Lifting weights is so important for optimal health, especially for females.
I taught strength training for women classes for years and loved converting cardio bunnies to strong weight lifters.
Once women realized that lifting weights would make them stronger — thereby making them look much more trim — and increase their metabolism, they usually became hooked.
I’ve created this epic strength training for women guide to help you feel confident around the weights and remind you of why it’s important to lift weights on a regular basis. Let’s dig in!
This guide is a one-stop-shop for everything related to strength training for women and tops out at nearly 7,000 words. Be sure to use the below guide to jump to different sections of this article. You can also bookmark this page as we are regularly updating this content.
What is strength training?
Strength training or weight lifting involves using resistance to build muscle size, strength and endurance.
Weight training is a form of exercise for developing the strength and size of skeletal muscles. (source)
When you strength train/lift weights, you are increasing your muscle size and stamina. Over time, this can increase your metabolism and burn more fat — even at rest!
Strength training will give you that toned look as your body burns more fat and your muscles start to emerge from behind a layer of fat.
The idea of ‘spot training’ or ‘toning’ is technically a myth since you need to burn that layer of fat that is covering your muscles to achieve that slim, toned look that so many women are after.
Strength training allows you to burn more calories, even at rest. Therefore, it makes maintaining a lower weight easier since you can generally eat more calories and take occasional breaks from training. This is something that cardio training does not offer.
Why is strength training for women so important?
As women age, their body will be weaker and become frail if they do not engage in regular resistance training.
Simply put, you will not be able to fully enjoy all of life’s great experiences as you age if you don’t fight back against aging with strength training. Numerous research studies support this, as evidenced in this article.
One April 2018 study out of the University of Buffalo showed these results (quote from ScienceDaily):
“The study underscores the need for older women to build up muscle strength early in the aging process to help ward off the effects of aging.”
This emphasizes the importance of starting now. If you’re afraid strength training will hurt or injure you, there are numerous studies that prove that this is not the case. Still, if you’re hesitant, start with very light weights or body weight — both of which will provides the benefits of resistance training.
Pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women can also benefit from regular strength training. Unlike long bouts of cardio, strength training can be accomplished in a shorter amount of time which is ideal for tired busy moms and it puts less stress on the body than long sessions of cardio.
In this paper published by Brad Schoenfeld, the author notes that exercise and strength training during pregnancy can have multiple benefits including reduced labor, less
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, resistance training will increase your metabolism and muscle mass, which will, in turn, lower your body fat and improve your physique. Lower body fat percentages decrease your likelihood of countless diseases and having a slim, fit body is a goal of the majority of women. Win, win!
22 Benefits of Lifting Weights for Females
The research has shown there are countless benefits of strength training, especially for females!
When you strength train, you can reap these amazing benefits (resources listed at the end of this article):
- increased energy
- increased metabolism (burning more calories at rest)
- stronger bones
- lower risk of injury
- improves sleep
- reduces stress
- clothes will fit better
- improves flexibility
- improves longevity
- preserve muscle mass
- reduces the risk of diabetes
- reduces inflammation in the body
- increases insulin resistance
- lowers your risk of depression and anxiety
- lowers your body fat percentage over time
- improves posture
- possible cognitive impairment/dementia prevention
- gives you an hourglass figure
- ease of daily activities/chores and lifting heavy objects and children
- improves your heart muscle strength and endurance
- risk of diseases related to high body fat and obesity will decrease
- improves your mood/acts as a meditative practice
- plus, it’s just more FUN than cardio!
Numerous studies back up the above benefits. With strength training, you can live a longer and more fulfilling life due to your strong, healthy body rather than succumb to the effects of aging. Lift weights and fight back against aging!
Below is an infographic we have created that outlines these 22 amazing benefits of strength training for the ladies!