5 reasons why women should lift weights

Five reasons why women should lift weights

Every woman wants to look good, be in shape, and to feel great about her body without having any insecurities. For some women this requires a lot of dedication and effort, while others might reach their appearance goals quite easily. There are many factors that influence the way we look, like genetics predispositions, nutrition, metabolic rate, age, stress level, frequency and degree of physical activity, and many others. This why everything is strongly individual when it comes to the “right” diet or training plan. There are thousands of plans with amazing workouts, which can be beneficial for reaching certain goals, but the question is: “What works best for you?” Finding the answer will probably take some time experimenting and getting to know your body better, but there is one single thing, which is true for every women, and it is a great starting point- no matter what your current measures are, every woman looks better when her shape is toned and fit. This is where weight trainings can play a big role.

Unfortunately, many women still believe that lifting weights will make them super muscular and they will look like men. It is true that men, who have no experience with weight trainings, will gain some muscle relatively fast when they first start lifting. It is also true that they will continue building muscle, if they keep up with the workouts, and if their diet is sufficient. But when it comes to women, things are a bit more different, because women produce times less testosterone than men. Shortly, testosterone is the key male sex hormone that regulates fertility, muscle mass, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. The nature of men is to be strong and muscular, and women can be too, just not to the same degree. The process of building muscle in women is a lot slower and more limited. (1) This does not mean that there are “exercises only for men” and “exercises only for women”, or that “women should not lift weights”. It means that men’s and women’s bodies change at a different pace and their looks differ. The women who are bodybuilders and are perceived  as “too muscular” by some people, did not get to this physic easily; being a bodybuilder is a priority to them and their workouts, nutrition, recovery and supplementations had been adjusted, in order to be able to transform their bodies in such a way. Becoming a bodybuilder takes a decent amount of time and dedication, so there is no danger for a woman to become very muscular from lifting, unless this is what she aims to be. “Not lifting weights because you are afraid of looking like a bodybuilder is like not driving your car because you fear becoming a Nascar driver.”

Weight trainings can be really beneficial for women who want to be able to shape their figures, feel confident, strong and good about themselves. No matter if you are a beginner, or you have experience, but want to try something different than cardio or bodyweight exercises, there are many reasons why you should try lifting some weights. Here are a few of them:

  1. Weight trainings increase excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC, or also called afterburn). EPOC is used in the process that restores the body to a resting state and adapts it to the exercise that was just performed. Lifting weights usually leads to a significant muscle breakdown, which means that the body continues to burn a lot more calories after a weight training, in order to recover. There are many studies on the topic and they all suggest that resistance workouts promote higher EPOC levels than an average cardio session. (2) (3)
  2. Weight trainings elevate the overall basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the minimum number of calories required for basic functions at rest. Higher metabolic rate means that your body needs more energy intake, just to accomplish these functions. This is essential for women who want to lose weight, and it also boosts the overall energy levels. A study conducted in 2018, looking at the effect of resistance training in women, found that weightlifting increases BMR for up to 48 hours. (4)
  3. Lifting weights promotes mental health benefits. Research studies support the conclusion that strength trainings reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression among healthy adults. (5) Weight training changes the brain chemistry, releasing endorphins, which leads to a better mood immediately after a workout. Indications like constant worry, muscle tension, feelings of hopelessness and restlessness, significantly decrease after only a few weeks of weight lifting exercises.
  4. Resistance trainings reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens the bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. A study examined postmenstrual women who participated in a weight training program for one year. The results showed significant increases in their bone density in the spine and hips, areas affected most by osteoporosis in older women. (6)
  5. Lifting weights is the best way to shape your figure. The health and mental benefits of strength trainings, and working out in general, are amazing. But honestly, every healthy person who starts working out, first entered the gym because they wanted to look better. Yes, they probably continued with their trainings for the reasons mentioned above and for their overall improvement, but a fitter appearance is always the initial goal.

Weight trainings are a tool to build muscle, and the muscle growth can be promoted more (or less) in a specific area, because of the variety of exercises, which can focus only on a particular muscle. There is also a lot of freedom with choosing the weights’ heaviness and the number of reps per set, which influences how defined the muscles appear. Every form of physical activity helps us to lose fat, grow and tone our muscles, but only by lifting weights we have that much control over the process. This is why it is the best choice for people, who want to sculpture their bodies the way they want!

Weight trainings seem to be as beneficial and useful for women, as they are for men. When lifting weights, people must keep in mind that the right technique of performance always comes first. Weight exercises require strong focus and some knowledge. Nobody should trade their proper form for more repetitions in a set, or for a heavier weight. If you are from Plano or Allen, you can visit us at [Hidden Gym]. Our professional coaches can teach you everything you need to know about working out with weights the right way, while eliminating the risk of injuries. You can also join our fitness classes and group trainings, where you can meet new people and have a lot of fun!

Key words: Weight Training, Lifting Weights, Allen, Plano, [Hidden Gym], Fitness Class, Group training

References:

  1. Sex differences in the response to resistance exercise training in older people (2016)
  2. “Effect of Exercise Intensity, Duration and Mode on Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption”. Sports Medicine. (2003)
  3. Lift weights to fight overweight (2014)
  4. Six Weeks of Moderate Functional Resistance Training Increases Basal Metabolic Rate in Sedentary Adult Women (2018)
  5. Mental Health Benefi ts of Strength Training in Adults (2009)
  6. Women and Weight Training for Osteoporosis