Updated: Nov 17, 2020
I can't believe that in 2020 as a trainer, I still hear a moan every single time I tell a female client that I'll incorporate resistance training and Hypertrophy into their Fitness Plans.
The main concern is the myth that they'll be walking She-Hulks, and won't achieve the feminine body they envisioned for themselves, that drove them to finding me to help transform their bodies in the first place. I take my time to explain to them that it won't be the case, and for them to rest assured they'll still look like a woman (because that's what they are!)
Lifting weights has a plethora of benefits, and it 100% needs to be a part of any fitness plan according to experts and to my own philosophy on fitness. When it comes to females however, the stigma of lifting weights making you look manly, is still very much alive so I'll bust those Myths down to you.
1-Lifting Heavy Will Not Make Me Look Manly
First, let's start with the fact that "heavy" is relative. What's heavy for me, might be light for you, and vice versa. So the term "heavy" in this case refers to pushing your muscles to its limits when it comes to the weight it lifts. Finding your 1RM allows you to classify your lifts in terms of percentage (ie. 70% of 1RM).
Depending on the type of weight training and Phase you're on regarding your fitness journey, you'll be required to lift at a certain percentage from your 1RM in order to maximize you gains, keep your muscles from adapting to a workout, and keeping progress of your new found strength, and in the Hypertrophy phase stimulate muscular growth. With all that being said, your bodies reaction to resistance training is in most part muscle hypertrophy, that is an increase in size of muscle cells causing its growth. For a female, muscular hypertrophy doesn't come as easy as a male because we produce different amount of certain hormones that aids in muscular and skeletal hypertrophy such as testosterone.
Lifting weights in general will contribute increased muscle tone, and will give you that gorgeous feminine shape you're after.
2- A Toned Body
If what you're after is a "toned body", what you're really saying is that you want your muscles to develop enough for it to give contour to your body.
That nice cinched waist, those nice lean arms and legs, and that perky booty, can all be achieved by lifting weights. With the proper nutrition and fitness program, you can achieve amazing results!
3- You'll Burn More Calories
Resistance Training typically burns less calories than certain Cardio routines, although in some cases just as much if not more, however, regardless of your initial caloric output, you'll increase your basal metabolic rate.
Lifting weights can rev up your metabolism significantly because the protein synthesis needed for muscle growth consumes a lot of energy. Additionally, at rest 10lbs of muscle burns around 50 calories a day while resting, vs fat with 20 calories a day.
In essence, the more you're able to change your body composition by increasing its lean body mass vs fat, the more calories you'll burn at rest.
4- Muscles Are Your Allies Against Saggy Skin
As we age, we all lose some bone density, and skin elasticity. As the bones retrieve, the skin that was once plump starts to look more and more lax. By lifting weight we already know you induce muscle growth, but it also increases bone density, which is so important for us females as we age. Basically, by keeping our muscles "toned", we give the skin something to cling to as we age. If you keep your arms strong, you won't have to worry about hiding them as you get older. Aging gracefully is something most of us are after, and the fact that muscles protect your bones for breaking during a bad fall all the while giving your body a more youthful appearance is just an icing to an already awesome cake.
5- Some Of The Health Benefits
According to experts, Weight Training can help you with:
Increased Bone Density
Promote Fat Loss
Improve Chronic Diseases symptoms or help prevent them in certain individuals
Promote good sleep, humor and energy levels.
Also it helps some females deal with PMS
Basically, if you haven't started incorporating any kind of resistance training into your Fitness Program, you're missing out on maximizing your workouts and making your body transformation more efficient. Combined with proper nutrition and cardiovascular routine, weight training can help you not only achieve a gorgeous feminine body, it can help you live a healthier lifestyle too!