Why Women Should Weight Train
Contributed by: Shawn Dassie,M.S., NASM-CPT, NSCA-CSCS
It’s about time we talked about the brilliant benefits of weight training for women—because way too many women are missing out on them. Traditionally, women often shy away from lifting weights for a number of reasons, from fear of bulking up to thinking they’re not strong enough, but none of these fears hold any weight (pun intended). The fact is, weight training is an ultra-effective way for women and men to get in great shape.
I’ve been training in the gym for over 20 years, and I’ve seen hundreds of people come and go of all different body shapes and sizes and the women who work out with barbells, dumbbells, and put a big focus on strength and resistance training are the ones with the super toned, strong bodies.
Here are several reasons every woman should lift weights:
- You’ll gain muscle and burn fat. By developing your muscles through weight training, your body automatically becomes more efficient at burning fat. For every single pound of muscle gained, your body burns 30 to 50 more calories just to maintain it. Forget about “becoming bulky”—that won’t happen because women do not produce enough testosterone to become bulky.
- Your butt will tone up. Not to get too superficial here, but weight training exercises can perform miracles on your butt. Three exercises have proved this time and again when it comes to a firmer, shapelier butt: barbell squats, dead lifts, and hip thrusters. These moves are extremely effective for strengthening and toning the glutes. These three exercises will help sculpt your butt like no other exercise.
- Your bones will get stronger. Bone mass begins to decline gradually with age, but women are four times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis. Weight training builds bone density, and the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends weight training two or three times per week to build and strengthen bones.
- Weight training fights heart disease. Weight training strengthens not only your muscles but also your ticker. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends weight training at least twice per week to improve heart health. And if you’ve already had a heart attack, the AHA also advises that lifting weights can reduce the chances of people having another heart attack.
- Your chance of injury will decrease. If you perform weight training exercises correctly, you don’t need to worry about getting injured in the gym. More importantly, they will also cut your risk of injury outside of the gym. This is because lifting iron strengthens tendons and ligaments, and develops both bone and muscle strength.
So what are you waiting for? Get lifting ladies!