Traditionally, weightlifting has been seen as a man’s activity. Many women shy away from it, worried that they will become too muscular and masculine. However, this is a misconception based on female athletes whose “fitness” regime involves extreme workouts or even performance enhancing drugs. Dr Darren Morton, internationally recognised lifestyle medicine expert, explains: “Men want to become ‘bulky’ and still find it hard, even though they have a lot more testosterone in their system! It isn’t something women normally need to worry about.”
Strength-building through lifting weights can help women to reach their health goals, such as losing weight by reducing body-fat percentage, toning and shaping. Weightlifting—whether it involves free weights (barbells and dumbbells), fixed weight machines, or just lifting your own body weight—can increase both confidence and quality of life long-term.
Ten benefits of strength training are explored below, including some that may be surprising—keep an eye out for the one on osteoporosis. Note that I’ve used terms interchangeably—weightlifting, strength building, resistance training. Same thing.