Weight lifting is only for men, weight lifting is going to make you big and bulky, weight lifting is bad for the joints. All these statements are absolute craps. If you stop lifting, your muscle turns to fat. It is all about the number on the scale. If your have been lifting, I am sure you have already seen the benefits. If you are unsure and insecure about weight lifting, watch this video through because I want to change your perception and I want you to start lifting. So, let’s talk about why women should lift weights.
Weight lifting will burn more fat. If you are exercise at your optimum level, you will be burning fat but you might be wondering why then do I have to lift weight. Can’t I just do cardio and burn fats?
Let’s understand the difference between aerobic exercises, in this case I will be referring to moderate intensity cardio and anaerobic exercise, which I will be referring to intense strength training.
When you only do cardio, you burn fat only during the workout and it stops shortly after the workout. If you include strength training, you increase your metabolic rate and your body continues to burn fat after the workout even while at rest. This is also known as the afterburn effect. I am not sure about you, but I definitely want my body to be a fat burning machine even when I am not exercising.
Ladies, shape your curves! The best way to bring out your beautiful curves is to add strengths and muscles. Lifting weights is going to change your shape giving you’re a toner and stronger look and change the way you fit in your cloth. Cardio alone is not. Cardio is extremely important and should be part of your fitness routine. Yes, you can lose body weight by doing cardio but with very little muscle mass, you will look skinny fat. When you combine cardio with weight lifting, it’s going to add beautiful curves to your body, giving you’re a firmer butt, toner legs and arms, slimmer waist and better posture. I can assure you, you will look good in whatever you choose to wear.
Weight lifting will build and maintain muscles. When you start lifting from a young age or even when you are older, you will preserve and rebuild muscle fibres. Between 30-70 years old, women loss about 22% of our total muscle. As we age, our body will increase in fat and decrease in muscle mass.
Muscle is about 18% more dense compared to fat. So one of muscles takes up space compare to one pound of fat.
Here are two pictures comparing two different women at exactly the same weight. The woman who lifts is slimming because she has more muscle mass and less fat compare to the other woman.
So if you want to look slim even when you are older, start lifting now, and you will bulk up! That is one of the biggest myth we should all stop believing. Women do not have enough muscle building hormones to pack on muscle mass as easily as men do. Those big and bulky women bodybuilders do not just lift weight and eat clean to achieve that body. In fact, they have a very strict diet, train intensely and take specific supplement to achieve their figure. And they have probably been training for many years to achieve their goal. So, no ladies, you will not bulk up unless you intentionally train and eat to bulk up.
The next point is to get stronger bones. Osteoporosis is the result of physical inactivity and lack in weight bearing exercises. Women are at higher risk compared to men. Women can prevent osteoporosis by lifting weight with intensity. As a result, you will have stronger bones and better posture.
Weight lifting can boost energy and mood. So if you are constantly feeling tired, lack of energy of feeling moody, go and lift some weights. Strength training will boost the “feel good” chemicals in your brain, helps you to sleep better and just improve the overall quality of life. I have a friend who fought depression by lifting weight. She has attempted suicide several times and after being introduce to the gym, her life completely change around. And now she is inspiring people around her to start exercising. So if you are feeling moody, uninspired or stressed out, go and lift some weights.
Weight lifting doesn’t just train your body, it strengthen the mind as well. When you lift, you can’t just let your mind wander off and expect your body to do the job. When I train, I have to be in the zone. I am very focus and making sure my form is correct, I am engaging the right muscle and I will push myself to complete all the repetitions and sets. So this “in the zone” moment will strengthen your body and also your mind. You will also experience the benefits out of the gym such as better focus, better memory, increase self-belief and you will adapt in different situation better.
Weight lifting will make you stronger and give you more confidence. I have a girl friend who loves to lift because it make her feels stronger and she likes knowing that she can do her daily routine such as carrying grocery bags, her children or lifting other heavy items on her own without needing someone’s help. To me, that is very empowering and it can also boost our self-esteem.
These are just 7 benefits which you will experience once you start lifting. There are so many more other benefits such as hearth health, prevent disease, living longer and looking younger.
So how and where should you start?
Start by doing total body strength training 3 times weekly on alternate days because it takes between 24-48 hours for muscles to build and recover and avoid training the same muscle consecutively. Resting and allowing your muscles to recover is equally just important.
So on the other days, you can do cardio exercises. For each weight training session, aim for a solid 45-60 minutes. So when your lift, remember that the weights should be heavy enough for you to perform between 8-15 repetitions. If you can do more than 15 repetitions without much of the struggle, then the weights are too light and you need to change heavier weights. Start with 2 sets for each exercise and as you progress; slowly increase to 3 or 4 sets.
I would recommend you to watch “Beginner’s Guide to Start an Exercise Routine” for more in depth explanations and also “25-Minute Total Body Strength Training”.