Let’s make something clear – weight lifting is scientifically proven to benefit all human beings, not just women. Notable physiological characteristics that women embody, however, make way for a significant relationship between a woman and her weight-lifting practice.
Osteoporosis is a major non-communicable disease and the most common bone disease. It causes a decrease in bone density that results in deterioration, ultimately predisposing those affected to fractures. This disease is four times greater in women than in men.
When weight training is involved, not only is muscle growth stimulated but bone density is increased as well. With strong bones, women are less susceptible to future fractures.
Post-menopausal women lose a significant amount of estrogen in their bodies. Guess what makes estrogen so important – you guessed it – it’s a crucial player in bone-building! The moment a woman’s menstrual cycle stops, estrogen decreases and she becomes more susceptible to bone diseases.
One study conducted a one-year randomized, controlled trial of high-intensity resistance training in postmenopausal women (1). The results of the study demonstrated that women in a two-day per week resistance training program gained an average of 1% in bone density of the femoral neck and lumbar spine whereas the control group lost 2.5% and 1.8% at these sites, respectively.
The stigma that lifting weights makes women bulky is simply not true. (By the way, there is nothing wrong with being bulky). What is wrong is any misconception that has been culturally accepted as fact. Lifting weights builds lean muscle mass that supports bones and is more efficient at calorie burning than cardiovascular exercises due to what is known as EPOC – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. After a weight lifting session your body consumes more oxygen for hours, and even days, after the session. More oxygen requires more demand on the body and thus more calories are burned. You can now skip the hours on the elliptical. Your time is precious, training efficiently is the only way to train!
Lastly, let’s discuss stress management. Ladies, you know our hormones go through a roller coaster ride our whole lives. Lifting weights is a great way to regulate and manage stress. Researchers have consistently found that those who regularly strength-train tend to manage stress better and experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations as those who do not exercise.
As a woman, trainer, and human passionate about helping others move and feel better – I highly encourage you to explore with an experienced trainer the benefits your body and mind will reap from adopting a lifting practice.
Melton, L.J., 3rd, et al., Bone density and fracture risk in men. J Bone Miner Res, 1998. 13(12): p. 1915-23.
 Nelson, M. E., M. A. Fiatarone, C. M. Morganti, I. Trice, R. A. Greenberg, and W. J. Evans. Effects of high-intensity strength training on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures. JAMA 272:1909-1914, 1994.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7990242/
 Stone M, Stone Meg, Sands W. Psychological Aspects of Resistance Training. In: Principles and Practice of Resistance Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2009. p. 229-241.