Do you lift?

There seems to be a fear amongst women that lifting heavy weights will cause them to bulk up and leave them with unwanted muscles.

Amanda Khouv from Women’s Fitness recently outlined six good reasons as to why the ladies out there should be lifting heavier weights. Her number one reason for lifting weights is that it prolongs your life. She explains that the essential muscle mass which you build when lifting heavier weights can play an important role in reducing blood pressure, tackling obesity and reducing the risk of developing diabetes.

The article also outlines that although maintaining a healthy diet is important, adding heavy weight training will also help to fight off toxins from pollution, stress and alcohol. Your bones and muscles store minerals which support your immune system and weight training keeps these cell spaces healthy.

liftingStrength training plays an important role in weight loss. Research shows adding strength training to a calorie restriction program (diet) results in maintenance of weight loss (DL Ballor, et al 1988). Gary R. Hunter, et al (2000), who also conducted research in this area state that performing strength training and gaining muscle you will burn more calories while resting as strength training increases your metabolism.

The table below gives you a guide to how many sets and how many reps you should be performing depending on your exercise goal.

Training goal



Rest period

General health and fitness




Maximal strength








Hypertrophy (muscle size)




Muscular endurance

12 +



Baechle, T., Earle, R. (2008)

In addition Science Daily has also made clear that despite decades of doctors’ reluctance to recommend weight training to pregnant women, a new University of Georgia study has found that a supervised, low-to-moderate intensity program is safe and beneficial. A recent keen advocate of weight training when pregnant is Nell McAndrew who is expecting her second child.

If you would like to read any of the mentioned articles in full please see the reference list below:

Baechle, T., Earle, R. (2008) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. National Strength and Conditioning Association 406-408.

DL Ballor, VL Katch, MD Becque and CR Marks. (1988) Resistance weight training during caloric restriction enhances lean body weight maintenance.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (47), 19-25.

Gary R. Hunter, Carla J. Wetzstein, David A. Fields, Amanda Brown, and Marcas M. Bamman. (2000) Resistance training increases total energy expenditure and free-living physical activity in older adults. Journal of Applied Physiology (89), 977-984.

Patrick J. O’Connor, Melanie S. Poudevigne, M. Elaine Cress, Robert W. Motl, James F. Clapp, III. Safety and Efficacy of Supervised Strength Training Adopted in Pregnancy. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, Volume 8, Issue 3, March

5 responses to “Do you lift?

  1. Crow Dillon-Parkin

    Have the sets and reps been transposed in the ‘health and fitness’ row?
    ACSM guidelines are 8-12 reps, 2-3 sets.

  2. Pingback: Women: Do You Lift? | Boot Camp & Military Fitness Database

  3. Miss Eddie Allen

    Yes I have lifted weights for 30 years being an x british champion weight lifter I am now 70 but most people judge my age as no more than 50 I teach yoga pilates power pump and all the usual classes I train 6 days a week do about 20 classes a week and try to fit in 3 sessions of weights I am now considering taking up Kick boxing.I owe all this abundance of health through my training my speciality is weight training which I love

  4. Pingback: Getting results from weight training | [ Skinny Fat. ] Skye Lee

  5. Pingback: Are You Too Old to Pump Iron? | RECYCLED ARTICLES

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