There’s this whole stigma when it comes to women and weight lifting: it’ll make you big and bulky, lifting is only for men, you don’t know how to lift, the list goes on and on.
After reading this post about what a mother wants her daughter to know about working out, I was inspired to write about women and lifting. It’s not about getting skinny and looking like models on the covers of magazines. It’s about feeling good, happy, and proud about what you look like.
So let’s talk about women and working out, but more specifically about women and weight training. Why should women be lifting?
You won’t get bulky
In fact, you’ll get lean. You’re burning just as many calories – if not more – by lifting. So you’re not only getting cardio in, you’re also toning your muscles at the same time.
Plus, women have more estrogen and less testosterone. So unless you’re taking ‘roids and chugging protein drinks, you’re not going to turn into a female version of the Hulk. (Here’s a great read on some more scientific reasons you won’t bulk up from lifting.)
You’ll tone and define
Want to have a great bum? You’re not going to get one with the Elliptical alone, it’ll take squats to get the booty of your dreams. Likewise, if your arms are the issue, pumping iron is only going to help.
Not only are tone and definition going to come from strength training, but you’ll also be giving healthy benefits to your muscles, bones, and joints.
You’ll be strong
One of the reasons I love lifting is because I’m not naturally a strong person. (Grass is always greener, right?) I love the feeling of knowing I lifted more today than I did last week. There’s a feeling of accomplishment there, and maybe just a little bit of a competitive spirit, too!
You can educate yourself
I hear a lot of women complain that they don’t know how to lift or how to lift properly. Well, like many things, there’s a few fixes for that, my friends!
- Join the right kind of gym. With Crossfit and Bootcamp gyms popping up all over the place, many of them have become a subtle mix between strength training and cardio. Not only will you learn how to do the exercises the right way, but you’ll get a ton of ideas when you are left to workout on your own!
- Get a trainer. A trainer’s a great way to get the proper technique. (And of course without proper technique, you’re not doing yourself any favors.) The best part? It’ll only take a few sessions to get comfortable on the free weights side of the gym!
- Read, read, and read some more. There are a TON of articles, how to’s, and general information out there on how to lift and how to do it properly. Some of my personal favorites? Shape, Women’s Health, and Fitness.
Now get out there and LIFT, ladies!