Strong is the New Sexy: Why More Women Should Lift Weights

Now that I’ve finally created a fully active lifestyle, all of my friends have been asking me how I achieved this awesome physique. What is the secret that is helping me so they can all do it too? Well, there’s really no secret behind it. I love to lift and stay active!

But, first things first. We need to discuss the taboo of female lifters and why so many women think it’s not for them.

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The myth of getting big and bulky

If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “don’t get too big and bulky” or “be careful, you don’t want to look like a man” I could retire because I’d have a crap load of money. Let’s get something straight here. The majority of women who lift do not get bulky because we physically cannot. We don’t have the hormones (i.e. testosterone) that would allow us to become the hulk, especially not overnight. The women who you associate with weight lifting most likely are taking steroids or genetically have more testosterone than the average woman. Just because you lift one weight that’s a little heavy doesn’t mean your voice is going to change and everyone’s going to start mistaking you for a man.

But, you know those toned arms, flat abs, and big round butt that you want? Those come from lifting heavy weights, doing limited amounts of cardio, and eating right. So, get it out of your head that the weight room isn’t for you because you’re trying to slim down. Get off the damn treadmill and elliptical and lift a few weights. Here are the many benefits that will come once you journey to the other side of the gym!

The benefits of weight lifting for women

Build confidence. Lifting weights will help you build confidence in two ways. 1) It’ll change your body in a positive way, which always builds confidence. Who doesn’t want to look good and get compliments for it? 2) By trying something new and pushing yourself hard you’re more likely to develop higher confidence and increased self-esteem. It’s hard to be a female lifter when you first start out especially if you don’t have a friend doing it with you. But once you start, you’ll eventually be able to walk on over to that bench press and do your thing with the best of them. (And trust me, this confidence will transfer over into every part of your life!).

Strength isn’t only for men. Women need to remember that we are strong too. We’re not these fragile little girls that everyone assumes can’t handle lifting a few heavy weights. We need to show ourselves, and everyone else, that we are resilient and strong in a variety of ways.

Learn something new. I take any chance I can get to learn something new and at the gym it’s no different. There are always new exercises or routines for me to try out and it’s fun to ask friends for a little bit of advice. Expand your knowledge set and begin to learn the basics of weight lifting and nutrition to positively impact your overall health.

Push your limits and step out of your comfort zone. Many people get stuck in the same old routine, scared to step out of their comfort zone. It could be related to work, a relationship, or even just everyday life. However, weight lifting helped me push myself to my limits and eventually expand my active lifestyle. Was it awkward and very hard at first? Yes. It’s still actually pretty hard, but that just means I’m getting stronger and continuing to push myself. By being able to step out of your comfort zone in one part of life you are giving yourself the opportunity to do it in everything that comes around. Change won’t happen if you’re standing in the same place, so step on out there and do the impossible!

Now, I know I probably haven’t convinced a lot of women to walk on over to the dumbbells yet because it’s still very intimidating. But every time you’re in the gym, remind yourself all of the positive things that can occur (physically, mentally, and emotionally) if you just tried some resistance training. If you really don’t know what you’re doing and that’s what’s holding you back, go with a friend or ask a trainer for help. No one is there to judge you or make you feel bad so you’ll always find someone willing to give you a hand.

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