Historically, lifting weights and pumping iron was thought of as a male-dominated activity, unless you were one of those incredible fake-tanned, oiled up ladies in teeny bikinis who take part in the serious competitions.

This is no longer the case though, and weight lifting and strength training is something that has gained a lot of popularity with women over the last few years. In fact, the free weights section of your local gym will be a mixed bag nowadays, rather than a testosterone-fuelled man-fest full of fellas working on their busting biceps.

Here are four reasons to become a lady that lifts…

1. It helps to burn body fat!

If you’ve been a bit of a cardio queen in the past, you may want to seriously consider adding weight training to your repertoire if you’re aiming to burn off some excess body fat.

Weight lifting and resistance training can burn serious calories, and because it increases your post-exercise oxygen consumption and boosts your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), you actually continue to burn calories even after you have finished working out! Having more muscles also raises your basal metabolic rate, so you’ll always be burning calories at a higher rate throughout the day.

So next time you get to the gym, ask your instructor to give you a rundown of the machines and you can keep your treadmill sessions to a minimum! 

2. It will make you lean, not bulky

The main reason that women shy away from weight training and lifting is because of the concern that they will bulk up and look bigger. 

Although many women look utterly awesome with their marvellous muscles, if it’s your aim to slim down or tone up, it’s understandable that bulking up instead may worry you.

In reality though, weight lifting will build lean muscles and burn fat. Because we don’t have as much testosterone as men, building up serious muscles actually takes a lot of time, a lot of commitment and a lot of extra calories! 

If you’re eating super healthily and you add some weights and resistance training to your gym workouts, you will tone up and get lean rather than add any bulk. 

3. You don’t need loads of expensive equipment to do it

If you want to add weight and resistance training to your home working repertoire, you don’t need a load of expensive equipment – a set of dumbbells or kettle bells will work just fine, and you can find lots of resistance training workouts to follow online.

At the gym, take advantage of the machines and the free weights as well as the cardio equipment – just make sure that you learn how to use each one correctly so you stay safe and injury free.

4. It will make you feel like supermum! 

Building muscles and getting lean will give you a huge confidence boost! You’ll feel stronger and more capable, and seeing your body change and getting results will inspire you to keep going. 

For an extra incentive, workout with a friend (even if you have to socially distance for now!). You’ll be able to count reps for each other, keep each other going and cheer each other on to do more.