There are many benefits to lifting weights. In my opinion, all women should lift weights as part of a well balanced fitness routine.
Unfortunately, over the years there has been a lot of misinformation floating around the internet about women lifting weights. Contrary to popular belief, adding weight training to your exercise routine WILL NOT make you bulky or “look like a man!”
In this post I tell you why the average woman will not “bulk up” and give you great insight to the benefits of lifting weights. Trust me ladies, you want to read this. 🙂
What if I told you that almost all the things women experience as they age could be halted by lifting weights?
Here is a little story to illustrate what I mean.
Once upon a time I was a young woman in her twenties with perky breasts and a cellulite free lower body. I didn’t really pay much attention to what I ate and rarely exercised.
Fast forward 10 years and 3 kids later and everything had changed. My once perky breast were now what I liked to call “pancakes with raisins” or “socks with rocks” thanks to breastfeeding 3 babies. My breasts were not the only thing sagging either! I had some loose skin on my belly and my lower half was dimpled with cellulite and everything just looked droopy.
Granted I was still carrying a lot of “baby” weight even though it had been YEARS since I had my last baby. My self-esteem plummeted and I began fearing the aging process. If I looked and felt this bad in my 30’s what was it going to look and feel like in my 60’s! This was a totally new thing to me that I had never considered! I. Was. Terrified!
I decided it was high time I got that baby weight off and began exercising and eating better. Slowly but surely the weight dropped off but I still had a ton of cellulite and everything was sagging.
Related Article: How to Exercise When You Have Kids
Did any of that sound familiar?
You know why things were sagging even though I had lost 25 pounds? Because I had no real muscle tone underneath. That is the beauty of muscle, it lifts and tightens your body and it fills out your skin in a good way!
Also, did you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the average woman to really bulk up the way a man would? Men have much more testosterone than women do and that is one of the biggest reasons you will not develop manly muscle.
If you are wondering how those female bodybuilders do it, they are usually taking hormones or other supplements to significantly increase their muscle growth. Not to mention the way the average woman works out is much different than that of a world class athlete.
Related Article: How to Exercise for Free
Here are some amazing reasons women should lift weights:
women should lift weights if they want to fight gravity everywhere
This is what I was trying to show in the above story. Your chest may be the most obvious place that gaining a bit of muscle would benefit, but so will the rest of your body.
Do you have “bat wings?” If so, toning your arms up, especially your triceps, will banish that. A droopy lower half will also be remedied with strength training. How about post-baby belly? Toning your midsection will help that as well.
The key is to have a great totally body workout to do at least twice a week.
women should lift weights if they want to stop peeing when they sneeze
Oh I totally went there! As much as we may not want to admit it, most women go through this after pregnancy.
After having babies our bladder control goes a little haywire. When I was having an issue with this and told my doctor that I was doing HUNDREDS of kegels a day, she informed me that kegels would only do so much.
She said to focus on strengthening my core muscles! Basically, pregnancy stretches everything out in our pelvis area which also weakens the surrounding muscles that help control bladder function. Building core strength would help pull things back in place.
After a few weeks of lifting weights I was really beginning to notice a difference in this department. Doing “plank” exercises are also a good place to start for this issue too!
Although, I still can’t jump too high on a trampoline! 😉
women should lift weights if they want to burn more calories…even while sleeping
Ladies, I am sure you have heard this a million times! Some things are so good that you can’t overlook them no matter how obvious they seem.
It takes more calories to build and maintain muscle that it does to gain and maintain fat. In order to repair muscles after a good workout your body uses extra calories. Yep, even while you sleep.
This also means that once you reach your target weight you can eat more! Meaning, you need more calories to maintain that weight and muscle tone than you would need to eat to maintain that same weight in fat. (Hope that makes sense.)
That alone should be worth the effort.
Related Article: My Workout Routine
women should lift weights if they want an increase in libido
Yes ladies, I had to go there! This may be borderline TMI but it needs to be said. Motherhood can be the most unsexy time in our lives. Or at least we may feel that way.
At the end of a difficult day of childrearing the last thing I feel is sexy. Not to mention the misgivings we may have about our “mom bodies.”
Strength training helps this in two ways. You will become more comfortable naked when you start seeing an increase in muscle tone.
Then lower body exercises like squats and lunges increase blood flow to the lower half of your body. This increase in blood flow causes a bit of an “arousal” feeling. Many women may not admit it but is does!
Just don’t over-do it!
Check this out for more information about how exercise helps increase your libido. There are also several other things the author goes over in there!
women should lift weights if they want to avoid osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is basically bone loss. The bone density decreases leaving you with brittle bones that break easily. There are many reasons this happens but is most commonly seen in the elderly.
The good new is that it is somewhat preventable! Other than eating good amounts of protein and calcium, exercise plays a huge role in prevention.
The Mayo Clinic recommends a combination of strength training and weight bearing (ie: walking or jogging) to help prevent osteoporosis.
For more information read this.
Related Article: Walking: The Easiest Way to Get Fit
If you have read this far I hope I have convinced you to at least give weight training a try. Personally, it has helped my self-esteem and keeps my depression at bay.
Tell me, are you going to give weight lifting a try? If not, what holds you back? I would love to know! Leave it in the comments section below!
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or fitness professional nor do I play one on the internet! Always consult your medical professional before making any lifestyle changes. Nothing on Expedition Motherhood is to be construed as or a replacement for professional medical advice.*