Fashion and fitness magazines perpetuate the myth that weight lifting isn’t for women. Females are steered away from the weights and toward Pilates, Yoga or Cross-fit classes. This is absurd – using barbells and dumbbells won’t make a woman look manly or less feminine.
The women splashed across covers of bodybuilding magazines with skin stretched tight over bulging muscles protruding from every inch seek that look. They train for years and often take male hormones specifically to acquire that appearance. Not for you? I don’t blame you.
A woman who trains with weights won’t get bulky unless she is consuming an excess number of calories. If a female is ingesting more food than she is using for fuel, she’ll bulk up regardless of whether or not she is picking up heavy objects.
Weight lifting for women makes sense for the same reasons as for men – it is the best way to be stronger and firmer. From Courtney Green, athlete and fitness consultant:
Lifting heavy weight, for both women and men, will cause a flurry of positive systemic changes throughout your body. Your muscles respond by growing (which will also increase metabolism), bones become denser, hormonal regulation improves (that means a much more manageable menstrual period for women, among many other positive benefits), your central nervous system responds by learning how to recruit more muscle fibers to contract on demand and it becomes more resilient to physical stress. Not to mention the real-life benefits of just being stronger. And these are just a few of the reasons why you should lift heavy.
Strength training is the best way to slim down and tone up. Building strength and muscle allows human beings to burn calories more efficiently. If women operate at a calorie deficit and train with heavier loads, they can transform a portion of their body fat into muscle the same way men can.
Which of those fits better into a pair of jeans?
Christopher Wharton, PhD, a certified personal trainer and researcher with the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University:
10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories.
Men and women may hail from different pockets of our universe, but we share many similarities when it comes to training for sport and our fitness goals. We are family.
So bypass the hand weights and balance boards and build up to heavier weights. Don’t let archaic arguments scare you away from becoming leaner, firmer and healthier.