You’ve probably heard somewhere that women shouldn’t lift weights because they will get too bulky. Although those in the fitness and bodybuilding industry clearly show that this myth is exactly just that, a myth, many women continue to stay clear of the weight room area for fear of looking too big.
Being a runner, I used to spend most of my days on the cardio machines. After a bad injury, I turned in my running sneakers for weight lifting gloves and shoes. Going from more than 60 minutes of cardio per day to about 15-20 minutes of cardio three times a week was a big change for me, but the benefits of weight lifting on my body don’t lie.
That being said, I’d like to share with you some of the best reasons why a woman should forget the myth and go lift heavy!
1. Increased Metabolism: Lifting weights not only increases your heart rate in the gym but also throughout the day, as the muscles require more energy to grow and in turn increase your metabolism.
As your metabolism and muscle mass increases, your body burns more calories throughout the day and continuously burns fat, even when you’re sitting at your desk. This means that you get to eat more S’mores Quest bars throughout the day, and who doesn’t love that!?
2. Skinny Fit: Too much cardio can you leave in a state of “skinny fat,” where you’re losing weight on the scale but not losing inches or fat. Lifting weights helps you reach a leaner figure.
Being someone who tested both theories, going from running 60-90 minutes a day to lifting weights six times a week with minimal cardio, I’ve seen how both methods affect my body. When I was running for an hour a day with minimal weight lifting, my body looked smaller but felt very weak. It was all flab, for a lack of a better word.
After I started lifting weights on a regular basis, not only did I become stronger, but I also saw my body change into a leaner figure. That fat fluff that wouldn’t budge was replaced by lean muscle mass, as my muscles started growing and burning that extra layer of fat.
3. Confidence Boost: when you lift heavier in the gym, you have a certain pride that takes over as you realize that you can do everything you set your mind to. There’s just something about knowing that you can deadlift 150lbs that makes every other obstacle look like a piece of cake! You also start feeling and looking better as your body becomes tighter and your clothes fit better, which gives you yet another confidence boost when walking down the street.
All in all, if you lift weights and watch your macronutrient intake, you will burn fat and gain muscle without looking bulky. Keep in mind that, as women, we have too much estrogen for our bodies to grow and bulk up like men.
It’s scientifically impossible to look like a man simply by just lifting weights. So step off the treadmill, lift some heavy weights and enjoy that delicious Quest bar to fuel your lean body.