Myth Busted: Why Women Need to Strength Train

STACK Expert Justin Groce says women need to lift weights—and the weights need to be heavy! Find out why.

Woman lifting weight

I often hear from women that they stick to cardio and avoid weight training because they don't want to get bulky or look like a bodybuilder. But a lot of that's myth. Women need to lift weights—and the weights need to be heavy!

Lifting heavy weights will not turn you into the Incredible Hulk

Men put on more muscle mass than women because of testosterone. When women lift, they tend to build lean, athletic-looking muscle—like Jessica Biel.

Weight training promotes long-term fat loss better than cardio

The reason is simple: you are building muscle and burning fat. If you're just doing cardio, you are only burning fat. Also, weight training continues to burn calories even after you stop exercising, whereas with cardio, you burn calories only while you are moving. As soon as your workout ends, so does the calorie burn.

Lifting weights increases bone mineral density

When you increase the load on your bones—especially with exercises like the Squat, which bear the weight down on you—your body responds by increasing bone mass. The end result: stronger bones! This is especially important for women, because as they age, they are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men.

Multi-joint, compound movements will enhance your lifting experience

These include:

Multi-joint movements engage several muscles at once, maximizing strength gains and increasing calorie expenditure. Isolation exercises, like Biceps Curls, are simply not as efficient or effective.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CARDIO | BUILD MUSCLE | WORKOUTS | CALORIES | BENCH | WEIGHTS | MUSCLE MASS | FAT LOSS | WEIGHT TRAINING | HEAVY WEIGHTS | LIFTING WEIGHTS