The repetitive thud of footsteps echoes throughout the cardio room in SF State’s Village Fitness Center. A group of girls run on the treadmill, all wearing the same grim expression on their face as they crank out 30 minutes of monotonous cardio.
When I enter the weight room, though, I notice a complete gender shift. There are only male students lifting weights, but they look focused and, dare I say, at peace. But it shouldn’t be just men who feel at home in the weight room. Women lifters should really be utilizing the weights room too. Weights are the game-changers to a well-built physique.
Women fear weightlifting because of the common belief that weight training will make them bulky and unfeminine, but that’s not true. I used to share this fear until I decided to give it a try after noticing famous female bodybuilders on Instagram. Their bodies were small and compact with cinched waistlines and curves gracing their trim forms. After reading their advice on bodybuilding, I decided to take the plunge and give weights a chance.
Women do not easily bulk up muscle and become the next Incredible Hulk, because they do not have the necessary testosterone hormone needed to create a large amount of muscle mass, according to Women’s Health Magazine. For women to bulk and create mass, they would need to eat an excessive amount of calories and lift heavy weights on a regular basis. I specifically make sure I keep my nutrition very basic and as natural as possible. I eat around 2,000 calories daily, depending on my fitness goals, and eat a diet rich in lean proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates.
I lift five days a week and from what I’ve seen weights will actually give women striving for a cut physique their dream body. Sure, little five pound dumbbells are a great way to start off with on day one, but to really get those rounded glutes, strong thighs and sexy abs, women need to train heavier.
For me, strength training creates confidence. Before weight training I used to have anxiety walking around town by myself. After I incorporated training into my life, those fears have disappeared completely. I now walk with more purpose which in turn has greatly improved my self-confidence.
Weight lifting empowers me because its amazing to see the weekly improvements in strength and to crush daily goals. Last week I was ecstatic to finally be able to do pull ups for the first time. This month I am working on developing something I have always wanted: Abs. These dreams and goals become possible for me because of the foundation of strength training. I encourage you ladies to give it a try and lift some iron.