Myths About Women Lifting Weights

Weights are very beneficial for shaping, toning, and building up resistance for your body. Do not be afraid to use them, and if you do not know how or are unsure about how to balance their use with cardio, talk to one of your gym's trainers, who will surely be happy to help you
Myths About Women Lifting Weights

Last update: 17 July, 2018

Most women who go to the gym do so in order to lose weight and tone their bodies to look better. These reasons usually lead them to not want to lift weights, since there are many myths about women lifting weights.

Even so, that is all they are: myths. And in fact, if you want to tone your muscles while losing weight, lifting weights is absolutely necessary because they help work your muscles and fuel their growth. Do you know some of the most common myths about women lifting weights?

Myths about women lifting weights

russian weight

“If I lift weights, I will gain a lot of muscle!”

This myth evolved as a result of women appearing on television looking bulky with big muscles. However, it is important to explain that this body type is achieved through hard training, with heavy weights, combined with a diet that varied from the average person.

The truth is that women have much less muscle mass than men, so it is more difficult to reach that level. Not to mention that men have one more thing in their favor: testosterone, the hormone responsible for making muscles grow.

“The weight room is not for women!”

It is true that when we go to the gym, there are mostly men in the weight room. However, all areas of the gym are suitable for everyone, regardless of whether they are a woman or a man. Today, the majority of myths related to the differences between men and women have already been disproved. More and more women are entering the weight room.

Both weight machines and free weights will help you tone and create muscle mass, which will help you have a great figure.

“Weights will make me fat!”

No, no, and no! Weights will help your muscle mass grow, and although the numbers on the scale may rise, it is not because you have gained weight, but because your muscles are developing.

Muscles weigh more than fat because they have more water, but that is all it is: water.

In order to feel reassured, you could take a body composition test and make sure that your muscle mass percentage is greater than your body fat percentage.

“I will not burn calories by lifting weights!”

As we said at the beginning, we understand that most women go to the gym to lose weight, and the secret to this is to burn calories while we eat properly.

It is an understandable assumption that cardio burns more calories, since you can easily see this progress on cardio machines.  Weights have a more complex process. In addition to the effort that you have to put in when lifting weights, they also make your heart rate speed up faster than in a cardio session.

When you lift weights, your muscles suffer small tears that are then reconstructed during the following 48 hours. This requires a higher energy and caloric expenditure than you could have in a cardio session. Ideally, you should do a routine in which you combine both disciplines.

woman lifting weights

“The use of weights is dangerous!”

There have definitely been cases of muscle tears that people have experienced through the use of weights. This is one of the reasons for the spread of the myth surrounding women lifting weights, and why women have generally decided not to try.

But, let us face it, muscle tears can occur while doing any exercise, and even while walking. Lifting weights is no more or less dangerous than any other sport. If you warm up and stretch, then nothing should happen with weights or any other activity.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Hagstrom AD, Marshall PW, Halaki M, Hackett DA. The Effect of Resistance Training in Women on Dynamic Strength and Muscular Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review with Meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2020 Jun;50(6):1075-1093.
  • Herbst KL, Bhasin S. Testosterone action on skeletal muscle. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 May;7(3):271-7.
  • Patel H, Alkhawam H, Madanieh R, Shah N, Kosmas CE, Vittorio TJ. Aerobic vs anaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system. World J Cardiol. 2017 Feb 26;9(2):134-138.
  • Vasudevan A, Ford E. Motivational Factors and Barriers Towards Initiating and Maintaining Strength Training in Women: a Systematic Review and Meta-synthesis. Prev Sci. 2022 May;23(4):674-695.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.