Lifting weights can be a challenge for women. Sometimes, there is a stigma behind being too strong or manly. Hormones and genetics also play a role for women in getting and staying fit.
Should women lift weights?
If you are looking for a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the answer is definitely a resounding YES! When it comes to maintaining health and fitness, lifting weights is one of the best things you can do for your body as a woman.
We have all heard the negative stigmas behind women lifting weights. Most often, I hear women say “I don’t want to be all jacked and muscly”, or something to that effect. We have seen women in pictures like this one, taken from mrolympia.com:
Sometimes people associate women lifting weights with bodybuilding competitions like these. So, in order to avoid a physique like the ones pictured above, they avoid lifting weights.
Let me say this bluntly – you will never look like the women pictured above… not even if you tried. The women that compete at a national level are loading themselves with anabolic drugs and have genes that are perfectly suited for bodybuilding. So don’t worry, lifting weights won’t cause you to look like this – ever.
What will lifting weights do to me?
Now that we have cleared the air on the stigma behind looking like a testosterone-loaded ox (my apologies to the wonderful competitive bodybuilding women out there), lets talk about what actually happens when women lift weights.
Lifting weights is AMAZING for losing weight and keeping it off. In fact, I find lifting weights more effective than running, jogging, walking, or any other form of cardio when it comes to burning fat.
Lifting weights obviously helps you build muscle. That added muscle requires calories to even exist. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body naturally burns… even when you aren’t exercising. That means the more weights you lift, the more fat your body is constantly burning, 24/7.
Your weight is dictated by your calories. So, if you want to lose weight, just make sure you burn more calories than you consume. I talk about this in more detail in this post.
I also offer a free weight tracking tool that will help you monitor your progress.
Lifting weights can also help regulate your hormones. This is a great benefit for women who struggle with their hormone balances on occasion. Keep in mind, our bodies are designed to have different levels of hormones at times and it is natural and healthy for those hormones to change.
Energy and Sleep
Lifting weights is known to directly affect energy levels throughout the day. One clear benefit to lifting weights is the recovery. After lifting, your body and its muscles are temporarily depleted of nutrients; this makes you tired and it is much easier to fall asleep.
Before I started working out, I had trouble falling asleep at night, which made me tired and groggy throughout the day. Now that I lift weights in the evening, my body feels like it needs rest and falling asleep is much easier.
Curves on Curves
Lifting weights is the secret to having curves in all the right places. If you are after the physical appeal of ‘looking like you work out’, then you probably need to actually work out; and the best way to do that is by lifting.
If you haven’t already figured it out, cardio does not usually lead to voluptuous curves. Although running and walking can help shed the pounds, cardio won’t do so much for your lady assets.
Lifting Weights Saves Time
When it comes to exercise, lifting weights tends to be more effective than other forms of working out. As mentioned above, as you build muscle, your metabolism increases which helps you continue to burn fat. Cardio, without resistance training, usually burns more calories during the workout, but does little for you after the fact.
Unless you have endless amounts of time to dedicate to walking (or any other type of exercise), lifting weights is going to give you the best bang for your buck. As you get stronger, you just simply increase the weight. With cardio, as you get more endurance, you have to add time.
Lifting weights for an hour a day is a very effective means of getting fit and keeping the fat off for good.
Workouts That are Best for Women
Although squat and deadlift tend to be popular with the ladies for building heinies, there aren’t necessarily any workouts that are specifically for women. It all depends on where you want to build muscle. As I mention in my post on carbs, you don’t get to decide where your body burns fat from; but you do get to decide where you build muscle.
Added muscle in certain areas will help tighten up that part of your body. For example upper arm workouts will tighten up your arms and reduce flabby arms. Also, workouts that engage your thighs will reduce visible cellulite because your muscles tighten up those areas.
It is important to follow a plan. Have a schedule and stick to it. If you don’t already have a fitness plan, you should give the Jamina Fitness Program a shot. It works great for both men and women. It’s also free
The Verdict on Women Lifting
There is no reason to not be lifting weights. Give it your best effort for a few months and be rewarded with feeling and looking healthier. The best time to start is now, and the best place to start is here.
Happy lifting, ladies!