Should Women Lift Weights?

woman-squatting

Why is that even a question?

Have you ever been concerned about using weights? This is a topic we’ve encountered A LOT when it comes to women and fitness. But why?

It’s probably fair to say that for what seemed like an age, many women feared the weight sections of the gym, perhaps worried that picking up a heavy dumbbell might lead to a Popeye-esque build up of muscle! (Side note: There’s no spinach in our health shakes we promise). But we think this has begun to change over the last couple of years, with more and more of us exchanging pure cardio for heavy weights, particularly for those glutes. It’s still fair to say that not every fit seeking woman feels comfortable with weights however, so we’ve written this short article to highlight some of the benefits! 

In reality, it’s super difficult for females to gain that extreme levels of muscle, due to the lower levels of testosterone that we have in our bodies (this would require extremely intense training and a very strict nutrition plan). Instead, women can benefit from a leaner physique, as well as experiencing multiple health benefits, simply from adding weights into their workouts. 

Let’s get started shall we?

 

1. Improved fat loss

If your goal is fat loss, then I’m here to tell you that weight lifting for weight loss is a thing! And adding weight training into your routine will actually help you reach your goal more quickly and effectively. As I’m sure most of us know by now, when it comes to fat loss, the key thing is to burn more calories than you consume (calories in vs calories out). That holy grail of lean muscle mass is a metabolically active tissue, which means that it requires more energy to function. Having an increased amount of lean muscle mass will result in a boost in your metabolism, which means you are still torching those calories hours after your gym workout has ended. What more could you want! 

 

2. Increased strength

How many times have you wished that you had the strength to carry all your shopping bags in one go? Well now you can! Adding weight training into your gym sessions will help to increase your overall body strength, without looking too bulky. Let’s face it, we’re all looking for ways to save time doing the tasks we dislike so if that means less trips to carry your shopping or twist open dodgy jam jar then surely it’s a no brainer.

 

3. Reduced risk of arthritis

Mobility might always be at the forefront of our minds right now, but as we get older it surely will be! Regularly undertaking resistance training puts the bones under a certain level of stress, which increases bone density, therefore reducing the risk of arthritis later in life. Stronger bones can also reduce the risk of fractures as we get older, as well as improving posture (so no more slouching) which will reduce the number of back problems that we may face.

4. Reduced risk of heart disease

Perhaps the most important benefit of all, keeping our hearts healthy! Weight training has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, leading to a reduction in blood pressure as a result. These two benefits combined can reduce the overall risk of heart disease.

The list of benefits for weight training doesn’t end here, but as we appreciate your time, we’ll leave it for a later post! 

Hopefully the facts will give you cause to consider skipping that fourth treadmill session for a weights session instead. If you are a beginner when it comes to weight training, I would always recommend seeking advice on how best to perform the exercises in order to prevent injury. An who knows, once you pick up those dumbbells and you see the difference it can makes to your health and your body, you might never look back!

P.S

Now you're clued up on weight lifting, it's worth taking a read of our post on stretching and mobility.

You can also download the BOXD Health e-book containing 15 amazing glute exercises, totally free!

Written by Personal Trainer, Kimberley Boparai

 

At BOXD, we are made up of a team of Sports Scientists, Chartered Nutritionists. We want to make sure that we’re not just putting up the pseudo-science you’d see on other sites. If any of our staff put anything on our blog that relates to your health, you can bet that it is backed by evidence-based science! It always will be. That’s our commitment to you.

References

Hosie, R. (2017) 6 Reasons why Women Should Lift Weights [Online] Available from:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/why-women-should-lift-weights-6-reasons-exercise-fitness-confidence-strength-fat-loss-a7829436.html

Westcott, Wayne L. (2012) Resistance Training is Medicine: Effects of Strength Training on Health. Current Sports Medicine Reports 11(4), pp. 209 - 216