Profile Ambassador Miranda Bren competitive powerlifter, Profile coach and Wonder Woman enthusiast, shares her passion for lifting weights and how it can you build yourself up, both mentally and physically.
It’s unfortunate that there is a stigma associated with weight lifting that scares women away. I’m sure you’ve heard it before: weight lifting will make you bulky and less ‘lady-like’. This myth is false and can lead many women to feel insecure or fearful of weight lifting.
Skipping the weights can cause you to miss out on several awesome benefits to your physical and mental health. Here are 4 great health benefits that I have personally experienced through weight lifting:
1. BURNING FAT
Weight training combined with cardio is a more effective way to burn fat than cardio alone. Studies have shown that weight lifting can increase the amount of calories you burn by roughly 10 more calories per hour for up to 36 hours after your workout. How does this work? After an intense lifting session, your body will continue to consume extra oxygen well after your workout in a process called EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Exercise Consumption). As your body uses more oxygen, it requires more calories which increases your metabolism.
2. Cultivating Your Curves
Most girls who want to achieve that toned fitness model look will spend hours on the elliptical machine or running trying to burn fat. But as you build muscle, your body begins to take on an hourglass shape. Though endurance exercise can help you lose weight, that weight loss is from both fat and muscle. If you’re losing both, you can lose those beautiful curves as well. Strength training can help you cultivate and maintain your curves!
3. Strengthening Your Bones
As women get older, their risk of getting osteoporosis increases due to a lack of physical activity and load-bearing exercise. Low bone mass is the main risk factor for bone fractures in women. One of the most effective ways to reverse bone deterioration is to train consistently with weights. Weight lifting provides mechanical stimuli which is important for maintenance and improvement of bone health. It is never too late to start weight lifting to prevent loss of bone density.
4. Boosting Your Confidence
This one is personal for me. After dealing with some very traumatic events in my life, I was left feeling lost and unworthy. There was a period of time in my life when I was very hard on myself. When I discovered weight lifting, I discovered me. Weight lifting helped me build my confidence to a level I never had before. Lifting on my own and building strength to rival the males at the gym made me feel so empowered.
When I first started going to the gym, I was nervous and just stuck to doing cardio. Now, when I walk into the gym I feel like I own it. I also found I could do more things on my own like move furniture, carry all my groceries to and from the car in one trip and there wasn’t a jar I couldn’t open myself.
Weight lifting also changed the way I perceived myself. I never had much for body confidence. I wore loose-fitting clothing when going to the gym. As the months went on, I started to notice my body was changing: I had more muscle definition, sleeves and jeans were getting a bit tighter, but the scale stayed the same. I began to feel more confident when I wore leggings and tighter shirts. Weight lifting is an art where your body is the canvas; with each set and each rep, you carve out a masterpiece.
I have been weight lifting for six years and for the past three years I have been competing in powerlifting. Deciding to learn how to lift is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has improved so many aspects of my life and I’m confident that it can help you too! I have received great advice and encouragement from other lifters, both men and women. You just have to take that first step! Ladies, let’s break the stigma associated with lifting weights – I’ll see you at gym!