The Benefits of Strength Training for Women
“Weight training will make me bulky”
This is probably the number one worry women have when it comes to working out.
In fact, around 68% of women said they avoided the weights room altogether over fears of bulking up, according to a 2022 study.
But lifting weights has so many amazing benefits for women – from building strength and fitness, to cultivating better body confidence.
If you want to work with more female personal training clients, you need to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of women about resistance training.
This article busts the biggest myths about weight training and explores the reasons why more women should lift.
The Benefits of Strength Training for Women
Think of strength training, and you might think of muscle-bound bodybuilders hulking huge weights.
But this old-school image of resistance training couldn’t be further from the modern reality.
Weight training is a great way to exercise for men and women of all ages.
What most women don’t know is that lifting weights – whether dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or even bodyweight resistance – has so many benefits for them.
Here are just a few:
Improved Muscle Strength – Lifting weights makes you stronger. This has carryover to everyday life – whether that’s grabbing the shopping, doing DIY, or lifting up your children.
Weight Management: Strength training can build lean muscle and improve your metabolic rate so your body burns more calories at rest. This makes managing your body weight easier. ‘
Bone Health: Regular strength training can increase bone density, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis – a condition that affects post-menopausal women.
Reduced Risk of Injury: Building muscle and strength will naturally improve balance, and the integrity of joints, and reduce the risk of falls and other injuries as we age.
Improved Mood: Exercise like strength training improves mood and boosts the body’s natural feel-good endorphins.
Better Body Composition: Lifting weights can improve your body composition – the ratio between body fat and lean mass.
Better Blood Sugar Control: Strength training can improve the way the body manages blood sugar, which can help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes.
Myth: Strength training will make me bulky and masculine
The truth is that lifting weights will not bulk you up – unless you’re following a very specific diet and aggressive training regime with that goal in mind.
It’s worth remembering that most men struggle to gain muscle and bulk. And most women don’t have the levels of natural testosterone like men that are needed to grow serious muscle.
The reality is that strength training will simply help most women get stronger, improve their body composition, and shape their figure in a lean and feminine way.
Myth: Strength training will make me lose my curves
Lose your curves? Strength training with actually help you shape and accentuate them. How? Because training with weights improves your body composition.
What this means in layman’s terms is that it improves your body’s ratio of fat mass to lean body mass.
Basically, less body fat and more lean muscle give women the so-called ‘toned’ look that celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Gal Gadot are famous for.
A proper weight training program can help you give more verve to your curves with firmer glutes, shapely shoulders, slimmer waist, and all-round more defined muscles.
Myth: Strength training is only for young women
Weight training isn’t just a young woman’s game. It has a plethora of benefits whether you’re 18 or 88.
Young women can maintain a healthy weight, body composition and hormonal profile by hitting the gym.
But resistance training has health benefits for women during pregnancy, and in the post-partum period too.
As women age, doing some kind of regular resistance training actually becomes even more important for maintaining strength and muscle mass.
When women hit menopause, they can experience problems with hormonal change, mood, bone density and osteoporosis, sarcopenia (muscle loss), bodyweight and blood sugar management.’
While it’s not a magic bullet, regular weight training can help mitigate many of these issues – improving mood, strengthing bones, improving blood sugar management, and reducing the risk of falls.
Myth: Strength training is boring and repetitive
Done right, weight training is never boring and repetitive. Workouts can be fun and varied, especially if you’re working with a personal trainer or gym partner.
Strength training isn’t just one monolithic pursuit – it’s a broad church with many different styles and flavours.
You can train circuits, supersets, endurance, or explosive power. There is powerlifting, strongman, CrossFit, and various styles of functional fitness that incorporate resistance exercises.
There are endless combinations of exercises that target different muscle groups.
And the best thing is that you can better your PBs, achieve goals, or see improvements every time you train – whether that’s more reps, more sets, heavier weights, more time under tension, or simply execute the techniques better.