I previously did an Instagram post on this topic but decided that it deserves a full blog post because it’s just that important!
There are many benefits when it comes to strength training but below I am going to share my top 5 reasons for why women should lift weights and build muscle!
When I start working with new female clients and ask what their goals are I am often told they want to “tone up” or “get defined”. I typically reply by asking “so you want to build muscle?” Which is usually followed up by a response of “well, I don’t want to get bulky, I want to build lean muscle.” Let’s get this one out of the way, there is no such thing as lean or bulky muscle, muscle is simply a tissue. If you put on muscle and have a lower body fat percentage you will look toned. Many women think that in order to lose weight or fat they need to do a lot of cardio. While cardio does help with weight loss as it increases the amount of calories burned in a day, it is not and should not be the only means used to achieve this goal. Lifting weights and building muscle will increase your metabolism and the amount of calories you burn at rest. In addition to calorie expenditure it will help give your body shape. Often times women don’t need to lose as much weight as they think they do in order to achieve their aesthetic goals, instead adding muscle and losing fat while maintaining their body weight, also known as re-comping, will get them to where they want to be.
2. Prevent Osteopenia and Osteoporosis
If you’re young you may not think that this is something you need to worry about right now. Both osteopenia and osteoporosis are easier to prevent than they are to reverse. I work with many older female clients who have osteopenia or osteoporosis, all of them tell me they wish they started strength training years ago as a preventative method. It is scary to think that your bones may break or give out, causing you to fall, or that suffering from a fall may result in a serious injury. The sooner you start the better off you will be!
3. Builds Confidence
As a female who lifts weights I can say that there is truly nothing more empowering. When I feel strong inside of the gym, I feel strong outside of the gym. I know I am capable of anything I put my mind to. Building strength does not happen over night, it takes time and consistency. Being able to apply the work ethic and patience you learn from lifting to other areas of your life is rewarding.
4. Helps with Daily Activities
This one may seem silly but it’s something as simple as being able to open up a jar on my own, move a heavy box or object without help, or my favorite, pick up my German Shepherd when she’s being stubborn. Being strong makes daily activities easier and allows you to do more on your own! As a young 25 year old I don’t have to worry about whether or not I may need to go to a nursing home quite yet. As we age daily activities that once seemed easy can become difficult. Starting out young and keeping up with strength training can be a great way to stay independent as you age and out of a nursing home!
5. Helps with Setting Attainable Goals
While having aesthetic goals is great, and may be enough for some people, if you’re someone that has trouble adhering to workouts, aesthetic goals alone may not be enough to keep you motivated. Motivation is something that can come and go, so if the only reason you want to workout is to look a certain way, you’ll most likely find excuses to skip the gym or veer off track. With strength training you can set performance goals such as lift x amount of weight for x number of reps, or be able to do a push up or a pull up. I find that performance goals help people stay consistent. Performance goals are specific and measurable and are usually more attainable than most aesthetic goals. You’ll also feel accomplished after reaching a performance goal, which will help keep up your motivation!