I was recently standing in line at the airport when I overheard two women talking about how heavy their carry on luggage was. One of the ladies mentioned that her bag weighed almost 60 pounds, “too heavy for a woman” she said. Her comment irked me and got me thinking about the myths I’ve heard over the years regarding women and weight lifting. By the way, my own luggage was also heavy and I carried it all around O’hare airport, thank you very much.
When it comes to lifting weights, many women believe they will get bulky. They are afraid of not looking feminine and they don’t want to sweat. There is no denying the fact that some female bodybuilders take steroids and that can cause changes in your physical appearance. However, weight lifting and body building are two different things. When you lift weights you are building muscle, but most women will not build giant muscles like bodybuilders. The fact is that weight lifting has countless benefits. Some of which include: increases in your lean muscle mass, protection of the skeletal system, reducing the risk of developing osteoporosis, and improvements in your balance. The female weight lifters I work with do not believe the myths. They are more concerned with changing their body composition, increasing their strength, warding off injury and disease, and remaining independent as they age.
There is more than one way to strength train. Most people don’t even consider body weight exercises as a form of weight lifting. Push ups, lunges, squats, chin-ups, and etc. are all strength training exercises that can build muscle and increase strength, when performed properly. I don’t know anyone who became bulky lifting their own body weight. If you have a balanced program you will gain muscle in proportion to your physique and overall strength. We can be feminine, strong, and empowered without looking masculine. As for the sweating, we’re human, so get over it ladies!