Debunking The 4 Myths About Weightlifting For Women


Image (CC0 License)

You want to get fit and be healthy, right? This means you have probably started going to the

gym or doing some form of home workouts. You might have done a bit of research as well,

and somewhere along the way you've encountered talk about women lifting weights. 

Traditionally - and the emphasis is really on traditionally here - weightlifting is a male-dominated

sphere. It's something we associate with men rather than women. As such, there have been

lots of opinions around the idea of women lifting weights. In the past, these opinions were

taken as facts, and a lot of people have grown up with a specific view that women should

avoid lifting weights. Apparently, it's not good for your health, you will look like a man and

get too muscly, and so on and so forth. 

Well, you're about to learn that statements like these are simply myths without any evidence

to support them. Today, you will see some of the biggest myths about weightlifting for women,

and they'll all be debunked! As a result, you should see the truth about lifting weights and how

beneficial it can be for your overall health. 

Myth #1: Lifting weights will make you overly bulky

We have to start with the most overused myth of all. You have all seen workouts that are

designed 'for women', which usually means they contain either no weights or very light

ones. This is because there's a misconception that women will become very muscular

and overly bulky if they lift heavy weights. 

This simply is not true at all. 


Well, it all comes down to testosterone. Women simply do not produce anywhere near as

much of this hormone as men do. To put this into context, the average male testosterone levels range between 280 and 1,1000 nanograms per deciliter. The average female levels are

between 15 and 70 ng/dL. So, you can see there's a huge difference in how much testosterone

is produced. This is crucial as this hormone is a growth factor that's responsible for helping your

muscles grow bigger and bulkier.

Instead, when women lift weights, they will grow muscle mass, but it won't be substantial. You

can expect to see harder and more defined muscles, but nothing compared to the bulkiness of

a man. In fact, you'd need to take something like the T-booster supplements seen on to get anywhere near the testosterone levels required to become overly bulky. So, don't let the

thought of becoming big and muscular put you off weightlifting; it isn't going to happen, you will just

be more toned and defined!

Myth #2: Lifting weights is dangerous for women

If you're not shaking your head in disappointment/disbelief at this myth, then you should be! In a way,

the mere suggestion of lifting weights being dangerous for women is incredibly sexist. Why on earth

would it be safe for men but not safe for women? Where's the logic behind this statement?!

Needless to say, this is not true in the slightest. 

There is the same risk of injury for men as there is for women. If you train correctly and use the

proper form when lifting, you should be fine. Now, is it dangerous for women to try lifting the same

weights as a man? Sometimes, yes - but it depends on the two people involved. Generally, men

are stronger than women based on genetics. So, it is going to be harder and therefore more

dangerous for women to try and replicate a lift that a man has just done. 

Still, to claim that lifting weights is dangerous for women is just not true. Perhaps things got

lost in translation along the way, but there is no reason to be scared about lifting weights or

going heavy. Listen to your body and stay within your limits to reduce the risk of injuries. 

Myth #3: Lifting weights is bad if you want to lose fat

Another classic lift that stems from people just not really knowing what they're talking about.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it's the reality of the health & fitness world - particularly in the past. 

You see, the opposite is actually true; lifting weights is excellent if you want to lose fat!

This myth stems from people misreading the scales after a period of weight training. If you step

on the scales after lifting weights for a month or two, there is a decent chance that your weight

will increase. Now, people look at this and instantly make the assumption that lifting weight makes

them gain weight. Well...that's technically true, but there's a huge caveat to consider. 

Bodyweight is a composition of so many things; bones, fluids, organs, fat, and muscle. Interestingly,

muscle weighs more than fat. So, if you lift weights and build muscle, your body weight could go up

because you're adding more muscle. However, your body fat percentage is likely to go down.

This is because muscle takes more energy to burn than fat, so, the more muscle there is on your

body, the more calories you burn every day. In turn, this helps you reach the caloric deficit needed to burn fat and lose it. 

In short, your overall weight could increase, but your body fat percentage will go down. Provided you follow a good diet, you can definitely lift weights and lose fat, becoming more slimmed down and toned. 

Myth #4: Women should only use light weights

This kind of blends in with the myths about weightlifting making you bulky and being dangerous.

Nevertheless, it deserves its own spotlight as it is a very silly myth indeed. 

If you want to see progress, you need to push your body. The easiest way of doing this is by increasing

the weights that you lift. 

Too many women will pick up the lightest weights and do a set of reps with them. If you struggle to

reach your rep target with these weights, they are heavy enough for you. But, what tends to happen

is you get 10 reps out without breaking a sweat and keep using this weight. If that happens, you're

not really training your body to its full potential, and you won't see the benefits of lifting weights. 

A good rule of thumb is to pick a weight that makes you struggle to get the last reps out if you're

going for 10-12 per set. Once it becomes easy to reach these targets, you increase to the next

weight, and so on. It's called progressive overload and it helps you get toned and defined muscles. 

Why should women lift weights?

You've seen the myths, so now it's time to give a little breakdown as to why women should lift weights:

  • You will improve your muscle tone, which helps you look more defined and boosts your confidence.

  • It will help you burn fat without needing to do lots of boring cardio. 

  • It will improve your overall strength, which helps you perform regular activities with more ease. Things like carrying the shopping will soon feel so much easier for your body to do. 

  • It will improve joint stability, reducing the risk of injuries and pain when you're older. 

Put simply, there are no reasons for women not to lift weights. If men can do it, why can't we?

You have definitely heard of all the myths above many times before, so hopefully this provides

more clarity on the topic. As an overall conclusion, lifting weights is good for your health and can

make you a fitter person with more confidence.