It’s only human for a woman to be intimidated by the weights section. After all, it is a cesspool of overflowing testosterone with incessant slamming and beastly roars every two seconds. But don’t be fooled – the weights section is NOT men’s only. Weight training has the same amount of benefits on women as they have on men, if not more. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around as to why women shouldn’t indulge in the fitness activity. A big one – it makes women bulky. Wrong! These rumours are as true as unicorns in the sky. 

If you’re still on the fence, check out these helpful tips: 

1) Putting on lean muscle increases your chances of fat loss (drastically)

When it comes to women, a lot of coaches, trainers and nutritionists prescribe them fad diets and low-intensity workouts to achieve that Bollywood-esque figure. For the most part, weight training is out of the question. It is reserved for men. But women, what if I told you that not magic teas but weight training is the secret to fat loss? The formula is simple. When you lift weights, you put on lean muscle (along with good nutrition of course). The more muscle mass you have, the quicker your metabolism will work. Therefore, weight training will help increase your metabolism. Now, what does a high metabolism mean? Your body burns more calories! When it comes to fat loss, the single most important factor is making sure you burn more calories than you consume on a day-to-day basis. With lifting, each pound of muscle you gain will burn 30 to 50 more calories per day. Win, win!

2) Better mood, lower stress.

Exercise releases mood-improving neurotransmitters such as endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin which improve your frame of mind, prevent pain and fight mental health calamities. Plus weight training also emphasizes on strength. Unlike fat loss, which takes time and patience, strength in the gym can increase on a week-by-week basis, especially in the first five to six months of training which gives a massive confidence boost.

3) It might be better than cardio. 

A lot of fitness enthusiasts spew out the age-old propaganda that hours of painstaking cardio is the key to quick weight loss. This is untrue. A calorie deficit is the key to weight loss, which can be achieved just as easily by weight training. And unlike lifting, cardio won’t build muscle. But this is not me hating on cardio! Cardiovascular activity improves heart health and helps with energy balance. To optimize your fitness goals, you might want to consider including both in your regime. 

4) No, don’t listen to dude-bros. Weight training won’t make you bulky.

Unlike men, women do not gain size from strength training. This is due to the levels of testosterone women have compared to men. Typically, women produce approximately 10% of the testosterone men do. It is due to this that women develop the toned physique and definition without the volume. Not that women can’t achieve the bulky stature, but that would require very a specific training program with a strict diet to match. So if you want that muscly look most men sport, be prepared to put in the hardwork. 

5) Slamming barbells in the gym is not the only way to weight train.

According to fat-loss coach Ayush Grover, strength training does not have to be confined to weight training in the gym. “If you don’t like weightlifting or going to the gym because of mansplainers all around ruining your vibe, explore other avenues like bodyweight training and callisthenics too. They are just as good.”

6) Positive impact on bone density.

When your bones are put under stress from the force of resistance in weight training over an extended period of time, they grow stronger and increase in density to withstand the extra load and force. A higher bone density signifies a decrease in the chance of developing osteoporosis in later life. It also strengthens connective tissues and stimulates joint stability.