I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a fellow female say, “I’m not lifting weights..I don’t want to look like a man.” And to be honest, I’m sure my 17 year old self muttered the same phrase when my Dad told me I should start lifting. But the reality is, lifting won’t make you look like a man- and it actually has some great health benefits for women specifically.
1. Lifting weights actually burns more fat. How? When you lift weights your body actually burns calories after your leave the gym.
2. Lifting builds muscle. That doesn’t mean you are going to look manly. You are going to look toned and more lean, more so than just sticking to cardio.
3. You’ll get stronger. This means you’ll be able to do more things and see your muscles grow. It can be so satisfying to start to be able to use heaver weights as you get stronger. It’s a tangible measure of how you are improving.
4. It increases bone mass. Osteoporosis is more common in women and lifting weights has been proven to increase bone mass in women.
5. Lifting is good for your heart. The American Heart Association found that those who lift weights have a lower risk of suffering from heart disease. Other studies show that those who lift have lower resting heart rates which is another great benefit.
These are only some of the many benefits that women can have from incorporating strength training into their workout plan. You don’t necessarily have to include weights in all of your workouts but maybe start with one or two days a week. There are many resources that can provide you with tutorials on the proper way to lift as well as provide you with some exercises to get started. You should start with lighter weights and then increase as you get stronger.
And don’t be intimidated if the free weight section of the gym is full of guys. Do your thing and get stronger! Your body will thank you!