Why Women Should Lift Weights: 5 Myths Busted

Hin LaiPerformance, Training8 Comments

As someone who is heavily involved in the fitness industry, friends and family always come to me asking for gym advice – whether it’s to lose weight or change the way parts of their body look. My suggestion to them always involves some sort of weight lifting component which always scares the females off. Speaking to my personal trainer friends, they also found this to be a huge misconception among women, which is why we decided to put this gifographic (GIF + infographic) together.

So here are the 5 most common myths we hear as to why Women shouldn’t lift weights and the truth behind each one. Share it with your female friends so that we can eradicate this misconception once and for all!

Why Women Should Lift Weights - Gifographic

Embed this gifographic on your site:

<a href="https://trainedto.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Why-Women-Should-Lift-Weights-Gifographic-v6.gif"><img src="https://trainedto.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Why-Women-Should-Lift-Weights-Gifographic-v6.gif" alt="Why Women Should Lift Weights - 5 Myths Busted"></a><br />Source: <a href="https://trainedto.com/why-women-should-lift-weights/">Why Women Should Lift Weights - 5 Myths Busted</a>

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Myth #1: Lifting weights make you bulky

This is by far the most common myth and the biggest fear for most women, however it couldn’t be further from the truth. Just look at the difference in testosterone levels (a primary driver in muscle growth).

Here is a comparison of the testosterone levels between men & women:

Men’s Testosterone Range: 200-1200 ng/dl

Women’s Testosterone Range: 15-70 ng/dl

Men on average have 15 times more testosterone level than women.

Truth: Women have 15 times less testosterone than men, which make it very difficult for them to get bulky.

Myth #2: My Goal is To Burn Fat, Not Get Stronger, So I Should Run, Not Lift Weight

A study that tested those who did weight training vs those who just did aerobic work (i.e. running on a treadmill) showed that the weight training group lost 21.1 lbs of fat vs 14.6 lbs for the group that did just aerobic work. That is 35% more fat lost for those who weight trained.

The science:

Strength training results in more calories burned in the 16 to 24 hours (or even up to 38 hours according to some studies) after your training session ends. This is known as the afterburn effect.

Truth: Adding strength training to your gym routine burns significantly more fat than simply running on a treadmill for 45min.

Myth #3: Older Women Should Not Participate in Strength Training Exercises

By strength training larger muscle groups, older women will notice stronger bones, healthier joints, more independence later in life and decreased risk of insulin resistance and Diabetes.

Bone Density

older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent.” – Prescription Alternatives, Professor Earl Mindell and Virginia Hopkins

Healthier Joints:

“When people suffering from knee joint pain performed weight bearing exercises, they experienced a 43 percent reduction in pain after four months.” – Journal of Rheumatology

Truth: Lifting weights will give you stronger bones, and healthier joints, among many other benefits. Our very own Gua Sha tool also provides many of these benefits. Click here to learn more.

Myth #4: Lifting is Dangerous

From the Relative Safety of Weightlifting and Weight Training, the injury rates for weight training are significantly smaller than other sports. Here are a few statistics:

Weight Training: 0.0035

Cross Country (in the UK): 0.37

Soccer: 6.2

(Values shown are injuries per 100 hours participation)

Truth: Weight lifting is much safer than many mainstream sports such as basketball and soccer that we expose our kids to every day.

Myth #5: I tried strength training but I am not losing weight

If all you’re tracking every day is your weight, then you can be led astray.

As you incorporate more strength training, you’ll burn fat, however you’ll also gain more muscle mass. Because muscle is more dense, it may seem like you’re not losing weight when you step on the scale even though fat is being burnt.

Truth: Measuring weight is misleading. It’s much better to just pay attention to how your clothes fit and/or track your Body Fat %!

Did we miss anything? Did this help? Let us know in the comments below!

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Hin is a Canadian National Olympic Lifter, CrossFit Regionals competitor and Personal Trainer. He enjoys helping others in their fitness journey and overcoming their limitations. Hin is also the founder of Sidekick.

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8 Comments on “Why Women Should Lift Weights: 5 Myths Busted”

  1. This is great! I’ve never seen a “gifographic” before but it’s so cool! Good points as well, I’ve struggled with a lot of these in the past!

  2. Love this infographic so much! As a fellow iron sister I understand the benefits of weight lifting, especially the heavy weights! They have changed my body in so many ways, and I would never go back to just cardio!

  3. This is a great post! I love the info graphic too. For so long I avoided lifting weights for fear of getting bulky. It was just after I had my son and tried to loose the baby weight that I got informed. I try to add some strength training now.

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