Should Women Lift Weights?
The vast majority of females firmly believe that females shouldn’t lift weights to achieve their fitness goals. It’s an unfortunate misunderstanding that permeates the fabric of the fitness world and though there are plenty of women hitting the iron, most are missing out on the greatest fitness benefits available to their bodies by not taking advantage of weight lifting.
I’ve had the talk a few dozen times myself over the years. Most women fear that weight lifting will lead to a “bulked up” body builder look. Fear not ladies.. nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s explore the truth…
Lifting Weights Won’t Make Girls Muscular
Actually.. it will in as much as they are willing to work for but getting muscular is one of the hardest things for women to achieve. If a female is new to lifting, she will see some pretty instant results, but these are typically more toned muscles and a little less flab.. all things that all women (and men) desire.
As weight-lifting continues, the decline in muscle growth slows down. The body adjusts and very quickly. Since women don’t produce nearly as much testosterone as men, they’ll simply find that adding muscle is a very difficult thing to do.. even when so desired.
What does happen is the transformation of a soft body into a hard body. Weight lifting is the difference in looking “skinny fat” and looking damn good. It improves posture, rounds out the buttocks, adds striations to all the muscles and just makes a body look hard and sexy.
Lifting Weights Stimulates Metabolism in Females Too
One of the major goals of any fitness program should be to stimulate metabolism. A highly metabolic body is one that won’t store fat. It’s constantly looking for energy sources and rarely has a chance to store fat as energy.
Metabolism is the amount of energy your body burns. Calories are simply units of heat. You want to burn more.. quicker. Your body is a furnace, calories are the wood and you want a raging fire produced.. where you have to keep putting more and more wood in. You want to “stoke the fire”.
Lifting weights stimulates metabolism.. and it’s one of the most effective ways to achieve this.
Lifting Firms the Female Body
All that cardio will improve circulation and help to drop weight but even the best diet in combination with cardio will leave a body looking soft… without the addition of weight training.
Only resistance training can add the finishing touches to an unfinished body
Other benefits of lifting weights include:
- The prevention of osteoporosis.
- Everyday physical activities as far easier.
- Reshaping of problem areas that sag.
How Do Female Body Builders Get So Big?
Steroids – Steroids (growth hormone and other illegal substances) play as big a part in the professional sport of female body building as they do in men’s body building.
Images of women with unusual masses of muscle on top of muscle leave an imprint on the mind and they’re likely responsible for the majority of females that object to lifting. It’s often what girls think of when they’ve never lifted weights before and start entertaining the idea.
That’s not to say that all female body builders are using steroids because that most certainly is not the case. It’s just a fact of life that there are a percentage of female body builders who do use steroids.
Genetics – Very few women have the genetics necessary to gain a great amount of muscle. Only the truly genetically gifted (or cursed if you choose to look at it that way) can achieve the look of a top competitive body builder.
Females will typically gain a small amount of muscle when first starting weight training but their plateaus will come quick and they are simply harder to bust through (the firming and hardening of the body advantage is maintained with each workout).
Contest Preparation – The images of women with muscles bulging on stage are the result of months of perfect dieting and severe dehydration, leading up to the day of contest. Dehydration is so severe that some women (and men) cramp up too much on stage and can’t continue competing.
Getting to the point of contest preparation and looking like a rippled piece of granite is one of the most accomplished fitness feats these women will ever achieve.. because it really is that tough. Contest preparation requires a great amount of sacrifice for all women.
Immediately following the contest comes a meal that will restore glycogen levels like never before and all that muscle doesn’t look nearly the same in a very short window of time following an event.
Trying to decide between cardio and free weights? Don’t. If time is the issue, alternate cardio and weights on different days.
If however, you were going to spend the next year in a bio-dome and you had to choose between cardio and lifting weights, and reshaping your body was the goal, free weights will take you further.
Remember that cardio isn’t needed for fat loss. It might take you longer without it and it certainly has some great advantages such as a healthier heart and better circulation, but you can achieve all the same fat loss results through diet.
There’s simply no way to achieve the benefits of lifting weights without.. lifting weights.