Should women lift weights? Wouldn’t it make them big and bulky?
No, it won’t. and to save you the time of reading this article: yes women should lift weights.
Actually, they must lift weights. So if you came here to know the answer here you have it. but if you want to know why they should and the facts that debunk this myth about women and strength training then keep reading.
Since long ago big muscular men and strength training bonded together quite well. That led people to believe that strength training is exclusive for men and if women would attempt it would make them big and bulky.
All of that pushed away most of the women from the weight room in the fear of losing their feminine side. which in reality is far away from the truth. Also, the people teaching those ideas have no studies or scientific literature to back up their claims. Also, no real-life experiences to do so because simply the statement isn’t true.
Why Lifting Weight Won’t Make Woman Bulky?
Luckily, for the bit informed of us we do know that the increase in strength can be associated with neural factors as well as muscular factors. what does that mean? In plain English, it means that just because a woman gains a lot of strength doesn’t mean that she’ll look like jay cutler with hooters. And let me tell you the reason why this is not gonna happen:
Women have much lower testosterone levels than their male counterparts ( roughly around 10 times less than the average male). Testosterone is the hormone responsible for the increase of protein synthesis inside the muscle cells. Increased rates of protein synthesis directly lead to gains in muscle size. So, technically speaking, women have 10 times less chance to build muscle mass than their male counterparts.
And if you have been around gyms for a while, you will already notice that men themselves are struggling with adding tiny bits of muscle mass to their frames. So I think it would make sense to say women are less likely to get big.
Men usually gain between 15-30 lbs of lean muscle mass in their first year of training. Women, on the other hand, will approximately gain between 7-12 lbs of lean muscle in their first year. After that, they may be able to add between 2-3 lbs per year if they are lucky enough. Also, we all can agree that every woman will look better if she adds 10 lbs of lean muscle to her frame. Especially if they happen to settle in certain areas of the body.
I am talking about the legs and hips area. She certainly will have a noticeable visual change that will make her much more attractive.
Now, that we debunked the myth that strength training will make women big and bulky. let’s talk about the benefits that strength training has to offer to women besides making them sexier.
Benefits Of Strength Training For Woman
I personally believe that neural factors in women beginner trainees are lower than their male counterparts. That is most likely due to the fact that males tend to be more active in their younger adult years. you may think about that as a disadvantage. But in reality, it is quite the opposite since women tend to develop that quality to a greater extent and thus making faster strength gains. And I will quote famous fitness trainer Jennifer Bloomquist when she was asked about the fact that women can gain strength at a faster rate then males “ I found this to be true. especially when the women get passed the I don’t want to get huge mindset and they finally give it their all.”
Also, I like to debunk another myth where some trainers claim that women are more prone to injury than males. This is not true. Unless we are talking about female sports athletes. Then, it issomewhat true. But, it is not because they are just women. This is mostly because they train less in their offseason compared to their male counterpart. So it really has nothing to do with women and why they should not strength train. Actually, strength training will strengthen their muscle tendons and make them less prone to injuries in and outside the gym.
Also, before I forget let me present you the benefits of strength training for women :
1- Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis As Women Ages:
If you are not familiar with those, they are a condition where bones start to lose their density and become weak. Also, they may break from a little fall. Heck, sometimes people with Osteoporosis will break their bones even from sneezing or little bumps in severe cases which is no fun. What strength training will do is that it will increase your bone density. That will keep it from falling as you age so you keep your bones strong and happy and you stay away from wheelchairs. An offer you want to take I assume, right?
2-Reduced Risk of Sports Injuries:
We kinda talked about that. But I like to insist on it because it is really important to strength train if you are a female athlete. Why? because a woman who is involved in sports will have a much lower chance of getting injured if she trains seriously at the gym.
3- Change in Body Composition:
Strength training will dramatically change your body composition. You will add some muscle and get rid of that cardio bunny look. Also, you will be able to maintain a good level of bodyfat because muscle is an active tissue that burns calories. And even though you will not burn an extra 50 calories per day for each lb of muscle you gain as you might hear around the fitness word, you will increase your RMR significantly.
4- You Will Have More Strength to Use in Your Daily Life:
I mean you will be able to lift stuff. Move things around the house by yourself and you will not need the help of your neighbors. So, if you want to be a truly free independent woman you have to strength train. That way, you no longer rely on people for your daily chores.
5- Increased Levels of Confidence and Self Esteem:
I mean when you look good you will feel good. Having a firm round butt with nice toned legs is surely good looking. I mean let’s not kid ourselves, Victoria secret models aren’t a trend anymore. People just got sick of this skinny skeleton models. Men love curves let me tell you, and they think it looks good. Now, properly developed glutes with a nice set of legs and you are way ahead of all other girls. Just quite the treadmill and go do some squats. okay.
I hope by now you are convinced that as a woman you should strength train and make it a priority on your go-to workout list.
In the next installment, we will talk about how women should strength train because even though that there isn’t a lot of difference overall, there are still a few adjustments that need to be made. So that we are able to design a training program that takes advantage of women qualities and limit unnecessary strain on the body. just don’t expect me to tell you to lift those light pink dumbbells because I won’t.
Here at the fitness coach, we love women and we consider them as equally strong as males and our job is to help them reach their true potential and put aside all social expectations and myths.
Until then. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I hope that I explained the facts in a good manner. Next time we will put things in action. So, Stay tuned.