When you think about lifting heavy weights, a picture of a woman is probably not the first image that comes into your head. Understandable, but that is why this needs to be changed. There seems to be this common misconception going around that women shouldn’t and can’t lift weights because somehow this will lead to bulkiness. WRONG. I don’t know who started this crazy idea, but since then women have shied away from weights because of the fear of getting too bulky or looking to “manly”. I’m here to assure you that you will never have to worry about this happening.
First of all, when you start incorporating weights, your muscles only get STRONGER, and not necessarily bigger. Ever heard of testosterone? Women have significantly less amounts of this hormone than men, making it almost impossible to grow as much muscle as them. We would have to spend a lot more time training, take supplements (I do not recommend this), and eat way more food if we truly wanted to reach the same muscle mass as males. So unless you’re aiming to become a bodybuilder and want to take crazy supplements, there is no reason to worry about building TOO much muscle.
Moreover, strength training helps define the muscles that we already have and also assists in fat loss. The muscles mass gained through this workout actually helps burn more (mind blown) muscle when done correctly. If you want to achieve that toned, lean look, then weights are the way to go. And if you still enjoy cardio (who are you?!), then you could even try combining the two, which brings me to the next misconception: cardio for fat loss.
The myth that cardio is the only way to lose fat is a total lie. This is not to say that cardio isn’t important for people trying to lose weight, but it certainly is not the ONLY or best way. As mentioned before, weight lifting is also a big contributor to weight loss. Doing both cardio and strength training simultaneously is actually the most optimal in terms of overall fat loss and muscle gain. I’m not sure why women always gravitate towards cardio, but I guess everyone has a preferred workout style. My advice is do whatever makes you happy! Find a workout style that you enjoy and fits with your own goals. Personally, I have seen so many physical, mental, and internal changes through strength training. It is my main focus at the moment and I usually do half strength and half cardio.
Now, if at this point I haven’t convinced you to take up strength training, then here are some of the various benefits, all backed up by science and through significant research:
- It is beneficial to all ages, so you can never be too old or young to start!
- In addition to making you stronger and fitter, studies show that it can promote bone development, reduce lower back pain, and reverse several skeletal muscle aging factors
- It reduces strength and anxiety and improves your overall body image
- It works to prevent future disease and contributes to a healthy mind and body
- It helps keep off the weight-for good!
- It sharpens your thinking skills and overall cognitive abilities
So…now are you thinking of giving it a try?!
Even if weights aren’t your thing, I’d love to hear what your favorite types of workouts are in the comments below!