5 reasons women should lift weights
One of the most common misconceptions in the exercise world, particularly for women, is that incorporating weight training will give you a bulky and muscular body. While this may be the ideal physique for some, many of us want to be strong, but also lean. Luckily, weight training can actually help. It’s one of the best things you can do for noticeable results, and is bound to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. We caught up with leading personal trainer and founder of Right Path Fitness, Keith McNiven, for his top reasons on why it’s worth giving weight training a go:
1 Weights don’t make you look bulky
Firstly, ‘bulky’ is a completely subjective word and concept, so what you might consider as bulky could be someone else’s dream body, and that is absolutely fine. Secondly, you train for the results you want. If you want to gain muscle mass and achieve a muscular physique then absolutely, weight training can achieve that for you. Similarly, if you want to tone up and slim down, then incorporating weights into your standard exercise routine can do that too. Weight training can help shape your body however you desire – just train the relevant areas for the relevant results. It’s really that simple.
2 Weights burn calories, too
While per session, cardio burns more calories than weight-training, your metabolism may stay elevated for longer after lifting weights. Research has shown that we burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session, compared to a cardio workout.Plus, weight training is more effective at building muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest than some other tissues, including fat. So by lifting weights, you’ll increase your resting metabolism – and sometimes this can stay elevated for up to 38 hours after training.
3 You can easily train with weights at home
Whilst cardio is undeniably a great form of exercise, it can be pretty difficult to get a decent cardio session at home, especially if you’re pretty strapped for space! It’s often not practical to put a treadmill or rowing machine in your living room, but a decent pair of weights won’t take up much space, and you can quickly and easily train in a small area for effective results. For those who have busy lifestyles with limited time to train, investing in at-home weights is an easy way to introduce a new fitness regime to a hectic lifestyle.
Read more: Every woman’s at-home weight workout
4 Weights give tangible and measurable results
One of the best things about weight training is that you have tangible and measurable results to assess, helping you to clearly see your progress, which will keep you motivated and make you feel fantastic. As you consistently and gradually train with weights, you’ll notice your strength improving, allowing you to either do more reps of a specific weight, or even start to lift heavier. Take note of your PBs and aim to consistently beat them. The competition against yourself will keep your hunger for working out alive, which is imperative in order to see results.
Read more: 5 reasons to embrace your competitive side
5 Weight training is fun
Arguably the most important point of all, weight training is incredibly fun. There’s nothing quite like the buzz of lifting something you previously couldn’t; the thrill of seeing your body change; the exhilaration of beating your previous record and the enjoyment of feeling your muscles ache the following day, knowing you worked hard.