Why should women try powerlifting?September 10, 2013
If someone said to you that they knew something you could do that would be empowering, challenging, engaging and would change your body composition – would you consider it? Powerlifting, often confused with Olympic lifting, is an individualized sport in which competitors attempt to lift as much weight as possible for one repetition in the squat, bench press, and deadlift. For women, powerlifting is currently a niche sport but one that is growing.
Many women are under the impression that lifting weights will make you bulk up when in fact women don’t have the testosterone to get the big muscles. Building muscle isn’t easy and you won’t turn into a she-hulk if you squat your own body weight, what you will end up with is stronger legs and great backside! The way you train will play a significant role in your success – if you adhere to a balanced program of lunges, dead lifts, squats, pull ups, push ups and presses you will get stronger, not bigger.
Weight training can:
- reduce stress and is good for your heart.
- make you stronger and reduces your risk of osteoporosis.
- help you lose weight. According to one study, adding just two sessions per week of heavy lifting can reduce your body fat by three percent without cutting calories.
- strengthen bones and stabilize joints which reduces the risk of injury.
- increase your metabolism. When you put on more lean mass, your body requires more energy which in turn allows you to burn more calories during the day without exercise.
What many women notice when they start lifting is the positive community surrounding them. When people go for a personal best (lifting more weight than they have previously) there is a lot of support from other lifters, sometimes cheering you on trying you psych you up for the lift. Having people root for you and celebrate with you for having achieved something you may not have thought possible a month or two ago can be an amazing and addicting experience.
Throwing around some heavy weight can also do wonders for your self-esteem. If you feel physically strong, chances are it will increase your confidence in your ability to tackle new challenges in and outside the gym.
Whether you have just beat a personal best or you’re just starting to see and feel the difference in the strength of your own body, one of the best things lifting does is to turn your attention away from just getting “skinny” and empowers you to create a strong new body that’s all your own.
References from the SIRC Collection:
1. Haines J, Thrine A, Titlebaum P, Daprano C. Women and Weight Training: Education and Demonstration Make a Difference. Applied Research In Coaching & Athletics Annual. May 2008;23:237-254.
2. KOLBER M, CORRAO M. SHOULDER JOINT AND MUSCLE CHARACTERISTICS AMONG HEALTHY FEMALE RECREATIONAL WEIGHT TRAINING PARTICIPANTS. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). January 2011;25(1):231-241.
3. Lifting Weights Attacks Unhealthy Belly Fat in Women. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. June 2006;24(4):8.
4. Nasim H. THE EFFECT OF SHORT-TERM WEIGHT-BEARING EXERCISE ON BONE MASS DENSITY IN OBESE AND THIN YOUNG GIRLS. / EFEKTI KRATKOTRAJNOG VJEŽBANJA SA DODATNIM TEGOVIMA NA KOŠTANU MASU KOD PRETILIH I MRŠAVIH DJEVOJAKA. Sport Scientific & Practical Aspects. December 2010;7(2):11-16.
5. Seguin R, Economos C, Palombo R, Hyatt R, Kuder J, Nelson M. Strength Training and Older Women: A Cross-Sectional Study Examining Factors Related to Exercise Adherence. Journal Of Aging & Physical Activity. April 2010;18(2):201-218.
6. Shepherd J. Why are you weight-ing?. Ultra-Fit Magazine. August 2013;23(7):4.
The information presented in SIRC blogs and SIRCuit articles is accurate and reliable as of the date of publication. Developments that occur after the date of publication may impact the current accuracy of the information presented in a previously published blog or article.