Running an all-women’s fitness boot camp that promotes resistance training, specifically metabolic based, I’ve literally heard all of the excuses or objections to strength training and lifting weights.
I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, whenever a male starts lifting weights, many times they envision looking like a Gladiator from the Movie 300, ripped, strong, and BIG!
Women hear “lift weights” and their minds go to “I don’t want to look like a man.” This thinking, while WRONG, is totally normal. It’s similar to experiencing a negative thought, having a negative thought is normal, but the difference between a positive thinker and a negative thinker, is the positive thinker redirects their negative though to something positive, that is productive.
It’s time to start redirecting your negative thoughts and ideas about weight training to something positive and that is productive to achieving the body of your dreams.
Lifting weights is about getting stronger!
I’ve already alluded to what we in the industry call “Strength Training Myths” with the most prevalent being:
1.) “But, Nick, doesn’t lifting weights make women bulky, like womanly versions of Arnold Schwarzenegger? I’ve seen those “women’s fitness” magazines; I do NOT want to look like that.”
2.) “But, Nick, doesn’t cardio burn way more calories than lifting weights? I want to burn more calories to lose weight! What’s the deal?”
3.) “I don’t have the time or equipment to lift weights.”
There are many others, but the purpose of THIS article is to explore the benefits of lifting weights.
I only mention the above scenarios to make a point: While it’s not inherently “bad” to think like this (after all, it’s YOUR thought), these are excuses, plain and simple. Excuses derived from fear, doubts, self-imposed limitations, etc…that’s for you to be brutally honest with yourself, your thoughts, and ultimately your actions.
So, I’ve addressed mindset (above) with the hope to open your mind to realize that I “get it”, I understand society pressures, personal struggles, and the massive amounts of information out there.
I don’t necessarily want to contribute to the information, my intention is to get you to start asking questions, start challenging your status quo thoughts, and find your truth, because I want YOU to be successful. That’s it!
6 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights
1.) Lifting Weights Boosts Your Confidence
Ironically, man women don’t begin an exercise with the goal of “increasing my confidence”, but this underrated benefit to strength training is like fuel to your WHY! Your “why” is in simple terms, the reason you CHOOSE to value your health and body. Why am I going to commit to lifting weights? Why am I going to stay consistent? Etc…answer these questions and your how gets A LOT easier.
Unless we are talking about delivering a baby, many women are completely unaware of the physical and psychological strength and resilience they possess. Yes, I am referring to YOU. Seriously, you can do amazing things, lift heavy weights, and do whatever the heck you set your mind to!
Who run da world?
Lifting weights helps improve your posture, helping you stand tall, with a zest for life and awesome attitude. You start feeling stronger and more assertive, but still maintaining your feminity and natural calmness. Your self-consciousness begins to slowly disappear, making way for health, happiness, and love!
Can lifting weights really make me love more? Why not?
2.) Lifting Weights Prevents and Reduces Injuries
I always say “Your knees don’t hurt because of squats, your knees hurt because you AREN’T doing squats.” And if they still hurt, you’re probably doing them wrong! But that is for a different blog post…
Out of the 1500 or so women I’ve consulted, trained, and interacted with about their goals, VERY few of them mention reducing pain as one of their primary motivators for exercise. However, when I dig deeper into their musculoskeletal history, I almost always uncover persistent injuries or annoying aches that resurface.
There are many factors when dealing with body pain, but ultimately out bodies were meant to MOVE and LIFT! The majority of us sit behind a computer all day, sit and watch TV, sit and drive, and sit and play with our kids. We are always sitting, losing strength, getting tighter, more immobile, what do you expect if you meant to do something and never did it.
If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
3.) Lifting Weights is the BEST Way to Lose Fat
From a metabolic and physiological perspective strength training (lifting weights) is superior to aerobic training (cardio).
Are you or have you ever been “stressed out?” Uhh, YEAH! Who hasn’t! Imagine, a long bout of cardio as a LONG bout of being “stressed out”, which as we all know is not healthy, as you generally aren’t your best during these times of your life.
Imagine a metabolic resistance training workout as a short “freak-out”, you know the ones I’m talking about. Where you freak out over your favorite show being cancelled, realize you are being crazy, and immediately laugh at yourself. Short bout of stress, immediate recovery.
Are you with me?
The bottom line: We KNOW that long periods of stress is detrimental to our health and if something is not good for us, it’s definitely not good for our fat loss efforts. Lifting weights, especially metabolic resistance workouts, is superior to long bouts of cardio because it has a positive overall effect on your body, metabolism, physiology, and fat loss results!
4.) Lifting Weights Allows You to “Build” A Great Body
Restrictive diets and excessive exercise (usually cardio) is the most unsustainable approach to building a great body and creating life-long healthy fat loss.
The reality I’ve experienced over the years has been that once a woman decides to take on the challenge of losing weight and getting shape, the first thing that pops into her head is “how much cardio should I do?” and this is very unfortunate.
When you focus on the building and creating of an AMAZINGLY strong and beautiful body from the inside out, it is much more likely to be a long-term result. I’ve seen and frankly, I’m fed up with the never-ending short-term approaches to getting quick results. It’s just NOT sustainable, NOT healthy, and NOT for you
Make the commitment today to take actions that are in alignment with long-term health creation and fat loss.
With that commitment comes the commitment to do the absolute best and most efficient forms of exercise, which happens to be…you guessed it: Lifting Weights.
5.) Lifting Weights Increases Blood Flow
We all know how important blood is, right? But did you know that one of the primary ways blood pumps throughout your body is through muscle pumping? If you aren’t actively utilizing your muscles by MOVING and USING them, they are not as efficient in pumping blood to vital organs like your brain, reproductive system, and liver.
Exercise, specifically lifting weights through increased blood flow encourages the growth of new brain cells. It reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. It also improves just about every thing from mood to burning fat to sleep quality!
Move ladies. You were meant to work your muscles.
6.) Lifting Weights Controls Your Hormones
Women and hormones. Hormones is the reason I chose to work primarily with women. Hormones govern how your body looks, how you feel, and what the next steps are to improve those two.
One of the greatest benefits of exercise in general is the regulation of insulin and leptin, two of the most crucial fat-burning hormones and hormones in general.
Other hormones like cortisol, T3, adrenaline, growth hormone, and estrogen also play a critical role in regards to exercise.
Cortisol, estrogen, and adrenaline although critical for life and health CAN be released in excess in long bouts of stress, like I mentioned earlier in the article. Lifting weights generally has less of an effect on these 3 hormones.
Lifting weights promotes growth hormone release, which leads to lean muscle growth and fat-burning.
I think you get the overall idea that lifting weights controls and regulates hormonal physiology better than long bouts of cardio.
Before we conclude, I want to be clear that I am NOT bashing cardio. It has it’s place in SOME realms, but for the women that doesn’t have large amounts of time to devote to training, eating enough to maintaining health
The ultimate goal for most woman is looking good, being toned, and feeling sexy in (and out of) their clothes. And there is nothing inherently wrong with this…but remember:
Lifting weights has MANY benefits beyond aesthetics and superficial (not necessarily “bad” goals).
Lifting weights improves your internal physiology and psychology to help express your external amazingness.
Lifting weights should be an enjoyable experience that should not be seen as a chore, rather a natural instinct to move, lift, and sweat!
The strength is in you.
You are strong. You are a Fit Woman for Life.
Now, lift those weights girl!