There is so much worry that lifting weights will make you bulk up. This simply isn't true. Women don't produce enough testosterone to "get bulk like the Hulk". It takes years of training and supplements to get the the type of body most women think they'll get when they think of weights.
Instead, lifting weights is a great way to maintain health, strength and balance. Not to mention get yourself a leaner physique. Brace your fears and pick up some weights. You'll be surprised to know that:
1. Muscles take up less space than fat.
You can be 5-10kg heavier but look 5-10kg leaner. Crazy right? Muscle tissue is more dense than fat meaning you get more bang for your buck or in this case, more bang for your weight. Even better, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. So not only do you look slimmer, you burn more calories just existing by putting on extra muscle. How do you do this? You build muscle by lifting weights:
Photo courtesy of Kelsey Wells @mysweatlife
2. You can do it from the comfort of your own home.
Scared of the gym? Don't have time? Can't afford it? You can "gym it" at home. When you start lifting weights, unless you've already decided to start body building, the weights you'll be lifting won't be that heavy. That means you can pick up low weight dumbbells and kettlebells at your local active store or Walmart / Kmart etc. You can also use your own body weight. You can get lean without leaving the house.
3. Be a stronger and more balanced version of you.
Lifting weights isn't just about the aesthetic. Lifting has been scientifically proven to have a plethora of health benefits. This includes better balance, lower stress levels, stronger muscle tissue and stronger bones. In fact, lifting heavier weights has been shown to lower your risks of osteoporosis. As we age, our bones begin to break down too, not just the external stuff. Women are also more prone to getting osteoporosis. Lifting is a great way to help word off this debilitating disease in combination with a calcium rich balanced diet.
4. Train smarter not harder.
Some people simply do not have the time to work out 4-5 days a week which is understandable. So why not train smarter and combine the best of both? With the right strength training, you can combine weights AND cardio in a single work out. Kettlebells and Cuban lifts in particular are great exercises to get your heart rate going. Kill two birds with one stone we say.
5. Like a boss.
You know what's great about lifting weights? Tangible success. Unlike traditional weight-loss that can see you going up and down the scales (especially depending on where you're at in your cycle), with weights you can either do it or you can't. Say you can lift an 8kg dumbbell but 10kg is just too much. With enough training and practice, you will very soon be able to lift that 10kg dumbbell. Then that 12kg dumbbell and so on. Lifting weights is a great way to boost your self-esteem by setting realistic goals and being able to smash them with a bit of training and practice.
So let's see: lifting weights can boost your self-esteem, strengthen your muscles and bones, can be done without a gym, gets leaner than cardio alone and improves your balance...so what are you "weighting" for?!