10 Strong Reasons Why Women Should Lift More

Muscle is good

Weights have traditionally been a hard sell for women. In fact, they’ve had a natural aversion to them ever since Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled his 22-inch upper arms on national TV back in the mid-70’s. Fearing that weights would somehow miraculously pack slabs of unsightly muscle all over their body, women have had them placed in the no-go zone for decades.

Walking in tandem with this female aversion to weight training has been the unsightly skyrocketing of female fatness, with the result that obesity is now at full-blown epidemic proportions. Think about it- that’s not a coincidence. Women have been ignoring the most effective way to shed fat while getting fatter.

The time has come to stop the madness.

Here are 10 key reasons why you need to get on the weight training bandwagon.

1. Weight lifting consumes a whole lot of calories

Forget cardio – the way to burn calories like crazy is to hit the weights. Don’t believe it? Try 3 sets of 15 reps on the squat and you’ll be a believer for life. Compound movements that work multiple body parts together will tax your cardiovascular system while shaping and sculpting your body.

2. Weight lifting hugely boosts the metabolism

When you lift weights, you induce what is known as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption effect (EPOC). It means you’re not only going to churn through a ton of calories while lifting, but you'll also boost your metabolism for the next 24-48 hours. This allows you to burn more calories after your training – yes, even in your sleep!

Also, when you work with weights, you are creating micro-tears in your muscle cells. Repairing those tears takes energy. And there’s more – muscle takes five times the energy to maintain as fat does. So, every ounce of muscle that you add through weight training is going to have you burning more energy to maintain what you’ve got.

Read about our list of foods to boost your metabolism!

3. Weight lifting sculpts your body

It puts you in control, allowing you to view your body as a piece of art. If you need to add a bit here or reshape a bit there, weight training is the tool with which you can do it.

4. Weightlifting makes you strong

Not just exercise specific strong. The type of weight training that you’ll be undertaking with weights will make you functionally strong. They will make it easier for you to go about all of your daily tasks - with plenty left in the tank for emergencies.

5. Weight lifting will improve your cardiovascular fitness

When you perform exercises that recruit multiple muscle groups such as squats for reps, your blood is shunted all around your body. This makes your heart work a whole lot more efficiently. As a result of weight training, you will be less susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and a whole shopping list of other cardiovascular illnesses.

6. Weight lifting builds muscle

Muscle weighs five times more than fat does. Just to maintain that muscle takes a lot of calories. Of course, muscle is also what gives your body its shape. Muscle is sexy. It gives you curves.

Once we advance past the half-century, we have a natural decline of 5 to 10% of muscle mass every decade. As a result, we lose strength. Working out with weights will counter that natural loss, allowing us to combat many of the ailments that are traditionally associated with aging.

7. Weight lifting boosts your endurance

When you work out with weights, your muscles develop both their fast twitch and their slow twitch fibers. The composite effect is they get stronger and develop endurance, allowing them to do more for longer. Also, when you use such equipment as kettlebells, you develop functional fitness, which makes it easier for you to carry out your everyday physical activities.

8. Weightlifting allows you to burn fat

While you can’t spot-reduce, weight training will allow you to tighten and firm muscle all over your body while systematically stripping fat from all over your frame. The result is that your scale weight may not change a whole lot (remember that muscle weights five times more than fat does) but you will look a whole lot better.

9. Weight lifting increases bone density

When you exercise with weights, your chances of developing osteoporosis decline dramatically. Weight training also strengthens your joints. A recent study out of Tufts University showed that resistance training acts to slow down bone loss while stimulating new bone growth. The study also showed that regular weight training lubricates the joints as well as making the muscles around the joint stronger. As millions of people can attest, the effect is a reduction in arthritic symptoms.

10. Weight lifting develops inner qualities

Weight lifting calls on all of the inner qualities that mark successful people. The regularity of training, the commitment and the sheer guts required to push beyond your physical barriers will require self-discipline, focus and pure grit. In the process, you’ll learn to become a goal setter and a ‘just do it’ kinda’ girl. In fact, studies show that regular resistance training gives all of the benefits of taking anti-depressant medication – without any of the side effects.

Josh Blackburn
 

Josh Blackburn is NASM-CPT and Underground Strength Coach, who loves CrossFit, Strongman training, and helping people reach their athletic potential. He is also the founder of Athletic Muscle, where he shares information to help you build muscle, gain strength, and improve performance.