5 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

Kettlebell-Swing

Any Woman who’d like to burn belly fat, raise her metabolism, get curves, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, should lift weights.

1. To Blast Belly Fat

The average woman in the US will gain another 1-2 pounds every year. In a study of overweight and obese women, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, they found that 2 sessions of lifting weights in strength training, significantly reduced belly fat over 16 weeks, without any change to their diet.1

In a study of 10,500 healthy people, they compared the effect of weight training, versus moderate-to-vigorous aerobic activity. The researchers concluded that weight training had a more significant effect on reducing waist circumference.2

Muscle takes a significant amount of energy to maintain, so you can burn more calories at rest. A 26 week study had subjects perform weighted exercise 3 times a week. By the end of the study, their percent body fat decreased 3.4%, they gained 4.4 pounds of muscle, and their Resting Energy Expenditure increased 6.8%.3

Combining aerobic activity with lifting weights in the same routine (a.k.a. weighted circuit training) can be even more effective for fat loss. In a 12 week study, subjects exercised 3 times a week, and their percent body fat decreased 16%.4 That’s why I created a weighted circuit class for women in my home town in Oxted — Gymnacity® Afterburn.

2. To Get Curves

Anna Churakova interview — glutes
© Susan Grace Hinman

If you’ve ever dieted down just doing hours on the treadmill, then you probably noticed that your bottom flattened out.

To build a gravity defying button butt, firm waist and wider shoulders for a more hourglass figure, then jogging isn’t going to cut it. To build those glutes, you need to lift weights…and not with just one exercise, but using weights to target them from multiple angles.

It should come as no surprise that the majority of bikini class competitors shape their body with weights — and not light weights either!

This doesn’t mean cardio isn’t important — it can be very useful during weight loss. But cardio alone won’t build that shapely and toned fitness model figure you’re after.

3. You Won’t Get Bulky

It’s a popular myth that women who lift weights will bulk up.

Women’s testosterone levels are only 1/15 that of a man, so it is very difficult for a woman to grow muscles (unless taking anabolic steroids). You’ve probably also heard that muscle can “turn into fat.” That’s impossible!

Lifting heavy things burns more calories. So put your fears aside and lift weights for a sexy body.

4. It Decreases The Risk Of Osteoporosis In Postmenopausal women

Menopause typically occurs around age 51, but can start as young as 45 years. Women’s oestrogen (estrogen) levels reduce, and with it oestrogen’s protective effect on bones, which become fragile and are more likely to break.

Bone loss is rapid during the early years of menopause. Whilst cardio is useful to work the heart, you need weight bearing exercise to strengthen bones.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends women lift weights 2-3 times per week to preserve bone health.

5. It’s Empowering!

Overhead PressAll the women I’ve trained described themselves as “weak”, when I first met them.

Many were stronger than they realised, as they’d only been using the smallest dumbbells in the gym before. Over time they lifted heaver weights and managed to achieve flawless “men” push-ups.

Lifting weights grew their confidence, and they felt empowered. Creating a more capable body makes you feel great ☺ Being stronger will also help you perform better in other activities such as running, and in daily life such as carrying your weekly shopping, or rearranging your furniture.

Become one of the “ladies who lift.”

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

References

[1] Schmitz KH1, Hannan PJ, Stovitz SD, Bryan CJ, Warren M, Jensen MD. Strength training and adiposity in premenopausal women: strong, healthy, and empowered study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;86(3):566-72. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17823418

[2] Mekary RA, Grøntved A, Despres J-P, et al. Weight training, aerobic physical activities, and long-term waist circumference change in men. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Feb; 23(2): 461–467. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4310793/

[3] Hunter GR, Wetzstein CJ, Fields DA, Brown A, Bamman MM Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults. Journal of Applied Physiology Published 1 September 2000 Vol. 89 no. 3, 977-984. http://jap.physiology.org/content/89/3/977.long

[4] Takeshima N, Rogers ME, Islam MM, Yamauchi T, Watanabe E, Okada A. Effect of concurrent aerobic and resistance circuit exercise training on fitness in older adults. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004;93(1–2):173–182.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8417689_Effect_of_concurrent_aerobic_and_resistance_circuit_exercise_training_on_fitness_in_older_adults

5 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

About George D. Choy 83 Articles
Personal Trainer and Calisthenics Instructor at Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, UK. Fit over 45. Dad with 2 energetic kids 😄 Passionate about helping people to keep strong, slim and healthy.

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