Weight Lifting for Women

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Iron Woman

Yes, that’s what we said. Iron woman. Not iron, woman.

It’s not known who first decreed that weight lifting and strength training are for men only (plus perhaps a manly girl or two). But, whoever it was, he was wrong. This form of exercise becomes every female, from a tom-boy to daddy’s princess, from a robust young woman to little old lady.

Strength training builds muscle mass, keeps bones strong, stabilises joints and contributes to muscle flexibility. Just think. When you improve your strength, you’ll be more likely to recover your bearing after tripping on a toy or slipping on a banana peel, without suffering a sprain or a breakage. You’ll be able to haul a heavy suitcase onto the overhead rack when travelling by train. You’ll be able to squat and pick up groceries, a laundry basket, or a child. You’ll even be able to open a jar, all by yourself.


You’ll also feel great. Apart from the endorphins rush that practically all physical activity triggers off, helping to improve mood and counter feelings of depression, strength training gives you an incredible sense of accomplishment. When you do your first pull-up or push-up, you start to feel like you could do anything. 

An extra bonus is that you will look great with all that lean body mass where jiggling fat used to be.

The scale can show the same or even a higher number, because muscle weighs more than fat. Ignore it and trust what you see in the mirror.

Along with your scale, ditch the myth that women should train with lighter weights and do more repetitions. Instead, go fearlessly for heavy loads and low volumes.

Experts say that the best way to achieve strong and toned (but not big) muscles is to do two or three sets of five or six repetitions with heavy weights.


Mind you, that does not mean that you should go for the biggest irons you see in the gym. What is important is that you select and lift the loads that are heavy for you; and heavy for you is the weight that you can lift in good form for five to six repetitions. Actually, you should be able to do one or two more... but you choose not to. When working with current weight becomes easy, increase the load. However, do try to move as quickly as you can from those 2.5kg weights that (oh, the sexism!) always come in pink.

If you are worried about getting a big, bulky physique of a female bodybuilder... stop worrying. Even males who long for a Schwarzenegger physique (we are told there are men like that) have to add a caloric surplus diet to intense workouts, and then hope that their genetics make-up is of the suitable kind. Women are built differently and it’s practically impossible for them to turn into Schwarzeneggers, unless they stoop to taking steroids or testosterone. And that’s just wrong on so many levels!

So, get pumping and ignore those who think that the only irons women should move are of the clothes ironing kind.

An Overview of Exercises

While machines certainly have a place in a strength and weight lifting workout, it is usually more effective, as well as more challenging, to use free weights or your own body weight.

This makes it easy to workout at home. However, in order to get maximum benefits and prevent serious injuries, it is crucial to do all moves in good form. That is why beginners need either a good trainer or a good video

Here are some typical weight lifting and strength training exercises you should have in your repertoire at least twice a week (plus, of course, some cardio and stretches). For equipment, such as dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, and so on, turn to the bidorbuy fitness page.


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