Women often avoid lifting weights for fear of bulking up. They also bear the brunt of sexist remarks that only men should lift weights. There are even myths that it will reduce their chances of getting pregnant. Men and even fellow women undermine their capacity to carry heavyweights.All these have made women hesitant to start lifting weights even though one of their fitness goals is to build muscle and maintain muscle mass. Most women who go to the gym, even on a consistent basis, mostly stick with cardiovascular exercises. There is a low percentage of women who lift weights, not knowing how important strength training is regardless of your fitness goal. There are many benefits to lifting weights and in this article, we aim to convince every girl out there to finally start the practice. It is absolutely rewarding, to say the least, no matter what your gender is. Being consistent with the practice has the power to change your body and brain. Below are some of the benefits women will experience when they start a weight lifting routine.
1. Your strength will improve.
Lifting weights will strengthen the muscles. You will have better endurance and will get less exhausted from daily activities and routine exercises. The chances of you getting injured are less because you have an improved muscle mass and greater strength. You are able to function more and get more satisfaction from life.
2. Your fat will be reduced.
According to Wayne Westcott, PhD as cited by Very Well, the average woman who devotes time to strength training at least two to three times every week for two months will gain about two pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 pounds of fat. Your lean muscle will increase as well as improve the resting metabolism that allows women to burn more calories during the day.Contrary to popular belief, weight lifting won’t make women bulky. This is because women have less hormones that cause hypertrophy or muscle growth. They typically don’t develop big muscles compared to men.
3. You will have better athletic abilities.
Weight lifting will help improve endurance, power, and technique. It will also significantly reduce the possibility of injury.
4. You will experience less body pain.
You will have stronger muscles when you begin to lift weights and stay consistent with the routine. It also makes your connective tissues stronger and your joint more stable. This is why the injury is prevented.When you strengthen the gluteal muscles, you relieve your body of pain in the lower back and knees. Furthermore, weight training will help reduce the pain of osteoarthritis in case you are suffering from this condition.
5. There is a lower risk for women to develop certain diseases.
Lifting weights will help women reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure, therefore giving you better cardiovascular health.Moreover, according to Very Well, weight training increases spinal bone mineral density and enhances bone modeling. Since women are more prone to get osteoporosis, weight lifting is ideal to reduce the risk.Lifting weights can also help the body’s processing of sugar that lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
6. Your mood will be uplifted and you will have a higher level of confidence.
It’s no secret that exercise reduces depressive symptoms and produces endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Weight lifting is one of these.Apart from that, women who lift are generally more confident and feel more capable of achieving their fitness goals. You are strong and you could do what others told you you can’t.
Recommended Amount of Weight Training for Women
According to Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, there should be at least two days dedicated to resistance training every week. It should target every major muscle group in your body. Depending on your fitness level and goals, you could add more days but do not forget that you also have to rest your body. In between heavy training, you should have at least 24 to 48 hours of rest to pave the way for muscle repair.To complete your fitness program, there should at least be 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a mix of both. For better heart health, add cardiovascular activity.
Getting Started with Weight Training
Your starting point is dependent on your current fitness level and if you’ve tried weight lifting in the past. If this is your very first time, then it is best to hire a personal trainer to give you a program and check if you are doing the exercises in the correct form. This will prevent injuries and maximize the benefits you will get from each rep.Start with the basic skills until you move up from using only your bodyweight to lifting weights, and then a mix of both. At home, you could do a good weight lifting program by following some workouts online. You may also get an online coach. Invest in dumbbells or kettlebells that you could store in your garage. To store gym equipment in your garage, you must have ample floor space which you could achieve by installing smart storage solutions in your ceiling and vacant walls. These options are available in FlexiMounts. Search for different exercises for each muscle group and do each one for 6 to 8 reps. For beginners, it’s best to focus on compound movements including squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, bench presses, push-up rows, etc.You could practice first with an empty bar and lighter dumbbells until you get the correct form and the weight becomes lighter to you. Add more sets, repetitions, and weight when you become stronger. You need to be consistent to be stronger. The number of repetitions should challenge your muscles. Do 1 to 3 reps up until 15 to 20 reps. It really depends on your ability to carry the weight, the workout you are doing, and the muscles that you are targeting.As a last reminder, women should target every muscle group. Do not worry about getting bulky because you won’t and if you do, you’ll be able to control it for sure.