Weight Training for Women And Its Benefits
Many women have a complicated relationship with the weights section at their local gym. We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the fashionably dressed cardio bunny, doing endless reps of some probably-made-up exercise with a pair of pink 1kg dumbbells, while shunning the more male-dominated realm of heavy compound lifts.
While it’s true that women, in general, have a lower biological capacity for heavy weight lifting than their male counterparts; there’s no real argument to be made that the pink dumbbell girls are being held back from heavier lifts by Mother Nature.
Being Held Back
The cold hard truth is that what holds many women back from pushing themselves in the weight room, is an outdated fear that they’re going to end up becoming enormous and masculine overnight.
That’s a myth that every fitness conscious female should free herself from as early as possible.
The first reason it’s unrealistic for a female lifter to worry about turning into Arnold Schwarzenegger is down to simple biology. Massive muscles are largely a matter of having a level of testosterone in the body, which falls well outside of the standard female range.
Most men who are dedicated to getting huge, struggle to build massive quads and biceps, a barn door back and broad shoulders (why do you think the supplement industry is so huge?); in spite of having vastly higher testosterone levels than the average female lifter. The struggle to get big is very real for many men, who constantly look for new ways to stimulate muscle growth. The fitness industry calls these guys “hard gainers”, and if they struggle to get big on purpose, then you, are in no danger of ending up that way by accident.
Elite male bodybuilders overwhelmingly end up using steroids just to boost those testosterone levels even further – well beyond the normal male range.
The same holds true for women. Elite female bodybuilders who do hold some passing resemblance to the Austrian Oak also, inevitably, rely on steroids just to make their size goals possible. It’s worth noting that they also end up being much smaller than their male counterparts, even after years of dedicated training and hormone modification, and suffer more negative health consequences than male steroid users.
For the natural female lifter, getting huge just isn’t on the cards. It really is a myth.
What is true, though, is that heavy weight training has been shown time and again to have all of the same positive effects for women as they do for men – specifically; greater strength, improved bone, joint and cardiovascular health, improved fat loss and better overall mood and energy levels.
And that’s only part of the story.
For many out there – men and women alike – one of the key reasons for getting down to the gym on a regular basis, is to achieve certain image goals. While men typically want to put on some size and look a bit more like whoever was on the cover of Men’s Health last week, women are generally after a “toned” look, complete with a flatter stomach and enhanced curves; in line with the top female fitness models of the day.
The thing is that the “fitness model” look is difficult, maybe even impossible, to achieve through low-intensity exercise.
Moderately heavy compound lifts can work wonders in terms of promoting fat loss (especially when combined with an effective cardio routine), while also helping to create a more balanced overall physique, improve posture and develop that coveted “curvy” look. What’s more, you’ll get those curves and washboard abs in far less time than you would by shunning the squat rack. There are a number of things you can keep in mind when eating in order to help lose fat: chewing thoroughly, pre-loading with water; click through to here to find out what else there is.
So, why not start lifting today?
Not sure where to start? Let our female personal trainer show you the way in our free workout videos.