As a loyal Girl Lifter (or, if you prefer, Lift Like a Girl-er, but that sounds horrible) you’re no stranger to the incredible benefits of strength training. You know that consistent, progressive strength training is a fun and efficient way to build a great looking body.
And we all want a body that we love and looks great in (and out of — wink wink) our clothes.
But, and here’s the really awesome part, there are so many more benefits beyond the physical that strength training provides. And it’s these benefits I love the most and believe provide the greatest return on your hard-work investment.
Or to put it another way: looking great is merely a side-effect from a sound strength training program.
When you focus on the benefits revealed below, you’ll enjoy your strength training journey to a higher degree and you’ll have an increased level of motivation to keep working out for the long-term.
So without further ado, here are the five amazing benefits women can experience from strength training, and not a single one has anything to do with how you look.
1) Greater self-confidence
It never fails — all of my clients report an increase in self-confidence once they start strength training consistently. Not only do they walk with a stronger sense of confidence, but it transfers over to their everyday life as well.
When women strength train and tap into their true physical potential, something just — changes. They get a taste of the abilities they possess, and their confidence increases noticeably. Many report even feeling more powerful in their job roles as well. And things that may have intimidated them in the past no longer do.
Strength training doesn’t just build your body — it builds your mind. This benefit is absolutely priceless.
2) Enjoy the journey
Strength training really allows you to focus on, and enjoy, the journey instead of just obsessing over the end goal (e.g. lose fat or look better naked).
My clients always focus on their workout performance, and nothing else. Their primary goal when they enter the gym is to do a little bit better than last time. Nothing else matters. By focusing on getting stronger (and not burning calories or achieving a high level of fatigue) they actually enjoy their workouts to a much greater degree because they’re proud of, and are focusing on, what their body can do.
As a result, they come to appreciate the journey because it’s enjoyable, rewarding, and keeps them wanting more. They start to wonder enthusiastically, “What else am I capable of doing?” This means they don’t obsess over reaching their initial physique goals and be happy today and not once they “lose X number of pounds” or whatever goal they may originally wanted to achieve. That’s because, as I like to say, the journey is the destination. The journey is where you grow, become stronger (physically and mentally), and where the magic happens.
And when you enjoy the journey, you’re much more likely to be consistent. And consistency is what produces results today that you can maintain tomorrow.
3) Highlight your unique strengths and characteristics
Whether you realize it or not, you’re naturally suited for certain exercises. I’ll explain this by using myself as an example.
I’m a natural born deadlifter. I have long arms which puts me at an advantage to pull a heavy barbell off the floor. Once I discovered this, I made it a goal to highlight this natural ability and to go from being a naturally good deadlifter to a great deadlifter.
I encourage you to discover what exercises you’re naturally good at, or the ones you enjoy the most, and then become great at them. Don’t be afraid of getting stronger and progressively lifting heavier weights, which I consider to be one of 6 (Sane and Simple) Rules to Lift Like a Girl, because this can be a very fun and motivating way to exploit and take advantage of your unique strengths.
It’s easy nowadays to get down on ourselves and think, “If only I had her body” or other similar, negative statements. But the truth is, we can’t alter our genetics, so there’s no use in complaining and dwelling over something we can’t change.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or waste time wishing you looked different than you do; instead, love your body and appreciate it for what it can do. Love your body, because it’s yours. Discover and unleash your natural abilities, and be dang proud of them.
4) Bust through previous self-imposed limitations
Some women are intimidated by the thought of busting out bodyweight pull-ups, military style push-ups, and even heavy squats and deadlifts. Unfortunately there are still some fitness-gone-bad-sources proclaiming that women “can’t” or “shouldn’t” do those things. And, even worse, sometimes we believe them.
But progressive strength training is one of the best ways to obliterate these self-imposed limitations.
When you commit to getting stronger and discovering what you’re capable of doing, you’ll shatter all of those ridiculous myths and learn that, yes, you are in fact incredibly strong (likely stronger than you think).
And you can do even more.
Strength training allows you to leave behind negative, self-imposed limitations and discover your true potential. And doing so means you’ll be a walking, talking, motivating example for other women, and the younger generation who is looking to you to define what it means to be a strong woman.
So instead of asking, “Can I do that?” ask yourself, “What else can I do, too?”
5) Become the strongest, most awesome version of yourself
I’ll be honest and admit that this is by far my favorite perk to strength training.
Here’s a fact: you are awesome, right now, this very moment, just as you are.
- Regardless of whether you’ve been eating well and training hard for 10 years or 10 days. You are awesome.
- Whether you’re at a healthy weight or you have over 100 pounds to lose.
- Whether you’re a size 2 or a size 20.
- Whether you can do 10 push-ups or zero.
You are awesome right now because Numbers Don’t Define You or determine your self-worth; what matters is that you make the most of what’s available to you, and you keep on moving forward.
Strength training is an incredible tool that allows you to become the strongest, most awesome version of yourself possible. It builds you up, increases your self-confidence, improves your overall health, strengthens you on the inside and out, and provides you with positive motivation to keep going.
All of those things combined equals a more awesome you.
Not a new you. Not an “improved” you. But a stronger, more awesome you. This is a critical part of the New Definition of Fitness.
That is why the focus of my workouts and all of my clients is to simply Train to be Awesome. Everything else that happens is just a wonderful side-effect.
Strength Training Benefits Wrap-Up
Strength training is an incredible activity that provides a myriad of benefits from health, physique, mental, and performance improvements. And as you can see, there are numerous benefits that go beyond the typical “build a better looking body”.
No matter why or how you strength train, take full advantage of the additional (perhaps even better) benefits. And always, ALWAYS strive to be the strongest, most awesome version of yourself.
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