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Why Women Should Strength Train

(And It Has Nothing to do With Weight Loss)

Do you really want to read another predictable article that offers up three easy steps to fix this flaw or that flaw, look better in your clothes, look like “her,” or finally lose that “stubborn” fat?

I didn’t think so.

Myriad calorie-torching circuits, vomit-inducing challenges, butt-blasting workouts, and strength training programs all promise to help you burn fat at faster rates than ever before. “Lose fat and finally love your body!” they promise.

This is getting very old—don’t you agree?

Women should absolutely lift weights, but the reasons don’t have a damn thing to do with fat loss, slimming down, or any of the other catchphrases splashed across magazine covers.

Our value as women is not determined by our body fat percentage, weight, or body shape. It’s time to stop using health and fitness (e.g., weight lifting) merely as a means to build a body worthy of society’s approval.

“The ultimate way to empower a woman is to give her the space to make all of the decisions she wants about her body and her life, including changing her aesthetics, without judgment.”

—Molly Galbraith

This is Why Women *Should Strength Train

(*Should if they want to experience all of these incredible benefits, that is.)

There are so many reasons for women to strength train, and here are a just few of the best:

Strength training is empowering.

Many women believe they could never do a pull-up, “boy” push-ups, or other physical feats. With proper, consistent training, those goals are most certainly within reach. Without fail, any client I’ve trained toward performing a flawless set of push-ups and her first unassisted chin-up is instantly empowered.

She realizes she’s stronger than she thought. It’s like she chugged a super-sized can of whoop-ass and unleashed an unstoppable force.

jen-backsquat-350x350Strength training allows you to discover and appreciate all that your body is capable of doing—and then do more.

Our culture places a great deal of emphasis on appearance, convincing women that how we look is the most important thing. With such a constant focus on aesthetics, it’s easy to lose sight of other things that matter to us. Lifting weights shifts the focus toward our abilities. Once you bust out your first chin-up, you start wondering what else you can do, eagerly ready for the next challenge. How you look is the least important part of fitness. When you focus on what your body can do, and appreciate its many abilities, fat loss (if that’s a goal of yours) just becomes a side effect.

neghar-yogaclothes-on-beach-350x375Strength training makes you feel great.

Because the primary goal of many popular workout programs is simply to burn as many calories as possible, it’s not surprising that people feel exhausted, sore, and unmotivated at the end of those brutal workouts. Many women completely crash after a tough week (or month) of training following one of these programs. Strength training, when done properly, can actually make you feel greatFatigue is not an indicator of a successful workout. What matters is that you do your best and improve your performance, gradually, when possible. It’s perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) to finish a weight lifting workout feeling better than when you started. This not only helps you train more effectively over the long-haul, it also helps you maintain motivation to continue training and making progress.

Strength training positively affects your entire life.

Lift weights and strive to get stronger, gradually, and you’ll be surprised at how much easier your daily tasks become. Pay attention to your energy levels, the quality of your sleep, and how effortlessly you can play with your kids and hoist every grocery bag into the house in a single trip. Strengthening your body makes everything better—you’ll see.

Strength training builds you up, mentally and physically.

You might be seeing the trend here by now: lifting weights makes you a better version of yourself. It’s something you do to build yourself up, not tear yourself down. Fitness is not punishment for overindulging, missing a week of workouts, or for any other “negative” reason. It’s an excellent tool that allows you to become the best version of yourself in many amazing ways.

Your eating and workout habits do not have to revolve around fat loss. You do not have to accept this as “just part of being a woman.”

To be clear there is nothing wrong with wanting to lose fat, if that is legitimately one of your goals. This article is meant to emphasize that fat loss—often assumed to be a woman’s sole fitness goal—doesn’t have to be your goal. You can choose instead to get stronger, challenge your body, or learn a new skill. Quite often, fat loss simply becomes a side effect of your efforts, rather than the focus.

Forget all of the BS perpetuated by much of the fitness and mainstream media that encourages you to be less. I challenge you to reject the notions that your primary goal as a woman should always be to control your weight and that working out is strictly for burning calories and whittling your waistline.

When you embrace strength training as a tool to becoming the best version of yourself, and use it to explore all the incredible things your body can do, in the process you’ll discover for yourself how much more it adds to your life.


Now that you’re convinced and want to start strength training, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start, let us help!

About The Author: Nia Shanks

Nia Shanks is a writer and coach at Her mission is to help women reach their goals and become the best version of themselves with simple, no-nonsense health and fitness information.