They are spending hours and days in the gym and living on the most rigorous diets in order to get bulky. On the other hand, there are people out there trying to persuade you that, by lifting weights a few times a week, you could get the same result. It is simply ridiculous. Furthermore, it takes a lot more work for women to gain muscles than for men, which makes this whole scenario even more improbable.
One of the best things about weightlifting is that it helps you burn fat at an astounding pace. The amount of calories that get burned during stern weightlifting exercises is great indeed, but this process continues even after training. Post-exercise oxygen consumption causes your body to intake a lot more oxygen in the hours and days after training, making your metabolism work overtime. Speaking of metabolism, even in the long run muscles help you burn more fat. Muscle burns calories approximately three times faster than fat. In this way, even while you are resting, you are losing weight.
Coping with Stress
Training with weights is not only good for your body, but for your mind as well. According to several researchers, people who constantly engage in strength training usually handle stressful situations better. Furthermore, any kind of resistance training improves a number of cognitive functions, like memory and the ability to keep your wits under pressure. For all these reasons, going to the gym can also count as an exhaust vent. So, whenever you have a busy schedule at work or face a tough emotional problem, simply get your gym bags and go out to blow off some steam.
Apart from being good for your weight loss efforts, weightlifting brings numerous medical perks. Don’t forget that your hearth is a muscle, which means that it can be trained, too. This kind of exercise also improves one’s blood flow, as well as reduces Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), popularly known as unhealthy cholesterol.
Another advantage of weight training is increasing insulin sensitivity, which basically means that you will be able to eat more sweets without having to feel guilty about it. Last, but not the least importantly, women have increased chance of developing osteoporosis in their postmenopausal age and lifting weights reduces the ratio of bone tissue loss. However, in order to properly achieve this, it is advised that one starts with this training regimen as early in life as possible.
Not on Its Own
Finally, even though weightlifting is a great holistic exercise, it proves to be most effective when properly followed through. For example, some people would argue whether it is more effective to lift weights or do cardio, while it is always best to combine these two exercises.
Furthermore, even though training intensively will give results on its own, it can be greatly enhanced by combining it with a proper diet or even dietary supplements. In other words, in order to see weight lifting live up to its full potential, you need to change your lifestyle. After all, looking and feeling good is a 24/7 job.
As you can see, there is a plethora of reasons why women should lift weights and not a single one against it. In fact, like in the aforementioned case with osteoporosis, weightlifting can even be more important for women that it is to men. If you are looking to burn some fat, improve your overall health or just let loose, lifting weights might just be the right thing for you.
About the Author
Samantha Olivier has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. When not in the gym or on the track, you can find her on Twitter at or in a tea shop.
Are you convinced to get a set of dumbbells?