There is an old adage that women should not lift weights because they will get big and bulky and manly. So, let’s just scrap that idea now.
A woman’s strength and muscular development are predetermined by hormones, physiology, and genetic make-up. Generally speaking, women have about 1/10th of the amount of testosterone compared to men. Because of the smaller amount of testosterone, the average woman does not have the ability to “bulk up” like her male counterparts. In addition, women do not possess the same size muscle fibers or amount of lean tissue as men. So, unless you are a professional bodybuilder – or have an overwhelming amount of testosterone (whether natuarally or by supplementing) – you are unlikely to turn into the Incredible Hulk
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s focus on the reasons why you should be lifting weights.
Boost Your Metabolism Naturally
Although cardio burns more calories than strength training (during the first 30-minutes of your session), lifting weights burns more calories overall. When you build muscle by adding strength training into your life, your resting metabolic rate (your ability to burn calories and fat) also increases.
= Muscle Growth And Fat Loss
Strength exercises increase lean body mass while decreasing fat stores. The greater your proportion of lean mass to fat mass, the more metabolically active your body becomes, providing an increased metabolic rate, fat oxidation, and energy consumption (which means you burn more calories and fat simply by carrying more muscle!).
Bone Modeling (and “fighting” Osteoporosis)
Bone modeling (and remodeling*) is the process by which bone adapts to load by changing size and shape and removing weak or damaged bone tissue. (*Remodeling affects material properties such as microdamage, mineralization, and collagen cross-linking.) When muscles contract against bone, it creates stress that causes bones to strengthen against the contractions. The stronger your muscles get, the stronger your bones must become to handle muscle contractions. Bone modeling helps prevent fractures and reduces your chances of getting osteoporosis.