The weight training benefits for women are numerous, from creating a lean body to revving up fat loss and increasing strength and confidence (and sex appeal!).
When a woman starts weight training, whether it be with a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell, or bodyweight movements, she is actively keeping her bones and muscles strong and healthy, preventing diseases more prone to females, such as osteoporosis. How does weight training benefit women specifically? Putting our bodies under the stress and workload necessary to perform strength training helps it burn more fat than simple long endurance cardio. The stress muscles experience while lifting weights means that they not only need to work during the workout, but they continue to work after, in order to repair the muscle fibers. Cardio, on the other hand, does not put the same amount of stress on the muscles, and therefore does not require continued work and fat burning after the fact. 45 minutes of weight training can actually mean a few hours of muscle reparation and fat burning, where as 45 minutes of pure cardio on a treadmill or elliptical machine is strictly 45 minutes of calorie burning.
Studies also show that another of the weight training benefits is the type of weight lost. Because of the muscle damage and repair taking place during weight training, the body is burning fat to replace it with muscle. Therefore, while the scale may stay the same, your body shape will change into a leaner version. Have you ever done weeks of cardio to find that those pants are still snug around the waist area? Try serious weight training for a few weeks and see how those pants fit after. Studies have shown that weight training and working with heavily loaded weights help the body banish belly fat. Another benefit of weight training is the fact that you will be stronger! Carrying groceries, picking up a child, and moving heavy objects all become easy tasks once weight training has been implemented into a workout plan. The independence a woman can feel when she knows she can handle whatever obstacle is before her is an incredible confidence booster. Not to mention the convenience of being able to carry multiple bags from the car to the house in one trip.
There is one major concern for many women considering lifting weights, and that is the fear of getting bulky. That concern, while seemingly valid, is completely without merit. Women do not naturally produce nearly enough testosterone to build up a masculine figure. A woman would have to dedicate a large portion of her time and energy to weight training in order to see a bulkier body develop.
This is just a simple breakdown of a handful of ways that weight training benefits women. Now that the basics have been laid out, the next steps to start implementing a weight training program is to find what types of exercises one can do, and how they best suit one's needs in their goal for optimal health and fitness.