Ladies - do you fear weightlifting because you think you will develop bulky muscles and look like a man?
This inaccurate info is nothing but a fitness myth that should have been debunked years ago. Actually, I thought it was no longer a thing - but many women still fear to lift for this reason.
Women and LiftingThe truth is women simply don't have enough testosterone naturally to produce extreme muscle mass.
What does happen when women lift weights is a beautifully sculpted and toned feminine body. A small part of how you are built is also based on genetics. Because every woman is unique in body type, lean gains will look different for each female. For example, I am tall with long levers (arms/legs) and a hard gainer compared to a shorter female who may develop muscle easier.
What remains in common with lifting for females is all women will continue to look like women.
Women who are purposely eating to reduce body fat expose their muscle development a bit more - along with reduced breast size. However, these women still look like women.
Women and Steroid UseOver-developed female bodybuilders who appear 'manly' are using illegal drugs, steroids, testosterone enhancers, and human growth hormones. These are banned substances that are used but not openly talked about.
For the typical active gal who lifts weights and eats healthy, you will develop some muscle, but not to the degree of a female bodybuilder enhanced with steroids. This is a whole other level of muscle development not applicable to active women in the gym.
Unfortunately, seeing overly muscled women has caused many gals to fear heavy resistance training.
Weight Lifting BenefitsApplying a regular weight training program can create noticeably toned arms, butt, legs, and an overall fit look. The other benefits include feeling great, boosted confidence, and enjoying how your clothes fit. The compliments for your healthy lifestyle are also nice.
About Me and Weight LiftingI have been lifting weights for thirty years, have muscular curves but definitely not bulky. What allows my muscles to show more is maintaining a lower body fat percentage year-round. However, I keep that within a healthy range to not screw around with my hormones.
As a woman in menopause, I understand the importance and health benefits of weight-bearing exercise. I enjoy how my body looks, but more importantly, focus on my bones remaining dense and strong as my estrogen levels continue to decline. Weight training is prescribed to all women going through this phase to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and/or osteopenia.
I am genetically lean thanks to my Dad and my body has also responded well to weight training. I actually used resistance training to put on muscle weight and provide more curves. Being naturally thin also comes with challenges. I am a hard gainer so work even harder in the gym for the muscle I have.
Some may think I look bulky, but if you met me in person, you would have a whole different opinion. Can I flex it up in images? Yes and especially after an intense lifting session when the muscles are full and vascular. When I'm dressed in jeans and t-shirts, you might say I look like a woman who takes care of herself.
More Health BenefitsThe health benefits of weight training go beyond what is visible. The following is a shortlist of benefits gained from lifting weights:
- Improved bone and joint function
- Increased bone density
- Increased muscle, tendon and ligament strength
- Improved metabolic function
- Improved overall health
- Weight loss and healthy weight maintenance
- Improved confidence
The numerous benefits of lifting are awesome and all women should embrace weight training as a very important part of their health programs.
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