Lady Lifters: Read Reality

There’s a lingering stigma that weightlifting isn’t for women. I mean, that’s why there are workouts like barre, yoga, and Pilates… Plus, women should be doing cardio to stay lean anyway, right?

I call bull-sh*t.

It’s time to expose the truth and talk about the importance of incorporating weightlifting into your daily fitness routine.

Strength training is actually one of the best whole-body workouts you can do. Aerobic exercise — think cardio — burns both fat and muscle, whereas strength training burns almost exclusively fat. Take a look at your fitbit (or preferred tracker) next time you hit the gym; it’ll register somewhere around a 20% fat burn of total calories for a treadmill workout, versus 60%+ for a weightlifting workout;

Consider this: You continue to burn calories up to an hour after a strength workout as your muscles recover.

How I see it, the stereotype that lifting weights will “bulk you up” is completely backwards. Because weightlifting burns a higher percentage of fat, you’ll actually look leaner, and tighter. There’s even a strong possibility you’ll drop a size or two — but most people believe the contrary. Lift weights to look better naked.

The reason: Female bodybuilders might look “big and bulky” to some is because they’ve made this their career. They spend countless hours in the gym, after spending years building up to their current level, and focus largely on protein-heavy nutrition and supplements for performance. So sure, if you do the same, you’ll probably bulk up a bit…light-years down the road. But I’m here to tell you those aren’t the type of gains you should expect to get from a consistent weightlifting regimen.

It’s important to find what works for you — I can’t stress this enough. There’s no golden rule to follow or a “one size fits all” weightlifting plan that can be applied across the board. Everyone is built differently, with different muscle fibers, body types, and fitness levels. It takes time to identify what exercises, weight levels, and environment are best for you. Patience is a virtue.

Aside from being a stellar fat-burning exercise that gets you toned and strong, one major benefit to weightlifting is that it’ll strengthen your mindset and confidence. It takes a certain mental toughness to push through a lift, hit a PR, and leave the gym feeling like a bad-ass. There are a lot of weightlifting communities, such as Crossfit, that can provide a support system to help you push through hard workouts, and in turn, further increase your self-confidence.

So plain and simple: Weightlifting is empowering. And the kicker? It can be fun! Science tell us that your body produces more endorphins in a shorter period of time when weightlifting then when doing cardio. And who doesn’t want to actually enjoy working out?

Get up, get out, and lift some heavy sh*t!