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Why Women Don't Lift Weights--But Should

Strength Training is a Must for Both Sexes


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  • I try to fit some in every day
  • Big fan of strength trsinibg.
  • Y'know, I read an interview once with Ronda Rousey where she said she used to be self-conscious about how big her arms are, even though you'd never mistake her body shape for a man's. I think this is just a cultural thing about what female body type you're seeking. Some of us do bulk up a bit - not like men do - but enough to make our sleeves and pants fit more tightly. Maybe it's 'cause I'm black and the images I've grown up seeing on Essence covers aren't the willowy bodies on Cosmo, but I'd much prefer an athlete's body to a model's, personally. There is osteoporosis in my family, so lifting heavy now is the thing that's going to keep me healthy and independent when I'm elderly - jeans size be damned, I'm strength training!
  • I am also tired of those who say they would look like a man by lifting weights. Unless you are working with a trainer about 8 hours a day, working individual muscles, not going to happen. Why to people even think that???? I have been lifting weights 3 times a week, an hour at a time for about 6 years now, and there is no way I have anywhere near the muscles of a muscle builder. Now I am stronger, feel better and don't have the "flab" look like I did 6 years ago.
  • I have to agree with ZIGWEEGWEE, my legs and arms get bigger and my clothes get tighter after doing strength workouts for several weeks. My daughter has my husband's stocky build and is big boned and has huge muscles. She outmuscles most of the guys her age.
    So I think these articles should be more sensitive to natural muscular bodies and suggest how we should best workout too.
  • Thank you - I do struggle with strength training and the more I read and learn the better I can apply the knowledge, not to mention the motivation. Give me aerobic exercise any day, but not the DVD kind! I love a great workout on my treadmil - that's my favourite!
  • I would much rather do strength training than cardio any day.I can easily spend 45min-1 hour and be perfectly happy but 20-30 minutes of cardio will drive me crazy.

    Plus I figure I walked around with big fat body parts for years, might as well walk around with big muscley ones instead ;-)
  • I hate to debunk your debunkage, but my muscles bulk up when I exercise. I like to walk and it noticeably bulks up my calves. If the weather's bad for an extended period and I stop walking, I get frequent comments on how much thinner my legs look. It's depressing. I also never show my somewhat toned upper arms because they embarrass me. They're not huge and lumpy like a man's. They're just big and I hate them. Just posting this to let other women who have this problem know that this article isn't entirely correct and they're not alone.
  • Good information. Thanks for sharing.
    Great I love working out using weights good article Coral
  • I love working with weights and the resulting toning but to say one does not bulk up is simply not true. in spite of weight loss I have had to increase my shirt size to allow movement of my arms as everything is now tight in th armhole. That is not the result I was aiming for.....
  • I personally really don't like weight/strength training- my exercise preferences definitely go toward agility and cardio, but it's a necessary evil I've known and incorporated all my life and especially now in rehab (which makes workouts twice as challenging- not much to look forward to PLUS definite result of necessary (and good!) pain).

    However, my main reason for why I initially absolutely hated (as opposed to disliked) weight training hasn't been mentioned: The "do you even lift?"-dudebros and their ogling eye. I know everyone has different experiences, but these people and their behavior scared little teenage me out of the gym faster than anything, and are the reason I still don't like gyms today. I'm into weight training at home (bought myself a nice free weights set) with my personal trainer as much as I can be into it, but I'm still not going to a gym.

    I think a lot of women are also scared away by "lifter culture" and its sometimes neanderthal followers.
  • Yes! Thank you so much for these recent articles about the benefits of strength training. It's so important to help us keep up our muscle mass and help ease the slowing of our metabolisms that comes along with aging, yet I still see so many people here who shy away from it. As someone who's lost and regained literally hundreds of pounds over the course of my life, it's definitely taken its toll on my body. I credit weight training with getting rid of my rather sizeable bat wings, a lot of my excess skin and most of the sagging that came along with rapid weight loss and regain. Not only that, but I also get to eat so much more and am a smaller size now at almost 150 pounds than I was at 135 pounds 20 years ago. Weight tranining really is a miracle cure!
  • One more thing: Many people don't have the money to hire a trainer. In that case, ask for help with a particular move from a person who looks like they know what they are doing. As long as you don't interrupt them in the middle of a set, they will probably be thrilled to help you. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone do something wrong and thought "I WISH they would ask me for help!".

    I've tried offering before, but people get insulted. Most weight lifters have had similar experiences. So we just cringe and try to close our eyes, and wish they'd ask for instruction.
  • Preach it! I'd like to add that women should also try to increase their weights as they gain strength. What you curl now should be more than what you curled a year ago.

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