Why Women Should Lift Weights & Why It Won’t Make Them Bulky

Christian Coulson
Updated: June 10, 2020
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Many women have realized how beneficial weight lifting is to their health, mood, and confidence.

However, some others are still concerned that lifting weights will make them look bulky or manly. Lucky for you, that’s not the case.

Weight lifting has tremendous benefits for women, such as faster fat loss, toning and shaping your body, and increasing bone density.

Let’s start with some of the benefits of lifting weights for women

Speedy Fat Loss

Depending on your training, weight lifting will often burn more calories than cardio and increase growth hormone, which is especially important for women.

Why is growth hormone important for women?

Men tend to have higher levels of testosterone and growth hormone to help them lose weight and maintain lean body mass.

Women, on the other hand, produce smaller amounts of testosterone; therefore, they rely on growth hormone to do a large part of the work for fat loss. (1)

Shaping Your Body

Think of your body as the marble, you as the sculptor, and weight lifting as the point chisel.

Doing countless hours of cardio will make you lose weight and muscle without adding definition to your arms, back, or glutes. That’s why you may be skinny but still a little jiggly.

If you want a tighter and more defined body, some sort of strength training will be your best bet. You can target and train the areas you want to grow.

This is not to say that all cardio is bad, however, too much can be detrimental depending on what your goal is.

There are different types of cardio to consider, such as LISS, MISS, and the famous HIIT cardio.

Injury Prevention and Increased Bone Density

Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are what support every joint and help the body stay aligned.

Weight lifting helps strengthen muscles and tendons as well as increasing the flexibility of the ligaments, which reduces the risk of them becoming strained or torn. (2)

Since bone has the ability to rebuild itself, by causing stress on your bones, weight lifting can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

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Self Confidence

Many people see weight lifting as a challenge, especially those pushing themselves to their limits.

Overcoming a challenge is always rewarding, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and boosts your self-esteem by reminding you that you’ve got the discipline and drive to reach your goals.

Even though you should live by your own standards, it’s always nice to receive compliments from others that have noticed your progress.

Why It Won’t Make You Bulky

Your Diet Matters

Here’s the thing, you can lift all the weights you want, but if you are not eating in a surplus – more calories than you burn – it’ll be very difficult to build muscle.

Gaining muscle will require you to eat a large amount of food in combination with weight lifting.

Muscle Gain Takes Time and Effort

Building muscle is not something that happens overnight, you won’t turn into the incredible hulk just by doing a few dumbbell curls and drinking a protein shake.

Trust me, I’ve tried.

It takes years of hard work and meticulous dieting to reach the level of fitness many athletes and professional bodybuilders have.

It can even take months to be able to notice a significant change in muscle definition and decreased body fat.

To put it into perspective

The average woman could put on around 0.3-1 lb of muscle per month and gain up to 20-25 lb of muscle in their entire life.

These stats vary depending on training age. Meaning that the longer you’ve been weight training, the closer to the lower end of the range you’ll be.

So this doesn’t mean that you will always gain 1 lb of muscle per month every month for the rest of your life.

And remember, it takes dieting and training in extreme fashion to do this. So you should be okay lifting weights a few days a week to lean down and get toned.

note: this is pounds of muscle only. You can still gain all the fat you want.

To Summarize

Weight lifting is not only about looking good physically, but about being healthy and strong and developing skills, discipline, dedication, and positive qualities that you can apply to other areas in your life.

I know it’s hard to let go of something that you’ve believed to be true for so long. I also understand that the definition of “bulky” may be different for everyone.

But if losing weight and getting toned is something that has been on your mind, I encourage you to leave your fears behind and grab a barbell!

I hope you loved this article about why women should lift weights and why it won’t make them bulky!

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