Why Women Should Weight Train

“Lifting makes women bulky.”

Um…no.
It makes them awesomely attractive.

Why Women are Afraid of Lifting Big Weights

Since the dawn of time, big manly physiques and strength have been bonded together tightly, so much so that many women were (and still are) led to believe that if they got stronger they’d build a big, bulky, manly physique. Those of us who are slightly more illuminated know that an increase in strength can be associated to neural factors as well as muscular factors. As a result, just because a woman gains a lot of strength doesn’t mean that she’ll look like Jay Cutler with boobs.

Women will NOT look bulky or like a man if they pick up weights. It’s actually incredibly difficult for women to build appreciable amounts of muscle, the main reason being that they have approximately 1/20 the amount of testosterone of the average male. Since Testosterone is known to increase protein synthesis and muscle size, it seems logical that women would be much less likely to build up huge muscles than their male counterparts when using intense strength training.
 
While it is possible that a woman could build 7-12lbs of quality muscle tissue in a year (once she’s past the beginner level), they aren’t going to wake up one morning screaming “Oh my gosh, I went too far at the gym yesterday and now I’m HUGE!!! The weights will simply add firmness and roundness to their womanly physique.
 
In my opinion, most women would look better with the addition of 5-10lbs of lean body mass anyways.
And trust me…that’s haaaawt!
 
Why Women Should Strength Train
 

Here are just a few of the benefits that women can gain from strength training.

1. Reduced risk of osteoporosis in later years: The mechanical stress placed on the body structure during strength training (especially ground-based movements) will help increase bone density and prevent calcium loss and bone frailty in latter years.

2. Reduced risk of sport injuries: While women are no more prone to weight-training injuries than men, it’s true that women who practice sports are often more prone to injury than their male counterparts. But this is probably because, by tradition, men have been involved in a more serious off-season strength training regimen, which can help reduce the risk of injuries. While women may be more prone to ACL injuries (because of the configuration of their hips and legs), this is just another good reason to utilize strength training. Strengthening the leg muscles, especially the vastus medialis, will improve knee stability and thus reduce the risk of sport injuries to the knees. A woman who is heavily involved in sports has a much lesser chance of being injured if she trains seriously in the gym.

3. Switch in body composition: With proper strength training a woman will add more lean body mass and will lose fat mass. Furthermore, including serious strength training while dieting down prevents loss of muscle and as a result will prevent the “yo-yo” effect of regaining all the lost weight and then some!

4. More strength to use in daily chores or sport activities: If women gain strength in the muscles involved in their daily tasks, they’ll have to use a lesser proportion of their available strength, and thus they’ll perform their tasks more efficiently and with less fatigue accumulation.

5. Feel better inside and out: Improving strength will enhance self-confidence and self-esteem and make a woman feel sexier and sleeker.

 
 

What Should Women Focus On?

✔Basically, women should train almost exactly like men, with a few minor differences being in sets, reps, and load.

✔Prioritize strength training (over cardio) with an emphasis on the compound movements. Squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, push-ups, pull-ups, and all the variations thereof should be the mainstays of your lifting sessions.

✔Utilize progressive overload by using more weight or doing more reps. Don’t be afraid to add more plates onto the bar and get stronger. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t “bulk up” overnight.

✔Stay properly fueled and consume sufficient protein. There’s no need to fear carbs, and protein is important for muscle growth. To lean out, you should be in a mild caloric deficit – no crash dieting – or alternatively, you could stay at the same weight via maintenance calories, get stronger, and pack on muscle over time while slowly shedding body fat. This phenomenon is called body recomposition, and it works especially well in beginner trainees.

Last Set, Best Set.

Ladies, getting serious about lifting weights is where it’s at. Ditch the pink dumbbells, chase strength in the gym and be smart about your nutrition to get that “toned” look.

Thanks for reading!!

Until next time,

Dan Saunders

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