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Five Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

woman weight trainingWhen I first started to lose weight, my number one goal was a smaller number on the scale. That was my sole focus. (Well, that and I REALLY wanted to wear a smaller pants size, if I’m being totally honest.) I never wanted to lift weights, never wanted to grow any muscle – I just wanted to avoid embarrassment if the tag on my shirt was sticking out.

Once I had been successful with the weight loss, though, I was still unhappy with the look of my body. Reading online one day, I was struck by the idea of lifting weights, but I didn’t want to bulk up. I gave it a try, though, and now I’m addicted. Lifting weights is terrific for women and the benefits are endless. Here are my top five.

  • Lifting weights will make you physically stronger. This has benefits that go beyond the obvious, such as carrying in the groceries or wrestling with a tight jar lid – and means that you will be less dependent upon others in your daily living. (It also makes it easier to wrestle with that recalcitrant toddler – but don’t tell them that!)
  • Lifting weights will help you lose body fat. The average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3-5 pounds of fat. As your lean muscle increases so does your resting metabolism, and you burn more calories all day long. That’s a win for me!
  • Lifting weights won’t cause you to bulk up. Women have less of the hormones that cause muscle bulk, so lifting will help the muscles to define and this helps your clothes both fit and look better.
  • Lifting will decrease your risk of osteoporosis. Research has found that weight training can increase bone mineral density by 13 percent in six months. This, coupled with taking your daily calcium, means less bone fractures later in life.
  • Lifting weights helps improve your attitude and mood. Women who strength train feel more confident and capable, both of which are important factors in fighting depression.

July 1st, 2009

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(Page 1 of 1, 5 total comments)

Robert Baines

This is a great article. I really like the tip that talks about how women will not bulk up. My wife is a personal trainer and she often talks about how her clients start with a concern with bulking up. However, she nor her female clients are bulking up. We are doing the full body strength training exercises now - four sets of 12 reps for each of the three exercises. It is working for us. Let me know, if you want to check out our article on full body strength training.

posted Sep 5th, 2015 7:45 pm

Elizabeth Ola

wow! awesome discovery, i would just go try mine immediately. i have it, but have never used it. thanks

posted Jul 20th, 2010 7:16 am


Strength training is awesome. There is not a single good reason to avoid it. Resistance is the magical secret to weight loss and toning when it comes to exercise. You'll accomplish so much more if you weight train 3 times a week vs. just doing a lot of cardio. Most women overdo cardio and skip resistance, but you'll lose excess fat tons faster if you gain some muscle. Be honest with yourself, you don't care about a number on a scale, you care about being healthy, fitting into that dress, and looking your best. So don't worry about gaining a little weight from building muscle, and don't worry about bulking up because that cant happen without injecting testosterone or other steroids. Also you don't have to go crazy with the strength training, one set of 8-12 reps for each exercise hitting each major muscle group is enough so long as you use the max weight you can handle for one set (IE if you do 10 reps and physically cannot do any more than that). You don't have to do multiple sets you just have to feel the burn to trigger your body into building muscle.

posted Jan 14th, 2010 2:52 am

Brian C

Love the MYTHBUSTING going on in this article.

posted Jul 1st, 2009 5:09 pm


Carmen this is great! I think women need to be reminded NOT to fear the weights but embrace them for all the good they offer. I don't know about you, but I actually prefer the weight training to cardio!

posted Jul 1st, 2009 4:28 pm


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One Response to “Five Reasons Women Should Lift Weights”

Jul 1st, 2009
11:46 am

Great article! At some point, I looked at my flabby arms and realized I would be a frail old woman if I didn’t get moving.