Weight Training for Women And Its Benefits
Last updated: 15th November 2021
Weight training is an undeniably important part of any fitness plan, boosting health and wellbeing, and giving a real boost to lifters’ confidence. While in the past there has been a disparity between the way men and women train, the generalisation that men can spend hours lifting in the gym while women should stick to step or aerobics classes is now, hopefully, a thing of the past.
It's now more common to see females lifting dumbbells and barbells in the gym than it was, say, 5 to 10 years ago, and there's good reason for it. There are so many benefits you can reap from weight training, in fact we’ve covered these in plenty of detail over on our weight training guide. Some highlights include:
Improved bone density, which can help to reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis
Supporting fat loss
Building strength, which in turn can help to boost confidence
Better overall mood
Improved energy levels
We’ll discuss some of the other excellent benefits females can enjoy from weight training in a moment, but first, let’s address the elephant in the room:
Will lifting weights make you bulky?
When it comes to weight training, many ladies are worried that lifting weights is going to make them appear "bulky". But when you look at the science, women, unlike men, don't produce enough testosterone to elicit muscle gain. Rest assured, it's not something that happens overnight. It takes some serious training, discipline and years to put on a considerable amount of muscle. So no, unless you’re really focused on building larger and more prominent muscles, you can still enjoy weight training without worrying about bulking up.
What are the benefits of weight workouts and strength training for women?
As well as the excellent health benefits mentioned above, there are several other reasons ladies should be incorporating a weights program into their fitness plans.
Lifting weights can help you to change your body composition
For many out there – men and women alike – one of the key reasons for getting down to the gym on a regular basis, is to achieve certain image goals. When it comes to working out, women are generally after a “toned” look. It would be very difficult to achieve this result with cardiovascular training alone. You would be much more successful by learning how to lift weights and incorporating weight training into your workout routine. Cardiovascular exercise is great, but it won't help you get the toned look, if that's what your aim is.
Lifting weights can work wonders in achieving a sculpted physique, especially when combined with an effective cardio routine, while also helping to create a more balanced overall physique, improve posture and develop that coveted "toned" look.
Lifting weights can help to improve self-confidence
While it might be daunting at the start trying something new, once you start and see changes in your strength, it can feel super motivating and empowering! Make sure to spend time learning the fundamentals, such as the squat and deadlift. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask for help from a personal trainer or join a sculpting and toning fitness class to get started.
Particularly for beginners, you should be able to see improvements in your lifting abilities quite quickly, which is an excellent incentive to keep returning to the gym. You’ll then be able to enjoy the benefits outside of the gym, as you’re able to stand straighter and pull, push and lift heavier items.
Lifting weights can be a great way to mix up your training
With weight training, there's a huge variety of kit you can use to keep your training fun and varied. From dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls, and more! When it comes to seeing results, consistency is key, so if you can keep it fun, then it's going to be a lot easier to stick to and reap results in the long run.
We have some examples below of weighted workouts for beginners, but you can also find more with these guides:
Weight training will future-proof your health
Both men and women can suffer a decrease in muscle strength, bone density, flexibility and balance as we age, which can lead to an increased risk of injury. Regular strength and weight training is an excellent way to keep your body strong and supple as you get older. This is, however, even more important for women, who face a higher risk of weaker bones and osteoporosis following menopause. Keeping up a regular strength training routine will ensure you’re protecting your body as much as you can. We’ve covered ways that exercise can also help to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause in this guide.
Keen to get the benefits of weight training but not sure where to start? We've shared some of our favourite weighted workouts for women below.
Beginners full body weighted plate workout for women
2️⃣ Kneel to squat
3️⃣ Overhead press
4️⃣ Around the world
20 secs on. 10 secs rest. Each exercise.
Complete 10 rounds total.
You can learn more about weight training for beginners here.
Intermediate women's dumbbell leg workout
1️⃣ Goblet pause squat 10 x 4 sets (1 minute rest between sets)
2️⃣Offset reverse lunge 12 x 4 sets (1 minute rest between sets)
3️⃣ Stiff leg deadlift 10 x 4 sets (1 minute rest between sets)
4️⃣ Lateral lunge 10 x 4 sets (1 minute rest between sets)
5️⃣ Curtsy pulses 10 x 4 sets (1 minute rest between sets)
Advanced women's barbell leg workout
1️⃣Barbell squats 5 x 4 sets (2 minute rest)
2️⃣Barbell split squats 5 each leg x 4 sets (1.5 minute rest)
3️⃣Good mornings (modified to focus on hamstrings more) 5 x 4 sets (2 minute rest)
4️⃣ Bulgarian Split squat superset with
5️⃣ Pylo single leg lunges 5 each leg x 3 sets (1.5 minute rest)
So, why not start lifting today? If you're still unsure of where to start, why not let our female personal trainer show you the way in our free workout videos. We also have plenty more inspiration over on the Workouts for Women section of our blog, as well as on the free PureGym app, which you can download today.
Before starting a new exercise regime, make sure to consult your doctor.