Even after women have been making their way into so many other awesome arenas usually dominated by men, there’s still a major disparity in the weight room.
Most women go to the gym for the following reasons:
1. To lose weight (a.k.a. to lose those darn bat wings, the tummy pooch, and cellulite that wreaks havoc on most of us)
2. Build Strength (a.k.a. be able to out push-up and pull-up the best of ’em *karate chop sound*)
3. Increase longevity (a.k.a. you know that we don’t have 9 lives like cats do, so… gotta make this one last as long as possible!)
4. Your doctor told you to (a.k.a. getting active is good for combating and reducing symptoms of sickness)
5. To decrease anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses (a.k.a. gym time = your prozac)
6. Because it’s the cool thing to do (a.k.a. this is likely not a long-term motivator and you may want to evaluate why you want to do the “cool thing” any way.)
Okay, now that I’ve snuck in some kick ass reasons to work out and their benefits… I will now explain how weight lifting may be a great if not BETTER way to target these goals.
1. Losing fat.
Not only does lifting heavier weights spike your metabolism for an all day burn, but for every pound of muscle a woman builds, they burn an additional 50 calories per day without moving an inch. Additionally, cardio lovers tend to lose muscle along with fat when losing weight, while lifters primarily lost fat.
2. Sculpting sexy curves and definition, NOT bulk.
Yes, that’s right. Making your body more proportional IS an option. For me, I have super weak shoulders and calves, so when I hit the gym I target these muscles with heavy weights and low reps to build them up. You can also do this with um, other curves as well 😉
Additionally, remember that tummy pooch thing? Well, women who lifted heavier lost more intra-abdominal weight than cardio enthusiasts.
Btw, this whole “I’ll get bulky” myth? Well, we have faaaaar less testosterone so to get super jacked you have to INTENTIONALLY bulk. No woman goes to the weight room and “accidentally” gets bulky. That kind of body is built with intent and diet/supplements. Just don’t go popping ‘roids or drinking bulk supplements.
Also, for a more personal reference, here’s my 28 day progression of purely lifting weights (AND no clean eating-which I’ll be tackling this month!) My waist has gotten smaller, and I’ve gained two pounds of muscle–woohoo!
3. It’s kick-ass for combating sickness (*insert another karate chop sound)
Lifting heavy weights can not only maintain bone mass, but build it! Additionally, because of it’s effects on ridding fat from our tummies, weight lifting also combats cancer, reduces risk of diabetes, and metabolic syndrome better than cardio does.
Muscle building can also help prevent injury by increasing joint integrity and building muscles that support your joints.
4. Lifting works your mental muscles too.
Many women gain self-esteem and feelings of self empowerment after lifting weights. Need a confidence boost? Hit the weights! Okay, don’t actually hit them, but you know what I mean…
Additionally, a Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical symptoms of depression more effectively than (gulp) therapy! This is really important for the ladies, since we are more than X2 as likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.
Regardless, weight lifting releases those feel-good hormones called “endorphins” and overall increases a ladies mental wellbeing.
So, if you’re shoes are always glued to a cardio machine in the gym (regardless of your gender).. take a risk and pick up some weights!
Again, there’s many resources and videos for learning about good form and where to start.
Think: bodybuilding.com (here’s one of my faves: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/erin-stern-elite-body-4-week-fitness-trainer.html)
Especially if you are a beginner, it’s important you begin slow and train up. Give yourself time and patience and in no time you will be a pro, lifting weights with the best of ’em. Annnnd there’s also some amazing shirts you can wear in the process…
Until next time, go get ’em tigress.
PS–This post is by no means saying that the “c” word, (cardio) is bad, nor should it be fully eliminated. I’m simply highlighting the benefits of adding in more weights. Get your cardio on, just…in moderation.
Source it up: