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Break the Myth: Why Women Should Lift Weights for a Stronger Body and Mind

Break the Myth: Why Women Should Lift Weights for a Stronger Body and Mind

  • Will you end up looking like a man if you take up resistance training? Short answer, no. Read on to find out why.
Why Women Should Lift Weights for a Stronger Body and Mind

Will you end up looking like a man if you take up resistance training (aka strength training aka weightlifting)? Many women seem to think so.

I have had conversations with some of my female friends and colleagues regarding resistance training, and they’re all quick to say, “No o. Lift weights ke? Why will I be lifting weights? I don’t want to look like a man abeg.” Or something along those lines. How this myth has been perpetuated is quite a mystery to me, but that’s how myths go on and on and on, and this is why I’m writing this post.


Lifting weights will NOT make you look like a man


That’s the fact of the matter, but I won’t stop there. You need to know why lifting weights won’t make you look like a man, and how instead it’s actually good for you as a woman.


Why lifting weights won’t make you look like a man


  1. Testosterone: You simply don’t have that much testosterone. One of the major reasons we men look the way we do is because of the amount of testosterone running around in our bodies. Women have way less than that, and so no matter how much lifting you do, you simply can’t start looking like a bodybuilder overnight. Other factors have to be involved for a woman to “look like a man.”
  2. Diet: You simply don’t eat as much as a man typically would. Thing is, for muscle growth, you have to have a calory surplus, that is you need to eat way more than your body needs (maintenance calories) to bulk up. If you, as a woman, ate as much as a weightlifting man, then there is a probability that you might begin to look like one, but that’s still highly doubtful, because of, you guessed it, Oestrogen!
  3. Oestrogen: Note that both men and women have testosterone and oestrogen, but men have a lot more testosterone just as women have more oestrogen. And while both contain growth hormones that are responsible for growth and energy storage, oestrogen  contains other hormones that literally reduce the amount of testosterone and muscle mass in the female body.
  4. Boosters: Fact is, most of the women in the media shown to have the “bodybuilder” aesthetic have found other ways to bump up their body’s testosterone to unnatural, masculine levels, and that is why they look that way. Except you plan to do so yourself, I doubt you’re ever going to have to worry about that. Simply lifting weights and eating well and going about your business as you’ve always done will NOT make you look like a man. Instead you have so much to gain by lifting weights.


Why lifting weights is good for you as a woman


There are so many benefits to lifting weights, and we’ll touch on a few here:

  1. Your strength and fitness levels increase: Strength training helps you become stronger. Sounds obvious enough, right? You start with 10kg dumbbells and before you know it you’re throwing 50kg. That’s a whole bag of rice! And the more you train, the less you complain about being tired or exhausted. Who wouldn’t want that?
  2. Your metabolism improves: Normally, any kind of physical exertion would make you burn more calories. Resistance training takes this even further. Your body requires more energy, and more calories are burnt during strength training. Many women who have eating disorders would greatly benefit from resistance based exercises.
  3. Better way to lose weight: More muscle = less fat, and more fat = less muscle. The more muscle mass you have, the less fat you have, and vice versa. Simply having more muscle means your body burns more calories. This is why weight training is more effective than aerobics when trying to lose weight, but they’re even better when combined.
  4. You look and feel better: Trust me to include some vanity benefits here, because why not? It’s true! Once you start weight training, you start building muscle mass, your body begins to take shape, and your clothes begin to fit better. Your confidence level increases dramatically. If for nothing else, this should help you seriously consider adding weight training to your routines.

One more thing. Do you require more convincing? I’ve got receipts!


Here are some Naija women who have incorporated weight training into their routines



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A post shared by Sandra Okeke (@sofit_ngr)



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A post shared by Mia Bassey (@miabassey)





I hope you’re inspired by these women to get started with your weight training program. Don’t forget to follow @naijafitfam on Instagram for more engaging content. Thanks for reading!


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