Lifting weights can be a daunting thought for many women, not helped by the cloud of rumours that swirl around female weightlifting.
But the truth is, lifting weights is an excellent addition to almost any exercise regime, be it weight loss, athletic performance, or just general wellbeing. In this post, we tackle some of the most common rumours surrounding lifting weights as a woman- and explain why they are most definitely untrue myths.
Weightlifting Will Make Me "Too Big."
This is a completely false, but all too common, myth about weightlifting. The harsh truth is that, even for men, it’s very difficult to “get big.” It requires years of dedication, extreme discipline in diet, and hours of lifting weights every day. The average gym goer will never be at risk of getting “too big”- especially women, who have significantly lower testosterone levels.
So if this is your reason for not wanting to lift weights then you can rest easy. What weightlifting will do for you is burn fat and calories, increase muscle strength, improve your heart health, and reduce your risk of a stroke, diabetes, and many other illnesses. It won’t give you a heavily muscular frame.
I Should Stick To Light Weights
It’s not clear where the “if I do lots of reps of smaller weights I’ll tone my muscles but won’t get big” myth came from, but it is also completely false.
What lifting small weights does is increase your muscle endurance, not your muscle mass. With increased muscle endurance, you can do more for longer but it doesn’t actually affect your physique. So small weights with lots of reps is great for athletic performance, but not so great for changing the way your body looks.
To really burn fat and build up lean muscle, you need to be lifting heavier weights for 6-12 reps and this will help give you the athletic physique you’re looking for.
Weightlifting Won't Help Me Lose Weight
If weight loss is your goal, you might think that you’re best served sticking to cardio exercises. But you would actually be wrong. While cardio exercises should definitely be part of your routine, a well-rounded weight loss exercise regime should also incorporate weightlifting.
Weightlifting is a great way to kill 2 birds with 1 stone; not only will it increase strength but it’s also a very effective fat burner, helping you lose the pounds. Increased muscle mass to a higher resting calorie burn rate too- meaning you burn more calories without even doing anything!
In fact, a study published in BMC Public Health found that participants of a strength and cardio training regime lost more weight than participants who were following a cardio-only regime.
Those are just 3 of the many myths that surround female weightlifting. Ultimately, it’s down to you whether or not you want to lift weights as a woman. But take everything the naysayer’s and scaremonger’s say with a pinch of salt, most of it is totally false. Lifting weights won’t make you look bulky, it will help you lose weight, and you absolutely should lift heavy weights. So lift away to your heart’s content.