Women Should Lift Weights. It’s true!
I’ve always believed that women should lift weights. Spending as much time in gyms as I do and working with my (male and female) personal training clients, I’m around women who weight train a lot of the time, so seeing a woman in the weight room is completely normal to me.
I hadn’t ever taken the time to realise that the women I see lifting weights are in the minority. They are a special population. It hit home to me over Christmas, when I noticed the fitness equipment industry was really patronising to women.
I was buying a few fitness-related presents for people and was struck by just how crap the fitness equipment offering aimed at women is. It’s all pathetic pink dumbbells, purple yoga mats, 3kg kettlebells and squishy swiss balls. It’s reinforcing the idea that women shouldn’t aspire to be strong or athletic.
It’s a real shame, especially when you see what women are capable of…
Given the time of year, there’s a good chance that many of the people reading this article are here searching for inspiration, ideas or guidance. Here’s my first piece…
Don’t accept that as a woman the limit of your exercise is a Zumba class. It’s not – women should lift weights, you should aspire to be strong, to be athletic and to head into the weight room with confidence. It’s not an area solely for men.
Learn to lift properly and not only will you match most of the men, you’ll exceed them….
The biggest single barrier to lifting I’ve come across in women is that they ‘don’t want to be bulky’.
I’m not going to patronise here, but I’ll say this – weight training won’t make you bulky. For a lot of reasons it’s really difficult for women to add a lot of muscle (certainly the amount of muscle required to look bulky). Those female bodybuilders you see look the way they do because they inject steroids – looking like that isn’t a by-product of lifting weights alone….
With a well-designed training programme you’ll improve your strength, reduce your chances of injury and develop a strong, athletic and lean body. You shouldn’t be spending hours on a treadmill or wasting your time in ineffective, low-quality aerobics classes.
Invest some time and effort in lifting weights. Learn correct technique, understand a few basic weight lifting and general fitness principles and you’ll improve your health, fitness and figure far faster than if you were to spend the next 12 months in 3 x weekly Zumba classes.
If you take the time to look at the images and videos I’ve posted here, you’ll notice that despite their strength and obvious weight lifting ability, none of the women are big, bulky and masculine-looking, so if that is your worry and reason for not weight training, I hope these images have put your mind at ease.
Please don’t think of exercise in terms of a gender split – there are no men’s and women’s exercises. There are just exercises. It’s a rock-solid belief of mine that women should lift weights as a fundamental part of their training programmes. Every single one of my personal training clients, male or female lift weights for the overwhelming majority of their training programmes.
Some women may feel that their goals or sport aren’t weight training related. It doesn’t matter – even if you are a runner for example, you should still incorporate weight training into your plan. My personal training client, Suzi, weight trains every single week and her main focus is triathlon. Her strength training helps her event prep, improves her performance and reduces her chance of injury.
There are too many benefits to weight lifting for me to list in a blog post, but here are a few…
Why Women Should Lift Weights
- Weight lifting makes you stronger
- Weight lifting helps make you leaner
- Weight lifting develops a healthy rather than skinny figure
- Weight lifting prevents injury
- Weight lifting improves your energy levels
- Weight lifting increases bone density (especially important in women over 50)
- Weight lifting improves your metabolism
- Weight lifting will improve your cardiovascular health too
Hopefully this blog post has convinced you that as a woman you should lift weights and that it will be a positive thing for your health, fitness, strength and confidence and that you won’t end up big and bulky, or hulk-like!
I’ve put dozens of weight training programmes on the site that are suitable for men and women, so check them out here.
Probably the best female weight lifting site I know is Sally Moss’ site, http://gubernatrix.co.uk . On the site she discusses all thing weight lifting and includes all kinds of techniques and tips. Give it a look.
If you prefer to learn via a book format, this one is top drawer. I have a few of the books in the series…