Weight training is increasing in popularity, especially with women. Discover this guide to weight training for women to start your weights journey.
Is the weights section of your fitness center a no-go area for you? Do you stick to the same cardio workout each time you go to the gym? It is time to face the grunts and confusion of the weights section to reap the benefits of strength training.
In the past few years, weight training for women has increased in popularity. There are several reasons for this, including the rise of social media and common misconceptions about strength training being challenged.
However, it can be all well and good to set the intention to try strength training, but where do you begin? With the proper guidance, weight training for women is simple and effective. Read this beginners guide to help you get started.
What Is Weight Training For Women?
Weight training is a term for a workout that uses weights. It could be free weights, such as dumbells, kettlebells, and plates. Or it could be with machines that have weights attached, such as a lat pulldown machine or leg extension machine.
It can be challenging for people who identify as a woman to know where to begin with weight training. However, you can focus on exercises and weights focused on women’s physiological makeup, which can help with your strength training.
Strength training is the umbrella term for resistance training and weight training.
Why Weight Training For Women Is Important
Everyone needs to be lifting more weights, with nearly 60 percent of Americans not meeting the recommended weightlifting workout guidelines. As humans age, they begin to lose muscle, which increases the risk of injury and other health problems. Your body fat index will increase, and your joints, heart, bones, and other muscles will weaken.
However, while the amount of women’s strength training has undoubtedly increased in the past few years, there is still a gender gap, which means fewer women are accessing the benefits of weight training. Women need to stay strong too, to stay healthy, whether their job is homemakers or in a different occupation.
And often, women are not weight training because of lack of support, myths about strength training, or confusion about where to begin. Fitness centers are getting better at making the weights section accessible for all, so women can reap the benefits of strength training.
Benefits Of Strength Training
Contrary to many misconceptions about weight training, it actually offers many benefits for women. Often it is the training women need to start seeing results, especially when they combine it with other workout types. Some of the top benefits include:
Improves Posture And Decreases Injury Risk
As you age, you are at increased risk of injury, especially for women. Over 36 million older adults age 65 or above experience falls every year. However, strength training prevents muscle loss and bone density loss, resulting in less injury risk.
It is not just when you are an older adult that you have to worry about injury. If you participate in other sports, such as hiking or running, weight training is also essential. Weight training helps balance any weakness in your body and improves posture, so your form is more likely to be correct.
It is natural for women to have a higher body fat percentage. However, it can be surprising how high this can be, even if you appear relatively lean.
It is essential to reduce body fat safely to reach the recommended range for your age and goals. Plus, you can burn similar, if not more, fat with strength training than cardio.
When you invest in personal training, your body fat is usually measured with accurate tools. Burning fat can also help lower cholesterol and reduce health risks like type 2 diabetes.
Less Stress And More Confidence
Twenty-eight percent of women in the US have significant stress levels. Weight training for women can help lower stress and anxiety levels.
Exercise releases feel-good endorphins, which can boost your mood. But you will also feel confident as you notice your strength improving. This also helps your self-esteem and overall mental wellbeing.
Weight training for women can improve sleep quality and make it easier to fall asleep. Weight training releases adenosine, which helps drive sleep. The other physiological changes weight training triggers, such as lower blood pressure, also help improve your sleep.
One of the top benefits of weight training is it makes you stronger. Who doesn’t want to do press-ups and pulls up with ease? Or lift your children, loved one’s children, and even carry heavy shopping without strain?
Your other workouts will improve too. You will feel stronger in certain yoga poses and be more aware of alignment. It can also help with high-altitude hiking and other sports, as there is no point in doing a cardio workout if you do not have the muscle to support your joints.
Women Weight Training Myths
There are several weight training myths for women that anyone can believe, as they are so widespread. However, many women are missing out on the benefits of weight training as a result, so it is essential to learn the correct information. Some common myths include:
- Weight training will make you bulky
- You need to understand all weight machines
- You need strength first
- You cannot lose weight
- People will laugh at you
- It is dangerous
Sadly the list goes on. It is time to empower women to realize all the above statements are false. With the correct technique, weight training is not dangerous, and you can start with a simple workout routine until you learn about the different weight machines.
Where would you begin if you waited for your muscles to show up? Everyone starts somewhere, so you will quickly gain strength even if you use the lowest weights. You can also get guidance with a personal training program.
No one will laugh at you. You soon realize everyone is focused on their own workout (or gym selfie). Usually, people are supportive, but if you have any issues, you tell your fitness center.
Weight Training Does Not Make You Bulky
You will not be bulky if you weight train. The ‘bulky’ myth deserves a headline all to itself, as it is one of the top reasons women avoid the weights section of the gym.
There are various reasons why you do not bulk up just by weight training. Instead, you will sculpt your body and learn how to build muscle in a way that works for you.
One of the main reasons you do not bulk up is that women have lower testosterone levels than men, which means they naturally have less muscle mass. If you want to become ‘bulky,’ it takes a specific diet, workout plan, and a lot of dedication.
How To Start Weight Training
There are several steps you can take to start weight lifting:
- Home workout or join a gym
- Purchase the kit
- Pick a workout program
A fitness center offers the benefits of personal training and access to all weights, so you do not have to worry about purchasing new weights. You will have to up the weight as your strength grows. However, while you decide whether to join a gym, you can complete some home workouts at home, even with resistance training techniques.
Contrary to what social media platforms suggest, you do not need matching workout outfits unless you want them. An essential piece of gear is weight lifting gloves to grip weights better and prevent blisters. Pick comfortable clothes, bring a towel, and consider a workout playlist to get in the mood.
Beginner Weight Workout Exercises
One of the best ways to start weight lifting for women is to join a personal training program. They will look at your specific goals, physiological makeup, and capabilities to find the best workout program for you. Once they talk you through it, you can confidently complete the program independently or continue with a personal trainer.
However, there are some beginner weight exercises for women you can learn:
- Chest: push-ups, bench press, chest press
- Lower body: Squats, lunges, deadlifts, leg raises, leg press
- Triceps: tricep extensions, kickbacks, dips
- Shoulders: Front raise, lateral raise, overhead press
- Biceps: Hammer curls, bicep curls
- Back: lat pulldowns, row, back extensions
- Abs: reverse crunches, crunches
It is not about doing as many reps as possible. The most important part is learning what weights to start on and getting the technique right. The weights should feel challenging, but you should start the exercise with the proper form.
There are debates as to how to structure your workout program. Some people target specific muscle groups at each workout, but compound exercises are an excellent place to start.
It depends on your time and frequency of workouts. A personal training program can help determine your best workout program.
Types Of Reps And Sets
There are different types of strength training sets to try. You can try straight sets, where you use the same weight throughout and do the same amount of repetitions.
You can also try supersets, where you combine two types of exercises. There are different types of supersets, too, such as those that target other muscle groups. Pyramid sets are when you warm up slowly, perhaps by starting with a lower weight and doing more reps, then working to higher weights but fewer reps.
Drop sets are when you start to reduce weight and repetition until failure each time. Failure is when you cannot repeat the exercise again with the correct form.
Top Tips For Women
Here is some top weight training for women tips that may help you on your weight lifting journey. The fitness center you attend will also offer advice. You can also join group personal training programs to learn more about strength training.
Sometimes women also use machines in different ways to focus more on the parts of the body they are strength training. However, start slow. You want to learn how to use machines for their correct purpose first.
Once you know your body and are more aware of form, you can incorporate it in more imaginative workouts. But often, the most effective exercises are the most simple.
Do Not Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Safety is essential when it comes to weight lifting for women. Ask for someone to spot you when you lift heavier weights, especially above your head. A gym staff member will help if you do not know who to ask.
Also, do not worry about checking your form, asking to use equipment, or asking how to use a machine. Everyone starts somewhere, which means there is no shame in asking. Plus, people can dominate machines, so it is important to let them know you are waiting to use them too.
Warm-Up And Cool Down
Always incorporate a warm-up and cool down into your workout routine. It helps prevent injury and speeds up recovery times. Otherwise, you may have to wait several days before you can work out again!
Breathing properly is essential with any workout. Breathing correctly helps support you in the exercise, so you have more control and can complete the set. It also prevents hernias and other health risks you are at risk of if you do not breathe.
75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Imagine throwing in a strength training workout into the mix when you are already dehydrated. Be sure to get on top of your hydration; before, during, and after working out.
Rest And Nourish
Strength training can become addictive. But you also need recovery time to reap the benefits of your workout. Honour rest days, rest during menstruation, rest between sets, and still include other workout styles into your routine. For example, for active recovery, you could go for a walk, socialize with group classes, and keep up flexibility with yoga or pilates.
Start Group Strength Training
There are many reasons why weight training for women is not only essential but also so beneficial, no matter what your fitness purpose or lifestyle is. You can feel proud about how capable you are, quickly seeing results through consistent strength training.
The best place to start is to join a fitness center that offers personal training programs. And why not try it in a group setting to stay motivated?
Regymen Fitness is here to help. Sign up for a free trial today to get started.