“Weight Lifting For Women – Breaking The Myths & Lifting The Never Ending Stigma” – Monica May
I can talk all day about this…
Back in the days when I was first starting at the gym, I hated that people around me would throw all sorts of unwanted opinion and comments:
“Don’t get too fit..”
“You should stay away from the weight room you will get too muscular and bulky!”
“You’re not going to become one of those bodybuilder chicks, are you?”
“I don’t like women who have muscles.”
“Don’t over do it, you won’t look feminine anymore.”
Oh, god forbid that! Right?
Being the feminist I am I wasn’t afraid of looking like a man, plus deep inside me I knew that I was doing the best for me, so I didn’t listen to any of that.
However, I can’t say it didn’t bother me.
And to this day, even though the times have changed a lot since then, I still hear people around me judging women who lift weights.
The thing that bothers me the most is that these comments not only come from a place of misinformation, but they perpetuate damaging assumptions about women and heteronormativity.
So, dear ladies (and gents), today I plan to brake these myths into a thousand pieces, lift the stigma from weight lifting for women and give you a hundred reasons why you should do it too.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
Weight Lifting For Women
Breaking The Myths & Lifting The Never Ending Stigma
Myth #1: Getting Too Bulky
I feel like this is the primary reason why women are not interested in lifting heavy weights.
And we’ve all seen pictures of women with bigger muscular physiques, shown as the biggest fear when it comes to weight lifting for women.
Well, sorry to break it to you, but you couldn’t become one of them even if you wanted to.
These women are athletes.
They have coaches around them, train several times a day, have nutritionists and a whole team making sure they eat right.
Also, they usually take a ton of supplementation along the way to help them gain those muscles (which is not a bad thing, sorry if it sounded that way.)
I, as a matter of fact, want to get bigger and grow my muscles.
However, no matter how hard I worked out and how heavy I lifted, I still to this day cannot get the body of a bodybuilder (not even close).
Turns out 1 hour workout a day, 5-6 times a week, and only protein as a supplement is not nearly a half of what bodybuilders do.
They do this for a living, and you can never compare to them – they are professional athletes while for most of us fitness is just a hobby.
Which brings me to the next one…
Women who lift weights have a hard time building muscle compared to the male weight lifters.
That’s because our bodies are a built different, and naturally, men build muscle faster than women
First of all, men start out with more muscle than women do.
The average woman has 1/2 of the upper body- and 3/4 of the lower body musculature of an average man.
Men are also leaner, carrying less essential fat mass.
Not to mention the male growth hormone, it’s highness – Testosterone.
One of the main functions of testosterone is to help its host gain muscle.
We as women, lack testosterone and our primary hormone is estrogen, making it super hard to get those gains.
So, ladies, we won’t look like bodybuilders, and we won’t turn into men if we lift heavy weights, if that’s what you were afraid of.
And even though I’m not talking about all women and all men here, because it’s a fact that we’re all different and there are certain women that will build muscles easier compared to certain men.
However, I’m just generalizing for the purpose of proving my “backed by science” point.
So please get that idea out of your mind when starting into fitness.
Myth #2: Lifting Is For Muscles, Cardio Is For Weight Loss
In fact, lifting weights increases the number of calories you burn not only during a workout, but hours after finishing it too.
Traditional aerobic exercise like jogging, cycling or performing low steady state cardio on a cardio machines can be effective for expending energy and the body will metabolize more fat for energy at lower intensities.
However, exercising at a higher intensity or performing short, high-intensity work intervals can lead to a greater total amount of calories being expended during a workout.
Not to mention the fact that the more muscles you have, the more calories you’ll burn.
By increasing muscle size, you are increasing the number of calories you burn at rest too.
Myth #3: Light Weights And High Reps For Women
This is far from truth.
Light weights can be useful for improving the strength-endurance of muscle tissue.
If you’re a beginner start light.
However, if you’re already into fitness, the most effective way to create muscle growth and definition and get the best results in fat loss is by using heavy weight and explosive movements.
A general rule of thumb is to pick up weights that will challenge you, but not crush you.
If you’re already done 12-15 reps and it doesn’t feel like you’ve achieved your maximum, then your weights are probably too light.
Progression is key in order to get the most out of your physique.
Myth #4: You’ll Injure Yourself
I know that the thought of lifting something heavy feels dangerous.
We’ve all seen the fail videos where something goes terribly wrong with the weights, right?
Well, when it comes to weight training, injury tends to happen because of improper form, not the weights themselves.
Any exercise can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions and if you are not focusing on the proper form.
Now Let’s Get Lifting
I hope I helped you break those doubts about lifting weights for women and learn more about how important and beneficial it actually is.
I would love to hear your opinion on this topic.
Do you struggle with comments like these, or are you on the side giving those comments? (No judgements!!!)
Let me know by commenting in the comment section bellow.
Women’s bodies have always been strong, but their access to strenuous, strength-building exercise has historically been discouraged.
It’s about time we finally put a stop on it.
Help by spreading the word to make sure more people get educated on this matter.
Till next time,