Weight training isn’t a man’s sport — Women get just as much out of it.
There are so many outdated myths about weight training. I have made it my mission to let women know just how practical weight training is. Lifting weights might begin as an aesthetic goal, but you realise it’s a lot more than that after a while. Building strength and muscle help you build self-confidence and assurance. I could barely lift my weight when I started weight training, and a chin-up was out of the question. However, it was one of my goals to perform at least one. Slowly as I built my strength, I started hitting these goals, giving me a sense of empowerment. My lack of physical strength no longer limited me. On the contrary, I strengthened my self-belief as I kept lifting heavier weight. It provides many more benefits than just toning and shaping your body. Perhaps you can imagine it doing the same to your mindset as well. Just like running a marathon — weight training takes years of practice and eating a nutritious diet. Then, slowly, the results start to flourish on your body, leaving others wondering how you did it. But little do they know the real work magnifies from the inside, which only you can understand. And that’s why I want all women to embrace weight training — no matter what level or age they are right now. The benefits result from a decision to take just one small step. It’s time to abolish these outdated beliefs that have plagued women for years and stopped us from reaching the full potential that our bodies and minds have.
Five outdated myths women believe about strength training.
One: If you lift weights, you will get big and bulky
You will not get big and bulky from lifting weights unless you take steroids by the truckload. Women do not have the same testosterone level as men, and therefore, we do not have the genetic disposition to put on a lot of muscle. Weight training thus allows us to become stronger and reshape our physique using different training methods. We can take it as far or do as little as we want — the results depend on our goals and how long we’re willing to chip away towards achieving them. There is no doubt that building muscle is one of the best things you can do for your metabolism. Muscle burns calories as you rest. This allows you more of a calorie surplus per day without the usual weight gain of non-lifters. Weight training builds your bone density, making you more mobile and less likely to experience severe breaks as you transition towards old age.
Two: Lots of cardio is the key to weight loss
Women mistakenly rush to the cardio equipment every day, hoping they will lose body fat or, quite possibly, out training a lousy diet. This is not the case entirely. You will burn body fat accordingly when you watch your macros and do both HIIT and low impact cardio. But the critical component to weight loss and a faster metabolism (plus reshaping your body) is to lift weights! Weights build a metabolically active tissue called muscle. Cardio can eat away at your muscle mass if you aren’t careful.
Yes, this is the best way. It does three things for you.
- It will increase your metabolism, even when at rest.
- It will help you lose body fat and reshape you.
- It will make you stronger! But, unfortunately, you can’t get those things by doing cardio alone.
Three: Men and women need to train differently
Not true! Women can utilise the same movements as men, even though we get different results. The results come about because of hormonal differences, genetics and our diets. Women will differ in their results depending on the factors above. Train in precisely the same way as men builds muscle and reshapes our body, but to a lesser degree. So don’t be afraid to get in there and try chin-ups, tricep dips, push-ups and the like. It may seem daunting at first, but you will perform them without struggle once you build up your strength. They are all marvellous exercises that can take your strength goals to another level.
Four: At a certain age, women are too old to train
Feel free to check out Facebook and discover how many older women are weight training. Some of them are in their 60’s and look like 40. Many of them are grandmothers who want to look and feel good about themselves well into old age. I don’t blame them. Do you want to use a walking stick or look a lot older than you are? Begin training at whatever age you still give you the benefits of developing a shapely physique to carry them well into old age. Training when you are older retains your bone density, making it faster for you to recover from ailments. It also keeps you looking and feeling younger, with boundless vitality. Who wants a walking stick like so many older people find themselves using? However, this does not have to be you, and you can still enjoy an active life at any age!
Five: You have to eat a lot of protein when you lift the weight
Not necessarily! You only need to eat about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight if you are an athlete. If you train hard and are consistent with your workouts, you. It’s not a lot when you add that to your total body weight. Some people believe they can eat excessive amounts of protein and not put on any weight. The truth is that an excessive amount of calories will cause weight gain. That includes protein too. Experiment with this one, as it varies from person to person. I choose to protein cycle for its health benefits. You will need more protein as you build muscle and when your activity increases — but we’re not talking every 2–3 hours. Use your innate hunger signals to summon you when it’s time to eat — there isn’t a need to follow a rigid food consumption structure. That belongs to the ’80s and is very outdated itself.
Key take away
All you need is to start now — no matter your age or how you currently look. That can all change my making this one crucial decision. It’s one decision to change your life and your health. I would recommend seeking a personal trainer in your gym if in doubt. They will help you through the confusion of weight training and nutrition. Please keep it simple and aim for your training to last a lifetime. You are worth it.
If you would like to read more articles like this or start writing your own, please sign up via my link. I’d love to see you on the other side. Sign up here for your medium subscription. I get a portion of your monthly fee at no extra cost to you, and it will go a long way in supporting me as a writer. If you would like to express gratitude with coffee, send the love via this link.