Why women should lift weights
Women and weightlifting – not always the prettiest picture comes to mind or even a picture at all. Well I’d like to change that.
Because weightlifting is an amazing sport which has heaps of benefits to your body and mind.
Think of weightlifting as the new yoga.
So what is weightlifting? Weightlifting, in my view, is training various forms of Olympic Lifting. You know those strong people in the Olympics throwing hundreds of kgs above their head? Pretty intimidating right? Well hopefully not for long.
For me weightlifting is different from just going to the gym and lifting weights. It is a real art and an extremely rewarding sport. Gym training is for building muscles in isolation. There is not much skill and can get pretty repetative and boring.
Weightlifting uses a combination of different muscles to move heavy loads in a variety ways which requires great skill, technique and practice. Consequently, it is a very therapeutic sport both physically and phsycologically. Finally, it’s awesome for women!
I think all women should lift weights.
Hopefully this is not a biased opinion. I certainly love lifting heavy weights, pushing the limits and weight training, however this is not the only reason I endorse it.
Yes weightlifting does wonders for you physical health! Contrary to common thoughts weightlifting has the lowest injury rate of ANY sport – just let that sink in for a second.
So if your excuse for not weightlifting is ‘I don’t want to injure myself’ you’re more likely to do that running than weightlifting.
In turn weightlifting protects your joints from injury and is a great anti-aging tonic and it does this by improving your muscle strength and tone, not to mention it increases your bone strength, which decreases your risk of injury and keeps you away from osteoporosis.
Weightlifting enables you to maintain and improve balance, posture and flexibility helping you remain independent with age. It also increases your stamina which means you won’t get so tired as easily and will enhance the performance of your everyday tasks!
So you see, weightlifting actually has lots of benefits especially as you get older! And is extremely safe too!
Personally, I find weightlifting extremely beneficial for your mind as it takes quite a lot of concentration to be able to perform the techniques correctly. Everything else you are worrying about goes out the window, you are there in that moment, lifting that weight with no distractions.
It really takes focus and determination, which is rewarded when you do a technically sound heavy lift. And it feels good to throw 60kg down on the floor after lifting it! Like any stress or anger you might have is leaving your body as the bar hits the ground!
Wow that’s a lot of health benefits! So why do so many women stray from weightlifting and turn to running for example to keep fit and healthy? (FYI, weightlifting would actually supplement your running to make you better at it and reduce your risk of injury and joint pain).
I believe women think they will become bulky when they weight train. However, I’ve seen this to be untrue. And we know why. Weight training increases your muscle mass it’s true, but as you gain muscle your body actually burns more calories at rest, as your new muscle’s needs for energy increases.
This can actually prevent and control lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity and give you a banging bod! Also women who lift weights have been seen to have increased self-esteem and improved body image. Not to mention improved moods and self-confidence.
Find a coach!
So interested in trying weightlifting? The best advice I can give if find a good coach! There aren’t too many weightlifting studios, but a CrossFit box will do weightlifting and also a cardio session within the hour. Make sure you give weightlifting about a month to start to understand the technique and get a real feel for it.
At the start it can be frustrating as you are getting your body to do things it has never done. However, once you get the technique and an understanding for the movements, it becomes very interesting and rewarding!
If you are not interested in grunting and sweating it out with men throwing their weights down, CrossFit Tone is a women’s CrossFit gym. Their head Coach Elle is a level 1 weightlifting and level 2 CrossFit coach and can teach you the skills you need to get all the benefits you desire from weightlifting.
Want more? Check out our other blogs on training:
And some of our blogs on CrossFit
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About the Author
Elle has a passion for women's fitness and helping girls improve their self-image through fitness. Her vision is to create a CrossFit gym, which allows women to learn how to move, build their strength, learn to be healthy and gain respect for their bodies showing them how amazing they really are! Find out more