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Why women should weight train

When women seek to lose excess weight, they often turn to cardio exercise as a way to shed fat – which is not the most efficient way of losing body fat. Instead, lifting weights and doing strength training can help to shift those pounds and also improve body composition, flexibility, and more. 

Many female clients experience flexibility problems with the hips and thighs, lower back pain, rounded shoulders and forward-tilted pelvis. These are issues that cannot be solved by doing more cardio – the muscles and joints need to be worked with and strengthened to improve mobility.

A lot of women express their ambivalence about weight training as they are worried about becoming ‘too muscly’ but don’t worry – lifting a few weights isn’t going to turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger! In fact, women would have to work a lot harder than men do to build big muscles – women have about 10% the amount of testosterone than men do, and it is the primary muscle building hormone, so building muscle mass is much more difficult for women. Also, big muscles require a lot of fuel in the form of food, and most women don’t eat enough to build a lot of muscle mass. Muscles are built through damage (in the form of strength training) and then built back up larger and stronger  – this is what gives tone and shape to the body.

Benefits of strength training for women

  1. Strengthens bones and connective tissue. Doing load bearing exercises, i.e. lifting weights, helps to strengthen and maintain bones, which lowers the risk of osteoporosis, something that women can be prone to in later life.
  1. Lifting weights increases EPOC, or Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or oxygen debt – which basically means that the body continues to burn calories after the workout is over. As the body returns to a natural state of balance, or homeostasis, this requires more energy expenditure in the form of calories. So weight lifting helps you to lose weight even after you are finished training.
  1. Increased metabolic rate. Muscle tissue burns more calories than other tissues – 50 calories per pound of lean muscle mass, actually. So building muscle actually means that your body will burn more calories overall.
  1. Decreased risk of injury – through strength training, you develop stronger tendons, which in turn supports your joints, making them more stable and less susceptible to injury.
  1. Increased stamina and energy levels – regular strength training can lead to more energy for everyday tasks, and can increase sleep quality, meaning you feel less tired during the day.
  1. Increased self-confidence – when you can see your body transforming over time and reflecting all the hard work you have put in, you feel good about yourself – not to mention the mood boost that comes with a good workout. Having more self-confidence is a benefit not just to yourself, but in your relationships with friends and loved ones.
  1. More varied workouts – if you are lifting weights, there are almost infinite variations you can do to exercise different muscle groups, also changing the reps, tempos, sets and more to make the exercise different. If you are doing cardio there is only so much you can do with cardio equipment. 
  1. Anti-ageing effects – we all lose strength and muscle as we age, but with regular strength training you can retain more of your strength and muscle mass for longer and later in life.
  1. Reduced body fat – as mentioned above, regular strength training leads to more muscle mass and a higher metabolic rate, meaning that you are burning more calories even at rest.
  1. Lifting weights can help anyone to feel stronger and more confident, not just physically but in all aspects of life. Every woman who has come to us for coaching has not only enjoyed weight training, but has reported feeling stronger, healthier and fitter.

The difference between women who change their shape and body composition from weight training and those who rely on conventional cardio is like night and day – weight training is the smartest choice.

Primal Bite

Weight training is for women too – can help body composition and fat loss.

Weight lifting doesn’t make women bulky or ‘Arnie’-esque.

The benefits of weight lifting go beyond simple weight loss – better health overall.