There are several myths floating around about weight lifting for women. One of the biggest of these falsehoods is that women shouldn’t lift weights unless they want to “bulk up”—that generalization is about as false as the ingredients our competitors use in their supplements. To help dispel some of these rumors about women lifting weights and “getting big,” let’s look into how weight lifting and strength training for women are essential in achieving that long, lean body many women desire to have.
Weight lifting for women is just as beneficial as it is for men. Weight training is actually an essential part of getting well-defined muscles and a lean physique! As much as you hit that treadmill, hours of cardio will not get you the ideal muscle tone necessary for that bikini body.
However, for many women who are unfamiliar with the gym, weight lifting can be intimidating. Stepping into a free-weight zone packed with grunting, sweaty men can seem unwelcoming. It doesn’t help that many women feel unsure about how to use the various machines and are afraid or too self-conscious to ask for help.
As intimidating as stepping into the boy’s club of weight lifting culture may seem, that stigma is worth women overcoming for strength training. If you’re feeling unsure about how to use the complicated levers and pulleys on most gym machine systems, don’t be afraid to turn to free weights! Often times, you can get the results you’re looking for without ever using the machines at the gym. Free weights will do the job just as well! But you gotta skip those cute little dumbbells and go for the heavier weights.
If you feel uncomfortable in the free-weight zone at your gym, feel free to grab the weights you need and move to another section of the gym. Unsure of which actual moves to do? YouTube channels, weight lifting websites, and good old mimicry of those around you are all great ways to learn the essential moves needed for women to strength train. Weight lifting for women closely resembles or even mirrors the techniques men use to achieve beautifully sculpted muscles, so don’t be afraid to pull from moves you see from the men around you.
For those women just beginning to weight lift, it may be worth seeking help from a personal trainer. An experienced weight lifter can advise you on how to lift weights properly and without injury. Learning how to strength train as a woman can help you to not only properly do your exercises, but it can also help to increase your confidence making it easier to stick with a workout plan and see results.
Lifting heavier weight for fewer reps makes for a more effective (and efficient) workout and focuses on developing the muscle. Doing more (faster) reps doesn’t always allow muscle exhaustion, which is needed for muscle development. Increasing the amount of weight daily keeps your workouts challenging, your muscles tired, and your results always improving!
Strength Training for Women Without Getting “Big”
Bulking up like a bodybuilder (another myth about weightlifting for women) should not be of any concern. There’s no need to worry about bulking up because there are so many other factors involved. Consistently lifting heavy weights to the point of exhaustion every single day, in addition to increased caloric intake and large amounts of testosterone, leads to bulkiness—not merely lifting weights.
Without having the same amount of testosterone as a man, women are physiologically incapable of gaining the muscle mass needed to “get big” simply from lifting weights. It would also be necessary to consume a ton of calories and practice an intense lifting routine to even begin to “bulk up.”
Looking bulky or boxy has less to do with weightlifting as a woman and more to do with the amount of fat on the body than the amount of muscle. Too much body fat (on top of the muscle) makes the body look bigger when muscles start to develop and increase in size. Weight loss, then, is the key to achieving muscle definition.
In order to tone and not “bulk,” women should trim body fat. And believe it or not, our bodies burn more fat from weight training than from cardio. We’re not saying cardio is bad, but strength training for women not only increases muscle size but also burns fat at the same time.
In fact, weight lifting actually burns more calories post-workout than cardio due to increased EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which accelerates metabolism. What that means is the body burns more calories at rest after weight lifting than after cardio which means you’re getting better results faster than doing just cardio alone. It is also possible to do too much cardio, therefore not only burning fat but also losing muscle—unsurprisingly, this makes achieving a toned look close to unattainable.
Combining weight lifting for women with cardio allows the body to burn fat and increase muscle mass at the same time. Unless there is a significant amount of weight to lose, this combination of cardio and strength training is the most effective.
Since you can’t lose weight in specific areas, weight lifting for women makes it possible to enhance areas of the body with well-defined muscles. Short on time? Compound exercises like deadlifts, squats with shoulder presses or lunges with kettlebells can work several muscles groups at the same time, giving you a two-in-one workout in half the time!
While strength training as a woman produces lean muscle and helps to burn calories for hours after, sometimes you need a little extra boost to get you headed in the right direction. Fat burners can help to expedite fat loss and increase energy and focus during workouts.
Creatine can also aid in developing muscle by improving muscle strength and reducing muscle damage. Creatine occurs naturally in our bodies and can also be found in red meat. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or just need an extra boost to your diet, BPN’s creatine supplement is a great fit. BPN’s creatine blend is not only vegan and Certified Kosher and Halal, but it’s also full of high-quality ingredients—no fillers, no BS.
Weight lifting for women has so many benefits that it’s important not to look at it merely as a man's activity. Changing up your exercise routine helps the body to avoid getting used to a predictable routine which stops muscles from developing. Strength training for women is a great way to add some variety to workouts and achieve muscle definition. Push-ups, free weights, planks, lunges, chin-ups, and triceps dips are a few examples of strength-training exercises that lead to a leaner, longer-looking body.
The short of it is more women need to be lifting weights. The benefits for the body (like increased strength, beautifully toned muscles, and increased calorie burn during and even after workouts) is worth overcoming the fear of bulking up. By trimming fat and developing muscles more women can achieve long, lean, and most importantly, healthy bodies.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced lifter, BPN is here to help. Contact us now for more information about how our supplements can help support weight lifting for women.