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Should Women Lift Weights? How to Burn Calories While You Sleep

Updated on February 26, 2010

Girls, don't hate me, but I'm going to suggest you lift something. According to my wife, that's my job (trash, boxes, my butt off the couch), but I'm not talking about furniture here. I'm talking about weights.

I've been a member at a few gyms over the years and I've often noticed a lot of girls.

Oops. I didn't mean to end the sentence there. I mean I've often noticed a lot of girls spending 90% of their time engaged in aerobic exercise to burn fat. The remaining 10% is spent trying to evade guys who want to chat them up.

Exquisitely feminine
Exquisitely feminine

Now I'm not trying to make a total generalization. The gym my wife and I now frequent (Gold's Gym) seems to have a better balance of women engaged in weight lifting activity. But even at Gold's, many women spend a highly disproportionate amount of their time running, shadow boxing or having group seizure sessions under the watchful guidance of an excessively exuberant, obscenely-in-shape trainer. So why is that bad?

Well, it isn't necessarily bad, but if your entire weight management program consists of eating rabbit food and dancing around like an idiot (don't worry, you all look cute doing it) then you're missing out on a great opportunity to burn fat more efficiently and open up the doors to a bit more flexibility in your diet. Not to mention looking even better than aerobics alone could ever promise you.

Burn baby, burn!

The simple fact of the matter is that muscle burns calories. The more developed your muscles, the better you'll burn calories and the easier it will be to maintain the figure you want. I don't know if that matters to you but if it means I can get away with a Big Mac once a week, that's music to my ears!

But why do some girls avoid weight lifting and muscle development like the plague? I like to think it's because some of you are misinformed. You don't want to "bulk up" or look like one of those competitive weightlifter gals who could kick my butt (and do it with a deeper voice than I can manage). Girls, try as you like, lifting weights alone isn't going to turn you into Arnold Schwartzenegger in his Conan prime. Your bodies aren't designed for it.

No, you will NOT look like this.
No, you will NOT look like this.

Mother Nature is Sexist

Massive muscles are one of the last domains of male-dominated truths that you can't blame on anybody but Mother Nature. Through no fault of our own, our bodies are more easily shaped to Hulk-like proportions. Yours aren't. Absent supplements and, yes, steroids, you simply won't end up looking like that by lifting weights alone. But what will you accomplish?

Underneath the fat you're so desperately trying to defeat with aerobics is the potential for exquisitely-sculpted, feminine definition that will make your exercise efforts more apparent and more aesthetic. Your shoulders will have better shape, your legs will look better and you'll by dying to show off those arms in something sleeveless more so than were you to engage in aerobics and cardio alone. And the added benefit of that increased calorie burning potential (even when you are resting) just can't be overstated enough.

So if you are struggling in your efforts to get that perfect figure despite hours on stair machines, aerobics and enough Tae Bo to kick Bruce Lee's butt, there may just be one real step missing from your life. Weight. Lift it, love it and relish the results. Just remember to alternate lifting days with aerobics/cardio days so you help muscles recover properly and always focus on good form as you lift.


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