When it comes to getting fit, women and men take very different approaches. Men tend to go to the gym, while women tend to go on a diet. Even when women start working out, many focus on cardiovascular exercise like spinning and aerobics - few women incorporate weight lifting into their workout routine. This article explores the reasons why women fear weight lifting, and why they shouldn’t.

Gaining Too Much Muscle

Because weight lifting men tend to bulk up and grow a lot of muscle, there is a widespread misconception that women would bulk up as well. Society has imposed a lot of expectations on women and their bodies, and many feel that bulking up could be viewed as more masculine. Indeed most sales for Ethos gym equipment is by men, with very few women using heavy weights to improve fitness.

A Misconception About Ability

Many women also believe they won’t be able to lift substantial weights, and might simply add light weight dumbbells to intensify their workouts. This couldn’t be further from the truth because some women actually join weight lifting competitions. Typically these women do actually bulk up and grow into a more masculine figure, but it takes a lot more work to gain that much muscle.

Understand Hormones: Testosterone

One of the things that everyone (both women and men) should understand is the role of testosterone in muscle growth. When a biological male reaches puberty, their body starts to produce higher levels of testosterone - that’s why boys at this age suddenly bulk up and suddenly appear to have more muscular bodies. This is also the reason why castrato (males that were historically castrated before puberty) tend not to be so muscular.

Because female biology is slightly different, wherein they don’t produce as much testosterone - their bodies don’t bulk up as easily as males tend to. This doesn’t mean that males with lower testosterone levels are more manly, nor that females with high testosterone levels are less feminine. The point is simply that women won’t gain muscle as quickly or as easily as men.

The Advantage Of Weight Lifting

You may be wondering, why would women incorporate weight lifting into their routine anyway? We all know the science behind weight loss, where you’re supposed to consume less calories than the calories you burn. Dieting focuses on reducing calorie intake, but weight lifting does the opposite. Whenever you lose weight, you’re losing both muscles and fat. Muscles are the primary way our bodies burn calories. So if you want to increase your rate of burning calories, you need your muscles to be stronger. Indeed, women (or men) who add weight lifting to their workouts can consume far more calories because they continue burning more calories long after the workout.

In short, whether you’re trying to drop a dress size or trying to get more fit, weight lifting should be an essential part of your workout routine. There are several benefits from weight lifting such as improving your core strength, and there is no reason for women to fear bulking up.

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