When I used to think of the gym, I would immediately think of big guys in tank tops high-fiving and throwing around heavy weight.
Now that I have more experience in the industry, I realize lifting weights can be beneficial for anyone.
Actually, as my years in the fitness industry grow, so does the number of women I see in the gym, working on their health & fitness.
The reason for this is that there are quite a few benefits for women associated with lifting weights.
So, let’s dive in and talk about some of those reasons for why women should lift weights.
1. Fat Loss not Weight Loss
First, let's talk about a topic that hits home for a lot of us ... losing fat.
It's very common ... not just for women, but for everyone ... to think cardio is great for burning body fat. However, weight lifting is far superior for losing unwanted body fat.
When you lift weights, you don't just burn calories during the exercise. You burn calories for the next few days.
Lifting weights causes little microscopic tears in the muscle that have to be repaired. As a result, during the first couple of days after lifting, your body uses up energy and burns more calories than with traditional cardio.
That is not to say cardio is bad, but in most cases, we should mix in weight lifting when possible.
When we add weight lifting to our routine, in addition to proper nutrition, we'll be well on our way to losing excess body fat ... resulting in an improvement in overall weight loss and body composition.
2. Build Lean Muscle
The first point about fat loss plays right into this benefit, which is gaining lean muscle. Another popular phrase for this is “toning up”.
So, when someone says “I want to tone up”, it actually means they want to build lean muscle and lose body fat.
The most efficient way to build muscle is by lifting weights. As mentioned earlier, when we lift, we create damage in the muscles we're working.
This is where proper nutrition comes in, as it allows us to repair and recover that muscle tissue, which can result in that muscle “growing”.
Plus, muscle is a very expensive tissue, meaning it burns a lot of calories just to maintain itself. So, if you want to burn more calories daily, add some quality muscle to your frame!
In fact, gaining muscle is one of the only ways to naturally enhance your metabolism on a daily basis! This will aid in long-term results and maintaining lower body fat.
Now, I know you may be thinking that you don’t want to "look too manly", but let me put that fear at ease. That is just a false stigma and myth in regards to women and lifting weights.
Actually, lifting weights can help you earn the physique you really want, much faster than if you didn't lift weights.
3. Improved Mood and Decreased Stress
There is something to be said about the awesome feeling you get after a great workout. This is because there's a hormonal response in which our body releases endorphins that elevate our mood.
So, if you hit a good workout, you'll have no choice but to feel happier.
Plus, when you commit to something and follow through, you will have a sense of pride in the fact that you stuck with it and earned it.
Then, as time goes on and you stay consistent, you'll start to see physical changes to your body.
When this happens, your progress will become noticeable, and that can help improve your self-image.
You'll be able to wear that outfit you’ve always wanted to with confidence! You may even be able to go to the beach, looking your best in that new bikini or swimsuit you bought this year.
All of these little things can add up to being happier and less stressed.
4. Injury Prevention
Contrary to some beliefs, lifting weights can lessen the chance of injury.
When done correctly, weight training can help improve your stability and strength. This is noticed most when it comes to core strength, bone strength, and joint stability.
Your core is an intricate part of almost any daily physical activity. Because of this, countless people get injured every year from a lack of strength and stability in their core. Actually, even simple activities such as lifting something into your car or playing with kids can lead to injury.
That said, regularly lifting weights can decrease this risk of injury, and can help put you in a better state to function properly throughout the day.
One thing to note, is that women are actually at a higher risk to develop things like, Osteoporosis, or Osteoarthritis.
However, bone density can be increased directly due to resistance training or lifting weights. This is because your body realizes it needs to strengthen its bones to be able to handle the load you are putting on it.
This can also lower the risk of fractures and connective tissue damage.
5. Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease
When it comes down to it, fitness isn’t just about your physique ... it’s about your overall health and well-being as well.
Research has shown that lifting weights can play a very beneficial role in reducing the risk of disease ... including improving circulation or blood flow, cholesterol levels, and insulin sensitivity.
This can affect cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Since cardiovascular disease affects so many people, we want to do everything we can to prevent it.
This includes resistance training along with other factors like aerobic exercise and nutrition. Plus, any advantage we can give our bodies to use glucose (sugar) more efficiently can help tremendously in this area.
Something else to think about, is the fact that Type 2 Diabetes and insulin resistance may have a negative affect on your health and well-being. So, finding ways to reduce insulin resistance can be extremely beneficial for our health.
Side Note: Improving insulin resistance can also help with losing visceral fat, aka belly fat!
Women can benefit from lifting weights just as much as any man ... and in some ways, they can benefit from it even more!
So if you're a woman wanting to get in better shape, and live an overall healthier life ... it could be very beneficial for you to lift weights, eat well, and enjoy building a healthy and strong lifestyle.
As always, if you need direction on where to begin, or how to progress ... here at 1st Phorm, we are here to help out!
Download the 1st Phorm App to gain access to multiple styles of weight lifting workouts, along with a NASM Certified Personal Advisor who will help coach you along the way!