9 Girl Reasons To Lift Weights
Last updated on : June 25 2021
Adding resistance to your exercise routine is not going to turn you into a bodybuilder over any length of time. In fact, it builds your lean muscles and burns more calories than any other exercise routine.
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“I am not incorporating weights into my workout routine because I don't want to look bulky." Does that sound like you or someone you know? Maybe you've tried a few lifting exercises at the gym. But you held back because you're afraid of looking too muscular.
This myth has been going around for quite some time, so let’s debunk it once and for all.
Adding resistance to your exercise routine is not going to turn you into a bodybuilder over any length of time. It builds your lean muscles and burns more calories than any other exercise routine.
Bodybuilding is a form of exercise that incorporates a calorie-packed diet, supplements, and rigorous training to add muscle and bulk. Only with a thorough bodybuilding program and strict discipline can you achieve muscle growth and mass.
Bodybuilding is entirely different from resistance or strength training with weights.
Exercising with Weights
Strength training is simple. It requires adopting some new routines and adding resistance to some exercises you might already be doing.
Deadlifting is an example of a new exercise you might adopt; it uses barbells. Squats are an example of one you can improve by adding barbells, dumbells, or kettlebells going forward. Holding dumbells when doing your lunges or step-ups is a further improvement to make to your routine. Get the idea?
You'll find this type of training achieves your fitness goals much faster and leaves you feeling healthy and sculpted. Once you've tried, there will be no turning back.
Why Every Girl Should Be Strength Training
If you're not convinced, check out these top reasons why exercising with weights is the way to go.
1. Burn fat faster and more effectively.
Most of us hit the gym to lose unsightly belly fat or to stay within our desired healthy range. And cardio is often our preferred exercise choice.
However, cardio and aerobics blast fat slower than strength training. And cardio becomes less efficient the longer you do it. On the other hand, studies show that exercise with resistance helps women lose body fat 40 percent faster than cardio-based workout routines.
A large part of this result occurs because your body continues to burn fat long after you finish exercising. You are raising your metabolism for long periods, much longer than cardio. And this makes you shed calories faster and for longer.
So if you are looking to burn fat fast and efficiently, use weights.
2. You get to consume more carbs - seriously.
Strength training takes effort, and because it burns calories efficiently and for longer, you need to eat more. It sounds crazy, but it's true.
However, this is not a get out of jail free card. You don't have a license to eat poorly off the back of your improved exercise regime. Instead, take the opportunity to eat healthy food that complements your training needs.
Adding healthily balanced carbs and proteins to your diet will build toned muscles. The right food provides you with energy and focus and will give you a new lease on life too.
Combining weight training with a healthy diet is a sure-fire way to a toned and slender figure. And leaves you feeling fresh and energetic, ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. It's the way forward, girl.
3. Build bone health.
There is no denying it. Women are prone to bone diseases like osteoporosis because our bodies stop secreting estrogen as we age.
But the good news is that strength training keeps your bones active and healthy. Weight resistance puts pressure on your bones. As a result, they grow stronger over time, improving their density and maintaining their mass - significantly reducing the risks of bone diseases!
Incorporate resistance into your workout as early as you can for an increased chance of excellent bone health in later life.
4. Boost your energy.
When you lift weights, it releases endorphins into your system. These cause the natural high you feel after a cardio session but multiplied ten-fold. You feel energized, confident, and secure, and acutely aware of your sculpted form.
A study conducted by the National Institute of Health found that even low-intensity strength training sessions improve energy balance. Build up to higher intensity sessions, and you'll be living a continuous natural high!
Natural energy is more sustainable for your body. It doesn't dip or fall, sparking the need for an unhealthy sugar snack.
So fight that always-exhausted feeling, ditch the cup of coffee or an energy drink and take to training with resistance instead. It's a healthier and more efficient choice.
5. Keep your heart healthy.
A significant benefit of training with weights is the prevention of heart ailments and diseases. Yes, pumping iron gets you a heavenly body, and reduces your risk of developing heart-related conditions.
Several studies found that strength training maintains a healthy heart. It battles problems like increased blood sugar, high blood pressure, and large waist circumference — all of these issues that risk your heart.
Maintaining a healthy heart is a priority, and using resistance in your training helps.
6. Get curves in all the right places.
We all want a shapely, toned figure showing off our womanly curves. However, this does not come easy with a regular gym routine.
Cardio certainly helps. However, strength training is an excellent way to develop your curvy assets. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian West, Halle Berry, and many others swear by it.
Many women find this training effective in getting rid of cellulite. It tones specific areas of the body like the glutes and legs where cellulite often lives. It works because of the focus on muscle development and gets rid of fat, the basis of a well-toned, sculpted look.
Adopt these practices, and notice the lovely shape developing on your hamstrings and your toned derriere turning heads like never before!
7. Build confidence and a diva attitude.
Regular exercise helps in maintaining a balanced mind. That’s common knowledge. But lifting weights does much more than that.
It helps to clear your mind, to feel naturally energized, and to stay motivated. It works to empower you, giving you a diva attitude to life!
Strength training is not the average walk-on-the-treadmill exercise regime. It challenges you consistently, persevere, and you find yourself doing things that you could never do before.
An intense session of lifting gives you the confidence to achieve things. Think about moving furniture around, or carrying heavy grocery bags. Things that maybe you would otherwise depend on someone else to do.
It makes you stronger both physically and mentally and gives you pride in your increased capabilities.
8. Better beauty rest.
Strength training taxes your muscles more than cardio or similar exercises. The resistance puts your muscles under some stress and breaks them down. Your body needs sleep to repair your muscles, making you tired.
The result is a night of restful and deep sleep. Yes, this exercise helps people sleep better and wake up less frequently throughout the night.
We all need our beauty sleep, and if lifting weights helps to achieve that along with a host of other health benefits, there is every reason to try it out.
9. Improved stress management.
All of us know it. Stress is an enemy of both our body and mind and adds to our weight gain issues.
If you can't reduce stress in the workplace or your daily life, try addressing it at the gym or in your exercise routine. Lifting weights helps keep your stress levels to a minimum.
Researchers find that women who regularly use resistance manage stress better. These women are better at keeping the mind calm compared to those who do not exercise.
This kind of workout routine keeps you physically fit and toned, boosting your confidence levels. As a result, you deal with stressful scenarios calmly and prevent unnecessary mood flare-ups.
Studies have found that even moderate weight lifting sessions work on enhancing cognitive function and memory, particularly in older adults.
Let go of the common misconceptions about strength training. You won't bulk up and become all masculine.
Instead, you'll develop a confident attitude towards life and a leaner, more toned body. You'll sleep well, have stronger bones, and a healthier heart. You'll eat better and cope better with day to day challenges doing many things you weren't able to do before.
However, remember to consult your doctor before embarking on anything too rigorous and taxing. Like anything, weight training should be done in moderation, watching the impact on your health and other mistakes that might undermine your fitness goals.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I lose weight before lifting weights?
There is no requirement to lose weight before you start strength or resistance training. You don't need to lose weight before, because you will lose weight by lifting weights itself.
However, speak with a health professional before taking up any new exercise regime. Speaking to a health professional is essential if your body weight restricts your movements - making weight lifting dangerous. Or lifting weights adds too much stress when combined with your body weight.
What will happen if I start lifting weights - Will I put on muscle?
We might worry that we'll put on unsightly muscle when we train with weights. However, nothing can be further from the truth. Women don't have the hormones necessary to support muscle growth.
Testosterone is the hormone responsible for bulking up muscle mass, and we don't have as much of it as men do.
So there is nothing to fear from weight lifting. Weight lifting increases our lean muscle mass, which is attractive and helps us burn more calories too.
How often should I exercise with weights?
The current research recommends single set programs of up to 15 repetitions performed a minimum of 2 days a week for healthy persons of all ages. Work up to these levels if you need to.
Each workout session should consist of 8-10 different exercises that train the major muscle groups.
This research means, for most people, short weight training sessions a couple of times a week are enough. Two to three 20 to 30-minute sessions a week will provide significant improvement in your strength.
How much weight should I lift?
How much weight you use depends on how many repetitions you’re looking to complete.
Lift enough weight so that the last one to two repetitions are difficult to complete - and you feel like you can't do one more.
But never lift too much weight. If lifting gives you pain, stop immediately. You are better off lifting lighter weights than too much as your body gets used to the training.
How long to start seeing results from weight lifting?
In terms of general health and well being, lifting weights will have an immediate effect. You'll start to see the benefits listed above almost from day 1.
However, building lean muscle and seeing physical changes in your body shape could take a bit longer. How much longer depends on how hard and often you train and your DNA. But for most, with consistent training, results should start to show as early as four weeks.
Can I lose weight by lifting weights alone?
You might think that to lose fat, you should do more cardio and to build muscle, you should lift weights. These thoughts are not entirely true. You can use weight training to lose fat, and it might be more useful for you than cardio.
Weight training helps you lose weight by reducing your overall loss of muscle and increasing your resting metabolic rate. Both of these factors help you burn more calories, contributing to weight loss.
Muscle is metabolically active. Unlike fat, it burns calories even when you're not exercising. Replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle, and you'll burn 25 to 50 extra calories a day.
Will weight training help me lose belly fat?
You can use weight training to lose fat, and this includes the fat on your belly.
Increasing your lean muscle mass through strength training will see you burn more calories, even at rest. And the additional burn contributes to weight and fat loss.
Read more on all the questions above here.
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The Kewl Shop
The Kewl Shop is a blog. We write about all things lifestyle with a strong focus on relationships, self-love, beauty, fitness, and health. Important stuff that every modern woman or man needs to know.
Editor: Charles Fitzgerald