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Weightlifting for Women

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Weightlifting for Women Doesn't Mean Huge Muscles

History has shown us that bodybuilding is a male dominated sport with professionals getting bigger and leaner, year on year.  So it’s understandable to imagine why this might put women off from weightlifting when visiting the gym, but the truth behind female bodybuilding or weightlifting is unless you take an array of hormone replacements and supplements the results will be completely different.  Rather than gaining masculine male-like physiques you will more likely be enhancing your womanly curves and figures.  Firstly improving your health and fitness and secondly boosting self-esteem and confidence. 

As already stated, there is a common misconception that women who lift weights will eventually build huge muscles like men therefore losing their feminine looks and figures.  Although this is true in cases where the sole purpose is to increase size and mass, in most cases where bodybuilding is used in part of the overall training program and lifestyle, there is no better method for obtaining the perfect womanly physique.  Let’s continue and explore this is more detail;

Burning Fat

Female bodybuilding is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason.  We are now more aware of the benefits of resistance training and what can be achieved when adding it to our workout regimes.  The clue is in the title “Body Building”, where you’re looking to build your body to meet your personal objectives and goals; whether you want stronger legs, tighter abs, slimmer arms with no sagging or a more rounded bottom.


Walking into the gym you have a decision to make; “Do I get on the treadmill like I do normally?”, or “Should I walk in a little further a pick up some weights?”  A question I’m sure many people ask themselves all of the time. If we examine the facts that resistance training burns more calories and therefore more fat than cardio training, isn’t the answer simple??  So how does weightlifting burn more calories?  Let’s look into the science of it all…

Science behind Female Lifting

Did you know that following a bodybuilding or weightlifting workout your metabolism is rapidly increased and your body continues to burn calories for up to another 36 hours depending on the intensity of your workout?  When going about your usual daily routine, your body is burning approximately an extra 10 calories per hour, which you might think isn’t that much, but when you multiply that by 36 hours the achievement is slightly greater.  In order to generate the same or similar results from a cardio workout, you would need to be training for twice as long to build up the same calorie deficit.  I’d suggest if you can complete such a long aerobic training session in the first place, then burning fat probably isn’t a concern for you.

Another big benefit of weight training is that you’ll generate a great percentage of muscle mass therefore using more fuel or calories when going about your daily activities.  This in itself means you’re burning more calories and fat all of the time and not just in the 36 window after a training session.


A key factor stopping women from “hulking out” in the gym is the lack of testosterone.  This is a hormone that’s naturally produced in much higher volumes in men and is what causes muscles to grow and develop.  The female body doesn’t produce the same volume of testosterone as males so no matter how heavy the weights you are lifting, building huge muscles will never be the same.  To put it simply, the majority of testosterone is produced in the testicles and women don’t have these.

Lifting for a Womanly Figure

It’s easy to think that simply picking up any weight and completing a set number of repetitions will bring you your desired results.  That’s partly true in the fact that you would see results but you wouldn’t see that very quickly and they’d arguably appear in places you didn’t expect.  So before even picking up a weight or stepping under a bar it is important to think about the end result, understand what muscles and body parts are involved and then work on those specific components.

For example,

Compound movement such as squats, deadlifts, press-ups, pull-ups, shoulder press and bench press are all great exercises to maximise bodybuilding results and fat burning.  If you’re looking for a firmer bottom, squats and deadlifts are perfect for working your glutes, quads and hamstrings.  Bench press, shoulder press, press-up and pull-up exercises are ideal for working your entire upper body major muscle groups.

Super sets are always a great way to shock your body into action and push your muscles to work hard when they’re tired.  Instead of taking a short rest or breather after completing your reps, move straight onto another exercise and work to failure then take a breather.  This will improve your muscle endurance, improve your recovery time and give you a tight looking body.

The benefits of weightlifting for women are clearly very good, not only during exercise itself but also post exercise when your body is recovering.  When lifting weights, you create small muscle tears in the muscles you’re training which begin to fill themselves in immediately, this is what causes your metabolism to increase as your body is working overtime to recover from an intense workout and also to repair your body and muscles.  So you are in an ideal position where you’re burning unwanted fat and calories whilst firming up your body at the same time, giving you a better, stronger looking womanly figure without big bulging muscles.

The thinking that bodybuilding will mean creating huge hulk like muscles is false and unless you’re taking hormone replacement supplements and training specifically to add size and mass the results can be quite the opposite.  A well-shaped, strong and lean womanly figure that will undoubtedly cause people to take a second look is what you can expect.  Don’t be mistaken by thinking that you only need to perform a few repetitions, bodybuilding is hard work but the results speak for themselves and once you see the benefits, you won’t want to stop!

You don’t have to lift the heaviest weight in the gym to be a bodybuilder whether you’re male or female.  Lifting weights to burn fat, build muscle or tone up is all part of the process of bodybuilding and can be included in training programs for all genders and ages.  If you haven’t already started, perhaps you should give it a go!

About the Author

Kevin Hodges owner of crazygain.com has been involved in sport and fitness from a very early age; first through swimming, hockey and then with rugby where strength, size and conditioning played a vital role in training and performing.  This is where bodybuilding came into his life and has stayed ever since!  Bodybuilding although an integral part of his training he now considers it a hobby and uses his time to pass on his knowledge and experience to help and coach others.

Having been involved in many sports both playing and coaching Kevin is keen to support and promote strong natural training which includes selecting the right supplements to enhance your training, such as those from Crazy Bulk specializing in natural steroid alternatives.

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