Women and Weights: What’s the Deal?
Women and Weights: What’s the Deal?
Help! I want to add weights to my workouts, but I’m scared I’ll look like a muscly weightlifter!
We hear this so much. Women, just like you, have heard positive things about lifting weights, but they’re wary of using them, in case it’s just not the right thing. But we're here to tell you - women and weights go together like summer and sandals - perfectly!
Adding weights to your routines is so beneficial, and they won’t turn you into an Arnie lookalike (unless you want to, and that’ll take an awful lot of commitment and dedication).
Using weights when you’re exercising adds resistance, meaning that your muscles are working harder. Harder working muscles might mean more aches afterwards. But it also means that the body will be working hard to repair tired muscles and in doing so, will layer on more lean muscle mass, making your overall physique stronger and more toned.
Here’s the top 6 benefits to women lifting weights
- Added muscle mass leading to more muscle strength and tone without bulking up (women have less testosterone than men, meaning that our muscles are able to become more toned and defined without necessarily increasing in size)
- Increased fat and calorie burn due to the increase in exercise intensity which leads to weight loss
- Stronger muscles leads to stronger bones and joints - which is especially beneficial for women experiencing the perimenopause and the menopause and post-menopausal women
- Improved mental wellbeing from the increase in body confidence that comes from a change in body composition and shape i.e. increased lean muscle and reduced fat mass
- Improved exercise performance and form from the increase in muscle mass, meaning a reduced risk of injury
- Reduced risk of heart disease and strokes
Weights can be added to so many of the OYG workouts. In fact some of them will encourage you to use weights, such as our Resistance Workouts. Others, such as our Aerobics Sessions are designed to include weights if you want to. Even the humble squat can be powered up by holding a dumbbell in each hand.
Choosing the right weight can be tricky, but you should be able to lift the weight in the first place, so they shouldn’t be so heavy that you can’t perform any reps. Then, when you’re exercising, your weight should challenge you to the point that you struggle to perform the last few reps.
At the same time, they shouldn’t be light enough that you can easily perform each rep without feeling challenged. If you’re new to weights, try using tins of food or filled water bottles in each hand to give you an idea of weight.
You may find that you need different weights for different exercises. For example, you may be able to hold a heavier weight when squatting than when lifting dumbbells above your head as our legs and lower body tend to be stronger than our arms and upper body due to the size of the muscles.
Experiment with different weights, and you'll soon find your groove.
Weights are nothing to be fearful of, we promise. They’ll add resistance to your workouts and make them even more beneficial. So give them a go, you won’t regret it!
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