Photo by John Arano on Unsplash

Girl, Lift Some Weights


Apr. 26 2021, Updated 2:35 p.m. ET

If you go to the weights section of most gyms, you’re likely to find yourself in a very male-dominated space. Whilst some women love and have embraced weight lifting and resistance training, many still have their reservations. So with gyms about to rammed with a mix of summer health kicks, and post lockdown house-leavers, let’s talk about why women don’t lift weights, and why they totally should.

No, weight lifting doesn’t make you bulky.

This is a common fitness myth that prevents a lot of women from picking up the bell bar. The first important thing to mention is that there really isn’t anything wrong with bulky, muscular women. But for those who would not prefer that look on themselves, don’t worry. The average woman does not have enough testosterone to grow prominent muscles in the first place. Furthermore, you can’t build muscle by accident. It is a long and deliberate process. You can’t build muscle if you’re in a calorie deficit. You also can’t grow muscle by doing ten arm curls each session. Your muscles adapt, so to grow them you have to use tactics like progressive overload . It’s really hard to do. To sum up, unless you are actively trying to build muscle, you almost certainly won’t. And if you do build, they’re not getting huge anytime soon.

Cardio isn’t the only way to burn calories

Another thing that keeps women from lifting is that like it or not, a lot of the time when women go to the gym it’s to lose weight. And there is a perception that weight training can’t help with that. Whilst HIIT training obviously burns calories fast, weight training is associated with long-term fat loss. Building muscle is hard, but not something to totally shy away from as more muscle means better metabolism and therefore sustained weight loss. Also, lifting weights does burn a lot of calories both during the session and as part of the ‘after affect‘.

There are SO MANY benefits to weight lifting

Not even just burning fat and building muscle. lifting can help to strengthen your bones and joints. It can help reduce injury in other activities and aid injury recovery. Lifting is good for heart health, and it’s really fun to show how strong you’ve gotten.

So when the gyms are open and safe, give the Stairmaster a break and march your way into the weights section.

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