By lifting, I mean weight training, strength training, lifting heavy - something I know that a lot of women are scared of.
To be honest, until about a year ago, I was intimidated by the thought of lifting weights too. I am so glad that I started doing Body Pump classes last year because they helped me to understand the massive difference that resistance training can have on your body. More recently though, I realised that if I wanted bigger benefits, I needed bigger weights!
There are currently lots of articles emerging, explaining the benefits of weight training for women (for example, check out this, this, this and this, if you're interested!) and resistance training among women seems to be a gradually increasing trend.
For me, the progression to strength training seemed so natural that I'm finding it hard to remember, and pinpoint, exactly when, and why, I decided to throw myself into it. But, incase you hadn't guessed, I am so glad that I did!
Instagram has become a real hub for 'fitspiration' and I'm pretty sure that the many images that I started to see of women with incredible physiques weight training had a lot to do with my motivation to try it. In fact, they still do motivate me.
What a lot of people find surprising is that women that weight train aren't all (hardly ever!) big and bulky. Yet, what I find surprising is that a lot of those people aren't willing to change their preconceptions and understand why this isn't the case. Essentially, women don't have an oestrogen-to-testosterone ratio that will ever enable them to look like a clone of Arnie!
I'd say my motivation to weight train is two-fold: to get healthier and hotter. The articles that I have linked above outline some of the health benefits which range from losing body fat to decreasing risk of diabetes and osteoporosis. From an aesthetic point of view though, I started weight training to help me achieve a more 'shapely' body. My body shape is naturally pretty straight (read: small boobs and lack of booty), but weight training has the incredible ability to add sexy curves. Seriously! After just a few weeks I have noticed a massive difference and have received comments from other people too. I was also keen to start weight training in my 20s so that I will hopefully benefit from muscle memory throughout my life.
One benefit that I wasn't expecting was to feel more confident. There is an amazing feeling that comes with being the only woman in the weight-training area and squatting more than some of the guys. What's even better is when this is acknowledged by other women. So, a massive thank you goes to the woman who timidly ventured into the weight-training area to tell me that she thought what I was doing was amazing. That made my entire month!
Ladies, please, please do yourself a favour and educate yourself on the massive benefits of weight training for women. Here are some of my go-to resources:
Why Women Should Lift Heavy Weights (YouTube video)