“Weight lifting is truly the best thing we can do for our bodies as women. Too often we wear ourselves and our bodies out on cardio machines. Lifting weights burns as many calories per hour, and gives the benefit of building muscle mass. More muscle mass means a higher resting metabolic rate, so your body will be more efficient at using calories (and maintaining a healthy weight) when you build muscle,” Fountain explains.
Plus, “muscles will shape your body, so aesthetically it’s a win-win. Being strong and feeling capable does a great deal for women’s self-esteem and confidence and weight lifting also helps to increase endorphins that help to fight off depression and anxiety.”
Forget the Myth that You'll "Bulk Up"
“If you’re a female who is trying to be leaner, or ‘smaller,’ the idea of being bulky can be very frightening, but it’s a huge misconception that you will get bulky. Lifting weights will raise your metabolism, help to shape your body, and it will make you leaner in the long run. Women don’t have the hormonal capacity to really ‘bulk’ up. Also, to truly put on muscle mass, you also have to eat to fuel that with surplus calories for building,” Fountain says.
Learn Good Form
If all of these benefits have you sold, begin by learning proper form. Fountain cautions that you shouldn’t go it alone to start. Instead, “watch YouTube, read, educate yourself on lifting, and—if possible—schedule a session with a trainer. It might be complimentary with your gym memberships. Use the session as a time to discuss form or what you’d like to work on. It can be really helpful for beginners, as form is important for safety,” Fountain suggests.
Start with These Basic Moves
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.