After 20+ years of being a coach in health and fitness. I’ve heard all the misconceptions about women lifting weights. I used to also use these same excuses until I realized its better to have 5 lbs of muscle instead of 5 lbs of fat. Don’t believe me? See the diagram below:
Wouldn’t you rather have the one on the right? I would.
And here are the 5 reasons why women SHOULD LIFT WEIGHTS!
Build a body that you want. Women are often seeking ways to lose fat and tone their bodies… Lifting weights does both. Weather your goal is to get a lean athletic look, or you just want to change the shape of your body, strength training is the answer. You can lose fat and improve your health with cardio, but lifting weights is what changes your muscle definition and shape.
Focus on What Your Body Can Do. We all want to look better, and it doesn’t help that society pressures us into feeling like we have to look a certain way. Because of this, people obsess over their bodies – how they look, what size pant we wear and how much we weigh. But lifting weights allows you to discover and be proud of what your body can do instead of worrying about how it looks. Learn to love your body not just for its appearance but for the amazing things it can do.
Accelerates fat-loss when combined with cardio. You get more fat-loss from cardio when you combine it with weight training. Having an exercise regiment that relies mainly on cardio for fat-loss will eventually lead to stagnation, as your metabolic rate will continue to drop as your body adapts to the demand you put on it. Therefore the prudent thing to do is incorporate more bouts of weight training while keeping cardio as low of a frequency as possible; combining weight and endurance training greatly enhances the metabolic effect on your training.
Shapes your curves. Most females feel that the best way to shape their body and achieve a more toned look is by spending hours upon hours of doing low-intensity cardio. The reality is that the best way to “bring out your curves” is to build strength and muscle. If all you do is constantly endure long bouts of low/moderate intensity cardio then you are basically lowering your metabolic rate. The more weight training you incorporate the more curved your body will be. Don’t give into the idea that you need to be a “cardio bunny” in order to be lean and toned.
Weight training with heavy resistance, WILL NOT make females bulky. One of the greatest myths that pervade gyms everywhere is the idea that females who train with relatively heavy weights will suddenly transform into the female equivalent of “The Incredible Hulk.” Reality is that females should train with heavy weights just like their male counterparts often do, and no it won’t make you “bulky” and deepen your voice.
So there you have it, 5 reasons women should stop fearing weights and give the cardio room a break. Of course it would be remiss not to mention that some cardio is worthwhile in almost any woman’s exercise regiment, but weight training should be the focus; don’t worry, you won’t magically get bulky overnight, but you will have sexier curves and a lean body…. That’s’ not so bad, is it?
See you next week!