From what I’ve gathered, for most women, getting into shape means going to the gym and spending as little as five minutes up to hours a day on the elliptical, treadmill, and other cardio equipment. Now, don’t get me wrong, cardio is definitely part of losing weight and getting into shape. But ladies, I cannot stress it enough that only doing cardio will not get you that firm looking body you are probably going for. Now, you’re probably thinking in your head “But if I lift, won’t I get big and look like a man?” NO! You will look hot! The only way you will get “big like a man” is if you train to get “big like a man.” Trust me, I have been lifting very heavy weights (compared to my body weight) for over a year now and I do not look “big like a man.” So, now my question to you is do you stop driving your car to avoid becoming a NASCAR driver? No, you don’t because that’s silly. So not lifting weights to avoid looking like a man is equally silly. Stop being silly. Lift and get hot.
1. Female Testosterone Levels
The first reason women should venture into the weight room is because men have testosterone. Now when I say men have testosterone, I mean they have A LOT. While it is true that women do have testosterone, they do not have the same amount as men, or even remotely close. Testosterone is the primary muscle-building hormone in the body. Hence why men are able to put on more muscle mass than women, they have more testosterone. This means for a woman to look “big like a man,” she will have to work extremely hard. She will have to intentionally eat and lift a certain way to look “big like a man.” That kind of size does not happen overnight or by accident.
2. Increased Metabolism
Lifting heavier weights allows women to have a higher metabolic rate. Well, that’s if you lift properly. By properly, I mean with correct technique and form. When you challenge your muscles enough, small muscular tears are created. After your workout, your body works to repair these muscle tears, thus resulting in an elevated metabolism for many hours after your workout. What does this mean? It means not only will you burn calories during your workout, you will also burn more calories during the day too. So if you’re like me and have the appetite of a small army, this means more food throughout the day! More food equals more happiness.
3. “Tighter” Looking Body And Booty Butt
Let’s be real, what woman doesn’t want to have a rocking body that shows off her muscles no matter how big or small they are, and a nice round butt? A good diet (and by diet I mean actually eating REAL food and not three pieces of lettuce and a protein shake a day. We’ll save this topic in detail for another article) paired with an awesome lifting/cardio plan will get you that body. Of course, cardio will help you lose fat… but if you have no muscle to show off, you will just look skinny. In my opinion, women who lift look much better than women who just do cardio. Before anyone gets butthurt, this is completely my opinion. I repeat, this is my opinion. I’m not where I want to be yet in regards to fitness and my aesthetics, but even now, after heavy lifting for a year, I get daily compliments about my body, how people admire me for what I do and how I inspire them to get in shape. I’m not trying to brag, I’m just using this as an example that even though I’m not where I want to be yet, my body is still admired by many people. It’s seriously one of the greatest feelings in the world to know some one can take one look at you and see the hard work you put in. Which goes into my next point…
4. Increased Confidence!
There is no better feeling than stepping into the gym and loading up the barbell to deadlift and squat almost twice my weight. Not only does it make me feel great about myself, but the compliments are also a pretty good bonus. I have people come up to me telling me they are impressed with how much I can lift and how meticulous I am with my form as well. It’s very rare to see women lifting weights, and to see them lifting heavy is even rarer. Through weight training, I have found belief in myself that I never had before. I’ve carried this skill with me in other aspects of my life as well. I’m more confident now because I’ve failed lifts before, I’ve gone for squat PRs and failed the rep, I’ve had the bar at the bottom of my bench press and needed some one to lift it off my chest. Falling down is a part of life and we simply cannot avoid it. How we react to it is what makes us who we are. I’ve found boat loads of confidence through weight training and it has also made me very humble. Don’t ever let anyone or anything tell you once you fall down, you can’t get up and try again. Find confidence in yourself and lift those damn weights!
These are just a few reasons why ladies should lift heavy. I could go on all day and probably list in detail at least fifty reasons. Don’t worry, I won’t do that though. But really, ladies, stop being afraid to step into the weight room. Don’t let stupid boys, or anyone, intimidate you or tell you not to get big. They are just afraid you’ll show them up. Do it, show them what you’re made of!