I don't like lifting weights! It will make me look 'muscly', I don't want to 'bulk', I don't want muscles, I want to tone and lose fat! Sound familiar ladies?
This is the response most women give when asked what physical goal they want to achieve. The belief that pumping iron will make you look bulky is thrown around day after day, and with today's technology and social media sites, you simply can't hide from it. It's a constant cycle of regurgitating images and videos of the latest and greatest exercises to 'sculpt the perfect body'. With the vast range of free information available online to get us to exercise and lift weights, it's becoming hard to ignore the obvious benefits of it all.
So here are my top 5 reasons as to why I believe women should lift weights:
- More effective weight loss: Yes that's right. More effective. While weightlifting is considered to add size, it is also a great way to burn calories - more often than not at twice the rate of cardio alone! Even after you have finished a workout the process continues, the more muscle you gain, the more calories are being burnt off! A quick protein hit after your workout will also help you to retain muscle.
- Strengthen joints: Many studies have shown that lifting weights can increase your bone density, which in turn helps prevent the onset of diseases later in life such as osteoporosis.
- Healthier heart: Weight training and exercise has been recognised as an effective way to decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.
- Physical strength: Increasing your strength will not only help you carry those extra few shopping bags, but also make you far less dependent on others. Whether it be household duties, moving apartments, taking the kids out for a walk or juggling a busy career, a strong body equals a strong mind.
- Gain strength, without bulking up: The one you have been waiting for ladies. Fact - women have less testosterone then men, 10-30 times less of the hormones that can cause muscle hypertrophy. You will however develop muscle tone and definition - which was the goal right?