6 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
Any woman who works out with weights will likely scream from the rafters the benefits…. What they will say is that weight-lifting brings tangible results and is hugely satisfying. The great thing is, it’s becoming increasingly popular amongst women, but many still fear they’ll soon resemble body-builders, rather than create the lean physique they desire.
Gradually, consensus is shifting though, with more and more women trying resistance training, be that with weights or just their own bodies, and never looking back.
One female personal trainer here at F1rst Class Fitness has told us she can eat eight times as much as she used to when doing purely cardio. But if that’s not incentive enough, we spoke to FCF club owner Josh Davies to find out exactly why lifting weights is such a good idea for women. He tells us that it really comes down to 6 key points, this is what he told us:
- Weight training is key to losing fat!
“When it comes to fat loss, the single most important factor is making sure you burn off more calories than you consume on a day-to-day basis. Weight training is simply superior for creating that after burning effect and boosting metabolic rate”, Josh explained.
By weight training, you build lean muscle, and muscle is a metabolically active tissue where carbohydrates and body fat are burned and used as energy. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate, so the more calories you’ll burn over the course of a day.
- It’s more effective than cardio!
“Many people think slogging it out on a cardio machine or pounding the pavement is the key to fat loss, but cardio puts strain on your muscles, which can lead to injuries, and won’t build muscle. I like to look at cardio like a short term fix not a long-term solution. For long-term body re-composition, lift weights and build lean muscle”, says Josh.
The thing is, with weight training, there are practically endless exercises you can do, so unlike cardio, you’ll never get bored.
- Lifting weights doesn’t mean you’ll become big and bulky!
“I completely understand why women think weight training makes you bulky and overly muscular,” says Josh, adding that it can make you bulky, but only if you do specific training with a strict diet to match and it’s a very slow process.
The reason for this is women are built differently to men, and Josh says women won’t become bulky because of basic biology. “On average, testosterone levels in men are about seven to eight times as high as in women. And testosterone is a main hormone that builds muscles.”
- It has a positive impact on bone density!
“When our bones are put under stress from the force of resistance training over a long period of time, they grow stronger and increase in density to withstand the extra load and force,” Josh says.
“Resistance training increases bone density and therefore decreases the chances of women and men developing osteoporosis later in life.”
Studies have shown that both aerobic exercise and resistance training help strengthen our bones’ ability to bear weight, but resistance training is more effective.
- It will improve your strength and boost your confidence!
Every time you workout with weights, you become stronger, and so next time you’ll be able to lift more, which is both incredibly satisfying and motivating.
“Unlike fat loss, which takes a lot of time and patience, strength in the gym can increase on a week-by-week basis,” Josh says, “Especially in the first five to six months of training.”
Also, it just feels awesome to feel strong: “I find that my female clients get a massive confidence boost when they know they can lift more than most men of the same age in the gym,” Josh says.
- It makes you more athletic!
Everyone wants to look toned and sculpted, and weight training is the way to achieve this. But it’ll also improve your abilities in other sports.
“I have trained a range of athletes in the past – from professional tennis players to adventure sport competitors to motocross riders,” Josh says. “Having a solid strength base helps improve many other elements of athleticism, including power, speed, agility, endurance and muscle mass gains.”
“Strength training and weight training will help the body adapt to the forces it will face during sport and through everyday life.”
Finally, weights machines can be daunting and this puts people off. All you need to do is ask someone how to use them once, and then you’ll be good to go.
Once you start working out with weights, chances are you’ll never look back. And then you’ll be one of the ones screaming from the rafters the benefits of strength training.
– The FCF Team