Repeat the words, “I will not get bulky,” three times, every day. Then go lift some heavy weights so they can all wonder how you did that.
A quick scan of the internets, and you’ll see there are plenty of advocates for women lifting. Sadly, much of the arguments pander to superficial talking points, like, “Lifting weights will make you curvy.”
This isn’t that blog.
What you are missing by not lifting weights is far more than the aesthetics fringe benefits. It’s about improving your body’s functionality, investing your calories wisely, plus growing your confidence.
Better curves from weight lifting? Who knows, maybe. There is nothing wrong with feeling motivated by external improvements when you start lifting, but there are so many critical improvements that make those ancillary improvements less valuable.
Here are the systems that lifting weights will definitely improve: Nervous system, skeletal system, cardiovascular, dermal, and oh yeah, the muscular system. Lifting lowers your blood pressure, increase the density of your bones, strengthen your heart and lungs, strengthen your skin, make you stronger, improves your flexibility (yes) and improves your mobility, just for starters.
Your body was made to lift, not in the way we do it now, but it was designed to be strong. If you’re not lifting at all right now, it will get much stronger once you start. Over time, you’ll see your strength climb more slowly, but the other mentioned systems will continue to milk the benefits of your labor.
Valuable Calorie Investment
Compared to cardio’s calorie wasting burn, lifting burns calories building a system that will continue to burn more calories when the workout is done.
In the short run, weight training sessions will create a wake of calorie expenditure that stays with you while you sleep. In the longer run, the additional muscle will make your body run more efficiently.
Think of it like this: A gallon of gas is a gallon of gas until you pour that gallon into a 1979 Pinto versus a late model Porsche. One of these machines will do more than the other with that energy source. Be like the Porsche, not the Pinto.
The first time you deadlift twice your weight from the ground you will leave the gym with your head high. You’ll know that, when life calls for it, you’ll be able to lift most things yourself.
Moving day? You’ve got it handled. Water dispenser need replacing at the office? Step aside, tenderfoot. The kid fell down the well? Mom will yank him out of there.
As you age, your strength may fade some, but far slower than your youthful aesthetics if you lift. A foundation of strength to retain your independence as the years pass is invaluable. Ask the most aged adult you know how much they value their strength or how much they wish they had more of it.
Last thoughts… There’s nothing wrong with cardio, nor a single problem with yoga or pilates. The latter two are both forms of resistance training.
Do them all, but don’t miss out on all the great things that come with lifting weights.