Why women should be lifting weights
“If I lift weights I will get bulky.”
“If I lift weights I will look like a man.”
“If I lift weights all the other people in the weights room will look at me and judge me.”
These are just some of the fears many women have and ultimately the reason why they stick to their pink 2kg dumbbells. I will tell you a few reasons why you absolutely should be lifting (heavy) weights.
- You want to look toned. Well I hate to break it to you, but you are never going to look toned without some muscle mass. If you are a beginner resistance bands and dumbbells will see you progress. If you are advanced, you will probably want to get familiar with a barbell and/or resistance machines.
- Lift weights to improve bone health. Doing regular resistance training won’t only make you look great on the outside, you are also increasing your bone density! This might not sound as sexy as having visible abs, but you will be thanking yourself when you get older for reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Burn calories even once you finished your workout. This is referred to as excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and reflects the number of calories expended (above resting values) after an exercise bout.1 “Few studies have investigated the effects of resistance training on EPOC, but the research that has been done suggests that resistance training elicits a valuable EPOC response for weight loss and/or weight management.”
I will add a link to the full study at the end of this post for those of you who want to know more.
- Raise your metabolism and eat more. The higher your percentage of lean mass, the faster your metabolism is going to be. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) will be higher if you carry more muscle. The amount of calories needed to keep your body functioning at rest will increase the more lean mass you carry.
- Feel great. Resistance training will just make you feel amazing and strong. The stigma of women being weak and vulnerable has to stop. There is no reason why we can’t be strong and feminine at the same time.
I hope the above has convinced you that lifting weights is indeed something you should be doing. If you are still scared about going to the weights because you think all eyes will be on you I will reveal a little secret – nobody cares about you being in there. Most people are far too focused on what they are doing and don’t have time to look at other people. My recommendation would be to get a trainer if you don’t have any prior experience in strength training. This will help you get the basics right and give you more confidence performing exercises safely when you are training on your own.