There has long been the myth that if a woman was to lift weights she would begin to look “manly” or “bulky”. Well, all of that is completely false and weight training can actually have many benefits for females.
Some of these include a tighter physique, more confidence, and just an all around stronger body. Not only is it a myth but it is physiologically impossible without the introduction of pro-hormones or other substances. Women also do not possess the same amount of cross-sectional muscle as men, therefore they cannot get the same body shape as a man in regards to muscularity.
Weight Training Benefits
Most women will go to the gym and do some cardio on the treadmill and then hit some abs to stay in shape. While this is perfectly fine and is definitely good activity to include in one’s regime, a lot of times this approach is to avoid using barbells, dumbbells, or any free weights for fear of looking like the male counterpart. That idea is all a myth that someone surely made up because they feared a strong woman who can actually lift some weights. Working out with free weights and any resistance training can actually provide many benefits to women. For example, it can tone the body in ways only achievable from free weights, strengthen bones and tendons, and build confidence.
A weight training program will cause hypertrophy for the body’s muscles which will give the look of being leaner if the correct areas are brought up. For example muscle on the legs will give them a more defined look, and who doesn’t like having toned legs? So dodging the myths and fears of using a barbell can create a very strong and fit looking body for a woman that can’t be achieved by running a mile everyday and doing crunches till you can’t sit up.
Women are also up for risk of osteoporosis, which basically makes your bones brittle because of microscopic holes in the bone. However, the stress and adaptations that occur from resistance training actually help to strengthen bone and promote calcification of new bone. Resistance training therefore helps to prevent osteoporosis from happening in women.
Another benefit is just the confidence that comes along with being able to lift heavy things.
Having confidence in your body and its abilities to move and lift things is a very powerful thing.
It can create a sense of independence within an individual and a confident woman is almost always a powerful one.
The idea of becoming “bulky” from weight training is a very big misconception, and if this topic is viewed from a physiological standpoint it is easy to see why this is not the case. Women do not possess the same hormones that men do (and if they do, it is not nearly the same concentration), therefore it is impossible for them to build a “manly” physique without synthetically taking those male hormones (testosterone). Some women that may be genetically inclined to having more of these hormones, will just be leaner and gain more muscle more than likely, but never will they look manly. The anatomical reason this is not possible is that women do not possess the same cross-sectional muscle of the male counterpart. Women have their highest concentration of muscle in their lower extremities (thighs, legs), and lack a lot of muscle in the chest, shoulders, and arms. The big broad shouldered look that men have is because there is literally more muscle there than a woman has. Women could work on shoulders as hard as they want but without steroids or testosterone there is no way they would ever get as big as a males. This is also why women can have very strong legs when compared to a man, but when it comes to upper body exercises it is harder for them to keep up.
With all of this in mind, women can be very strong and get great results by using resistance training. They can also benefit greatly by using these methods to build an amazing physique, stay in shape, or build confidence. However, they will never look “manly” like some people are led to believe. Due to physiological and anatomical differences in the male and female bodies, they will never have the same appearance without alterations or synthetic hormones.