Girl Lifting Weights: 5 Key Benefits of Lifting Weights for Women

woman in gray sports bra holding black dumbbell

10 years ago, my then boyfriend introduced me to the exclusive world of weight lifting. I was usually the only girl lifting weights at the gym at the time, much to the amusement of our other gym buddies. Imagine a four foot ten hijabi doing bench and leg presses amidst a room full of sweaty, buffed guys.

Fortunately, weight lifting among women has been gaining traction over the past 10 years. Women used to feel a bit hesitant about weight training for a few reasons. We feel intimidated because it is physically and mentally, a male dominated world. We think weight lifting doesn’t burn as much fat as cardio exercises. As a girl lifting weight, I was also initially scared that my body will bulk up, become too muscular and less feminine. Most commonly though, especially for women who do want to start a weight training program, we do not know how and where to start.

Let me tell you how I have benefitted from a weightlifting program

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1. Increased physical strength

Now, perhaps being strong is underrated, why do we need to be strong anyway? In the modern world, the most we do physically is probably carrying our bags of groceries from the car to the kitchen. Physical strength is important to help reduce risks of diseases and lower the probability of anxiety and depression occurrence. As a girl lifting weight regularly, I now am able to carry 2 bags of groceries simultaneously without toppling over and I call that exercise!

2. Mental strength

Session at the gym can be challenging but that’s the beauty of it. You go for approximately one hour and you push yourself. Through weight training, I learned that I can do hard things, and I have some toughness in me. It pushes you to the limit, and in the next session, you might find that you can achieve a new weight and thus, pushes what you thought was your limit yesterday.

3. Discipline of small wins

Weight training is a great example of winning small for today to win big in life. Today you may be able to bench-press only the bar (no weight plates), but after a week, you can up the game to 5 kg. The next month you can do 10 kgs, and on it goes. It gives you a reason to come back to the gym, because you have these small wins that occur over time. Don’t forget to celebrate!

4. Physical Appearance

Okay, I may not look like JLo (look at her weight training program) but I do like how I look because I feel it from the inside. I know every muscle in my body has been put to work and they’re not sitting idle. It’s not about how much I weigh or what number is shown on the scale, it’s a positive perception of my physical appearance that matters.

5. Feel good hormones

Do you know that weight lifting releases endorphins, serotonin and dopamine? These cocktail of feel-good hormones are naturally produced in our body and the production is increased by physical exertion. Endorphins makes us feel exhilarated and reduces pain perception, dopamine (a pleasure chemical) helps with satiety and orgasm (ahem), and serotonin will ensure clearer thinking and better sleep.

How do you start with weight lifting?

Now that you know the benefits of weight lifting, how do you actually start? For beginners, it is always recommended that you start small and slow. Work with somebody experienced, like a Fitness Trainer, to make sure you’re lifting weight the right way. Form is key in weight lifting, you may cause serious injury for yourself or others if your technique is not right.

Don’t forget to have fun too! Weight lifting is a journey into our selves, you’ll discover more of who you are and what you’re made of. It is now more common to see a girl lifting weight at the gym amidst a sea of buffed dudes, and that girl can be you.