We’ve all heard the common misconceptions associated with females and weight lifting: lifting weights will make you bulky, only lift light weights with high repetitions, or stick to cardio and leave the weights to the men.
We know, or have heard, the reasons why women shouldn’t lift weights, but now let’s talk about why all women should be in the weight room.
1. Strength Training Speeds Up Your Metabolism
When we workout using heavy, challenging weights, our muscle tissues are torn and broken down. The body uses energy as it repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue, resulting in an additional calorie burn post workout.
Unlike with cardio, your body will continue burning calories well after the workout has ended in order to recover. The more muscle you have on your body, the higher your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories your body burns at rest) will be.
Your body is constantly burning calories, and muscle adds to that calorie burn, so if you want a faster metabolism, it’s as simple as picking up the weights.
2. Train For Strength Will Help You “Tone Up”
Popular magazines often talk about getting “toned,” but what does that really mean? It means building a solid foundation of muscle and increasing your lean body mass to give your body curves, strength, and definition all at once.
Muscle is more dense than fat, so it occupies less space on the body pound for pound. As you build muscle, your body can actually take on the appearance of getting smaller, as dense muscle tissue replaces fatty tissue.
3. You Will Live a Long, Strong Life
Between the ages of 25-65, people lose roughly 5lbs of lean mass per decade. Weight training can help to preserve some of this muscle mass over time and keep your metabolism active throughout your life.
The more muscle you work to build and sustain over time, the less lean tissue you will lose. As women age, osteoporosis becomes a commonly faced problem. Resistance training has been shown to prevent bone loss over time, and even help new bone to grow.
Additionally, weight training can improve balance and coordination, preventing falls and injury as time goes on. Strength training throughout your lifetime can help you stay healthier and stronger much longer.
4. Strength Training Delivers Results You Can See and Feel
When you train for strength and challenge yourself by lifting heavy weights, you are able to set quantitative goals and constantly reach for more. Step into the weight room and challenge yourself to lift those 15lb dumbbells for 5 reps.
When you accomplish that, challenge yourself to 20lbs the next time around. Setting tangible goals where you can truly see the results and watch yourself get stronger can be extremely satisfying and keep you coming back for more.
Rather than focusing on the number on the scale, focus on the numbers in the gym and the results will follow.