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Resistance Training for Women is a Game Changer in Fitness

As women, we possess an incredible capacity for strength - not just in our physical bodies, but also in our minds and hearts. Yet, in a society that often prioritizes cardio exercises and perpetuates the myth that weightlifting will make women bulky, the importance of resistance training for women can be overlooked. But the truth is, resistance training is not just for men. It's a powerful tool that can empower women to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.

In this article, we will explore the numerous benefits of resistance training for women, debunk common myths and answer some commonly asked questions. Check out Part II of this post as I delve into practical tips on getting started with strength training. It's time to unleash your inner strength and embrace the transformative power of resistance training for your overall well-being. Let's get started!





It is important to understand what sarcopenia is to fully appreciate the benefits of resistance training.

Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, occurring as a natural response to aging. Muscle mass declines between 3%-8% each decade after 30, with increasing muscles loss 5%-10% each decade after 50. Because muscle represents around 40% of body weight and is the primary site for glucose and triglyceride disposal, the loss of muscle greatly increases the risk of glucose intolerance, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. Strength training can help combat these effects to help maintain muscle mass as we age.




We all know we have lower levels of muscle mass compared to our male counterparts due to differences in our hormonal profiles, but that's precisely why strength training is an absolute game-changer for us gals! Who doesn't want to feel strong and confident in their own skin? Strength training is the holy grail when it comes to building muscle mass. The importance of strength training for females is profound, and you'll be amazed at how much your body can transform with consistent training.

"Resistance training is the most effective way to increase muscle mass and strength, and it's never too late to start." - Dr. Robert Wolfe, Professor of Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Resistance training works by creating tiny tears in the muscle fibers, which then repair and grow stronger during the recovery period. (BTW, this is what also causes the muscle soreness - DOMS - you feel after a hard workout!) Over time, this process of tearing down and rebuilding the muscle fibers leads to an increase in muscle mass and strength.

According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, resistance training is more effective at building muscle mass than other types of exercise, while another study found that after 10 weeks of resistance training, untrained men and women experienced an average increase of muscle mass of 2.5% - 3.5%


Muscle building for women
Strong Women


Let's talk bone health! As we age, our bone density tends to take a dip due to hormonal shifts. Resistance training has been shown to have a positive impact on bone health, particularly in women. Fortunately, research shows resistance training can help increase bone density in the spine, hip and total body, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in older adults, minimizing risk of fractures and other complications. Strength training is so worth your while!

"Resistance training is the most effective way to improve muscle strength and mass, and it is essential for women to engage in it in order to maintain bone health and reduce the risk of injury." - National Osteoporosis Foundation

Let's keep those bones strong and fabulous!


Strength is for everyone
Strength is for Everyone


Are you ready for some good news? Strength and resistance training is like a magic potion for your muscles. Strength training increases muscles mass, and muscle tissue is the boss at burning calories. It's much more metabolically active than fat and will burn more calories at rest, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn even when you're not exercising! Too good to be true!

"Strength training is the best way to increase muscle mass, and muscle is what boosts metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns at rest. This means that even when you're not working out, your body is still burning more calories than it would if you had less muscle. That's why strength training is such an important part of any weight loss or fitness program." - Jillian Michaels, fitness expert and author.

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that women who did strength training for 10 weeks increased their resting metabolic rate by 9%.

In addition to boosting metabolism, resistance training is a total powerhouse when it comes to weight management. By building muscle mass, which means you'll burn more calories round-the-clock, keeping that calorie deficit in check and those extra pounds at bay. Plus, resistance training also ensures that you're losing fat, not muscle, during weight loss.


Empowering women through resistance training
Total Confidence!


Drink in your newly found self-confidence and improved body image gained from strength training! Resistance training can improve self-esteem, improve body image, reduce anxiety and depression, and enhance overall well-being in women.

"Strength training is one of the best things you can do to improve your body image and self-confidence. As you build lean muscle mass and tone your body, you'll feel stronger, more capable, and more confident in your own skin." - Kelsey Wells, fitness trainer and author.

Feeling like a total boss in your own skin is fantastic! And that's exactly what strength training can do for you. As you become stronger and more capable, your confidence levels skyrocket, which can do wonders for your self-esteem. And feeling great about your body helps you overall mental health. So, let's get those endorphins pumping!



Resistance training isn't just about building muscle, it can also do wonders for your mental health! Exercise is like a VIP pass to the happy place where feel-good endorphins are released. It has been shown by countless studies to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in woman. Plus, it can lower your cortisol levels (a.k.a. the stress hormone), resulting in better moods, sleep and overall happiness.

"Exercise, particularly strength training, has been found to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhance overall well-being. The psychological benefits of exercise may be due to changes in brain chemistry and function, as well as improvements in self-esteem and sense of accomplishment." - Blumenthal et al., Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2007)



Picture this: you're out on a hike, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery, when all of a sudden... pop! Your knee gives out, sending you tumbling down the mountain. Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but the truth is, injuries can happen anytime, anywhere - and that's where strength training comes in.

Strength training is a key component of injury prevention, as it helps to build up the muscles and improve joint stability. When muscles are strong, they are better able to support and protect the joints during movement, reducing the risk of strain and injury.

Resistance training also improves balance, coordination, and proprioception (awareness of one's body position and movement), all of which contribute to better movement control and reduced risk of falls and other accidents!

"Strength training is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of injury, whether you're an athlete or just someone looking to stay active and healthy. By building up your muscles and improving your joint stability, you'll be better equipped to handle the physical demands of daily life and physical activity." - Dr. James Andrews, renowned orthopedic surgeon



Are you looking to live a long and strong life? Strength training not only make you feel powerful when you can lift heavy things, but it also comes with a whole host of health benefits that can help you stay spry well into your golden years, and really enhances your functional fitness.

"Strength training is a powerful tool for promoting longevity and healthy aging. By building up your muscles and improving your overall fitness, you can reduce your risk of chronic diseases, maintain your independence, and enjoy a higher quality of life." - Dr. Robert Sallis, family and sports medicine physician and chief medical officer of the American College of Sports Medicine

Remember when we talked about sarcopenia? Strength training is the best way to minimize sarcopenia and its effects. By building muscle mass, keeping your bones strong, preventing osteoporosis, your balance is improved, and you are improving your functional fitness, making your day-to-day life easier and more rewarding.

"Resistance training can help to counteract the natural decline in muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging, which in turn can help to prevent functional decline and disability. By maintaining strong muscles and good overall fitness, you may be able to enjoy a more active and independent lifestyle as you age." - Dr. William Evans, professor

So, if you want to be the grandparent who can still lift their grandkids over their head or the retiree who can crush it on the dance floor, then get to the gym and start lifting! Your body (and future self) will thank you.


The benefits of resistance training for women's health are unparalleled. We are all fighting an uphill battle with the natural aging process, but integrating some strength training into your routine is an amazing way to maintain your functional fitness and live a life well lived. I hope this post got you fired up to start lifting and swagger your amazing self over to the weight section of the gym!

Join me for Part II of this post to learn more about practical tips to get started, different types of resistance training and some advice on choosing exercises. See you soon!



1. Why is it good for women to lift weights?

Hey ladies, did you know that resistance training is like a secret weapon for us? Our hormonal make-up means we have less testosterone than men and naturally less muscle mass. Adding some weightlifting into our routine is a game-changer when it comes to offsetting the normal aging processes. Post-menopausal women have further hormonal changes, contributing to osteoporosis, and further health complications. Adding resistance training into your routine is SO BENEFICIAL to offsetting these normal aging processes!

2. How many days a week should a women strength train?

The number of days you lift in a week depends on your fitness goals, experience level, and overall health. But a good rule of thumb is to hit the weight room at least 2-3 times a week for maximum benefits. Don't forget to give those muscles some rest and recovery time between sessions to prevent injury and encourage growth. If you're new to strength training, start with 2 sessions a week and work your way up as you become a pro. Remember, your body knows best, so listen to it and adjust your training frequency as needed. So, grab those dumbbells, flex those muscles, and unleash your inner strength!

3. How can women avoid bulking up when lifting weights?

One of the biggest concerns women have when it comes to lifting weights is the fear of "bulking up" and losing their feminine shape. However, it's important to understand that gaining significant muscle mass is actually quite difficult, even for men who have higher levels of testosterone. If you are really concerned about bulking up, you can focus on lifting lighter weights with higher rep schemes.

4. How long does it take for women to see results from strength training?

Building strength takes a little bit of time and consistency. While you may start to feel stronger after just a few weeks of regular strength training, it can take up to 12 weeks to see significant changes in muscle tone and definition. The amount of time it takes for women to see results from strength training can vary based on several factors, including frequency and intensity of workouts, individual fitness levels, and genetics. Remember, progress comes in many forms, from increased endurance to being able to lift heavier weights. So keep at it, stay committed, and you'll be crushing your goals in no time!

5. Can women lose weight with strength training?

Absolutely! Strength training is a fantastic way for women to lose weight and improve their overall health and fitness. Not only does it help to build lean muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day, but it also improves bone density, reduces the risk of injury, and enhances overall strength and endurance. Strength training is one of the best ways to build your metabolism!

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Bertani, Rodrigo F.; Campos, Giulliard O.; Perseguin, Diego M.; Bonardi, José M.T.; Ferriolli, Eduardo; Moriguti, Julio C.; Lima, Nereida K.C.. Resistance Exercise Training Is More Effective than Interval Aerobic Training in Reducing Blood Pressure During Sleep in Hypertensive Elderly Patients. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 32(7):p 2085-2090, July 2018. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002354

Dalsky, G. P., Stocke, K. S., Ehsani, A. A., Slatopolsky, E., Lee, W. C., Birge Jr, S. J., & Hicks, G. W. (1988). Weight-bearing exercise training and lumbar bone mineral content in postmenopausal women. Annals of Internal Medicine, 108(6), 824-828.

Kelley, G. A., & Kelley, K. S. (2000). Exercise and bone mineral density in premenopausal women: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions, 1(2), 161-166.

Peterson, M. D., Rhea, M. R., & Alvar, B. A. (2004). Maximizing strength development in athletes: A meta-analysis to determine the dose-response relationship. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 18(2), 377-382.


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