6 reasons why women still aren’t lifting weights

Ladies, do you walk straight to the cardio equipment when you enter the gym?

Society has created a stigma that women shouldn’t lift weights, so much so that the majority of women have internalized thoughts that weights are manly and weights are only for men.

The reason society has adopted this mentality stems from deep-rooted misogyny.

Long before the turn of the century, men oppressed women by creating misogynistic beauty standards that aimed to keep women dainty and fragile.

There are many gender stereotypes keeping women out of the weight room, and most originate from male-dominated sports receiving the majority of media coverage. Sports are also usually distinguished by “masculine qualities, such as strength, aggression, and competition.” (Krane et al., 2004)

“When it comes to females working out, there’s a glaring and insulting double standard—women should be toned but never jacked. No wonder, then, that women (and men) tend to treat cardiovascular exercise—the treadmill, the stationary bike, the elliptical machine—as the holy grail of female fitness,” says admin for Boston Magazine .

Check out this list and we can debunk all the misleading reasons for not getting into a weight-lifting routine.

“I don’t know what I’m doing”

Everyone is a beginner.

Even the greatest bodybuilders, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman, were beginners once too.  

This arrives at No. 1 on the list because it is the answer I hear most when women say why they don’t lift weights.

If we went into life with such a mentality, we wouldn’t ever try anything new.  

So there really is no excuse.

How many times have you debated getting eyelash extensions or a new haircut or highlights?  

I’m sure you went online to research exactly what would be done, what the procedure was, if it were safe, then looked at photos, and checked different places offering that service.  

Put that same effort into weight lifting. Go online and research some novice workout programs.  

Look up various upper and lower body workouts, read a bunch of articles and pick a beginner workout routine.  

Save it on your phone and have a plan of action. That way when you get to the gym, you have a strategy and won’t feel lost.  

 

“I’m afraid to get bulky”

Building up too much “bulk” is another irrational fear many women have that keeps them out of the weight room.  

Thankfully, various research studies have examined this and found it would take hours of daily weight lifting to get bulky.

The results of one research study found that the average woman would have to train intensively for four hours minimum, and drastically change her diet, in order to achieve serious muscle gains.  

Women don’t physically bulk up through strength training alone, since they have less testosterone and often don’t respond as quickly to weight training as men do,” says Mike Bracko, Ed.D., exercise physiologist.  

In order to physically bulk up, you must intake an excess of calories and pair it with a highly intensive weight training regimine.  

Increasing resistance training does not cause an increase in body fat.  

Resistance training actually burns more calories than steady state cardio.  

 

“Weight lifting isn’t as good as cardio”

Steady-state cardio is not a bad thing, but it is not the most effective use of your time.

Steady-state cardio is a continuous steady paced effort at which the body is moving in an unaltered state, such as walking or jogging on a treadmill.  

Your body does not burn fat as effectively when performing steady-state cardio as it does during resistance training.  

Steady-state cardio involves no intervals, no change in intensity, and no change in speed.  

Resistance training causes changes in your energy output, which is what generates the body to burn more calories, and in turn, more fat.  

Research has shown exactly why strength training does such a good job of being the top priority on fat loss plans,” says Adam Bornstein, fitness and nutrition writer and editor of Born Fitness.

 

“I don’t think I will like strength training”

When I first began the journey into the world of weight lifting and strength training, I only thought about changes in my physical appearance.  

Never once did I imagine such an improvement in my confidence and increase in positivity.  

It’s so innately special and incredible to see your body change and progress with time, and to feel yourself becoming stronger each workout is a priceless feeling.

One day you’ll be doing things that seemed impossible months before.  

Weight lifting forces you to believe in yourself in a tangible way, and more-so, weight lifting forces you to learn discipline and goal setting.  

You can’t achieve anything in life without setting goals, and the same applies to the gym.  

Not only will your clothes fit better, you’ll begin to look better, stand taller and hold your head up higher.  

 

“I don’t see any benefits better than cardio”

There is a multitude of research correlating women who perform resistance training as to having better bone density.  

Resistance training aids in the increase of bone mass, which is very important in thwarting osteoporosis.  

Strengthening bones should be a priority for women, especially young women who suffer from anemia.

Young women who begin resistance training have a significantly lower risk of getting osteoporosis later in life.     

 

“I don’t really see the extra benefits”

Resistance training has empirically substantiated to increase mood and positivity.  

A research study at the University of Georgia revealed resistance training improved overall mental health in participants and found that anxiety was reduced with the moderate-intensity resistance training.  

Endorphin rushes during exercise elevate your overall mood levels, but it’s not only the endorphins lifting your spirits.  

When you challenge yourself in the gym and tackle goals, you get a sense of pride and accomplishment.  

This can ignite a fire to fuel your ambitions in life, and you get a sense of purpose.  

Outside of the sense of accomplishment, [weight lifting] can turn depressive thoughts like ‘I can’t’ and ‘I’m worthless’ into ‘I can’ and ‘I’m powerful,’ ” Anna Medaris Miller told U.S. News & Report.       

 

by Tory Vanderbeck

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