10 Reasons Why Weightlifting Is Great for Women

10 Reasons Why Weightlifting Is Great for Women

Many women believe the only way to lose weight is to do cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise, but without adding weight training to their workout routine, they are missing a key component to weight loss.

If you’re serious about building serious muscle, ladies, try LIIFT4 or LIIFT MORE, Joel Freeman’s programs that combine weightlifting and calorie-burning high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

When you’re weight training, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you’re losing.

The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. Besides, what’s more important, the number on the scale or how you look in selfies?

If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights, here are 10 reasons you should reconsider.

1. Burn More Fat

Woman Does Dumbbell Presses | Strength Training For Women

Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle.

The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle.

When you do an intense weight training program, your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours after working out.

During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

2. Change Your Body Shape

Woman Measures Waist | Strength Training For Women

You may think your genes determine how you look, but that’s not necessarily true.

Weight training can slim you down, create new curves, and help avoid the “middle-age spread.”

So, no, you won’t bulk up — women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do.

If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you’ll burn fat.

3. Boost Your Metabolism

Image of a Clock Surrounded by Food | Strength Training For Women

The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40.

When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss.

Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

4. Get Stronger and More Confident

Fitness Class Working Out | Strength Training For Women

Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier.

According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in six months. Being strong is also empowering!

Not only does it improve your physical activities, but it also builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

5. Build Strong Bones

X Ray Image of Women's Elbow | Strength Training For Women

It’s been well-documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercises to build and maintain bone mass.

Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight.

Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.

6. Improve Mood

Women Happily Lifting Weights | Strength Training For Women

You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help improve mood; weightlifting has the same effect.

The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training.

7. Improve Sports Fitness

Image of Boy Playing Soccer with Grandmother | Strength Training For Women

You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training.

Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it’s bicycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing… whatever sport you enjoy.

8. Reduce Injuries

Woman Holds Ankle in Pain | Strength Training For Women

Weightlifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life.

It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales in Bangor, United Kingdom, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.

9. Get Heart Healthy

Woman Checks Heart Rate | Strength Training For Women

More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number one killer of women over the age of 25.

Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping.

Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.

It can also lower your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weightlifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Woman Checks Blood Sugar Level | Strength Training For Women

In addition to keeping your ticker strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking medication.

The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood.