I’m all for people doing what they enjoy and what works for them.
This undoubtedly means that some women will never lift progressively heavier weights – they’ll always stick to the tiny, pretty pastel colored dumbbells that weigh less than the purse they carry around all day.
Do I think strength training with a focus on getting stronger and improving performance is superior to lifting very light weights for high reps for losing fat and building a better looking body?
And there are some amazing additional (better) benefits too.
But there’s another BIG reason women should lift heavy things, and it has nothing to do with losing fat or aesthetic goals, and it’s why I encourage women to at least give progressive strength training a shot.
A BIG reason women should lift heavy things is …
Ooooh. Sounds super exciting doesn’t it? I bet me saying “real life” as a reason to lift heavy gets you revved up and makes you want to go to the gym right now and start hoisting a loaded barbell or busting out some push-ups.
Sarcasm aside, while “real life” may not sound like an exciting reason to lift heavy things, it’s one of the BEST reasons to do so because you have to pick things up every day, and being physically strong makes those daily activities easier.
All too often we focus exclusively on how we look and choose to eat better and work out because of that goal. But doing every day things easier and better is crucial, and is a part of what I’ve termed the NEW Definition of Health and Fitness.
Look at the above picture – I posted it to Facebook jokingly saying,
As I typically do I picked up those bags of food and thought nothing of it. But then I realized, “If I wasn’t physically strong, I doubt I could do this. Heck, I’d probably struggle to carry a single bag at a time.”
Then I thought back to some other occasions over the past month alone where progressive strength training has made daily tasks easier:
- Shoveling 13 inches of snow off my driveway and patio
- Carrying every bag of groceries in a single trip (As fellow strong, amazing woman Kate O. said on Facebook, “Forget about one rep max or personal records, it’s all about the one TRIP max!”)
- Rearranging furniture
And I’m sure there are many more examples but the point is, lifting heavy things make you better at real life and THAT is reason enough to get stronger. Whether that means carrying bags of dog food, picking up your children, lugging around your 24 pound purse (you know who you are!), or anything else – strength training makes those things easier and will allow you to perform them more safely.
Being “better at real life” was the topic of a recent Lift Like a Girl Podcast episode, so be sure to download and listen soon. (And subscribe while you’re at it!).
Lift Heavy Things
There’s more than one way to lift heavy (and heavier!) things.
- You can use barbells
- You can use dumbbells if that’s all you have in your home gym
- You can even use nothing but your bodyweight
- You can use kettlebells, sandbags, or other odd objects
As long as you strive to get stronger (and in the case of bodyweight exercises – progress to more challenging variations), that’s all that matters. The tools you use isn’t as important as what you do with them.
Lift heavy things. Get stronger. Be MORE awesome. Do real life things easier.
And ALWAYS Lift Like a Girl.
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