7 Reasons Why Women Lift Weights

Updated on August 25, 2020

In recent times, it can feel like almost everyone you know is following a bodybuilding training split, on the keto diet or chugging protein shakes like they’re water.

Strong is the new sexy for women, but what are the other motivations behind them lifting weights?

In this article we’ll list the 7 big motivating factors, as to why women are pumping iron more than ever before.

  1. Social pressure
  2. Physical Health
  3. Mental Health
  4. Competing
  5. Expectations from men
  6. Prevent sagging
  7. Improves confidence

Social Pressure

With the rise of social media and people spending several hours scrolling through their news feeds each day; naturally there is increased pressure to look good.

This is because women are comparing themselves against their favourite fitness models on Instagram or Facebook. This has led to many emulating their diets and workout plans in order to get into the best shape of their life.

In previous generations people worked out because they simply enjoyed going to the gym, but now women are doing so also due to this perceived ‘expectation’ to look good.

A woman’s goals in the gym isn’t just about losing fat anymore, but also building muscle and looking toned.

This is because females have started to realise that lifting weights doesn’t result in a huge, bulky, masculine-looking appearance. Instead, it creates a lean and toned look. This ‘big and bulky’ myth was exposed due to social media, where influencers are showcasing their workouts; and their followers (who admire their physique) then put two and two together. The reality is, men struggle to build significant amounts of muscle; and women only have a fraction of testosterone in comparison. Thus, it’s unnecessary to worry about getting ‘too big’, as it simply doesn’t work like that.

Physical Health

2020 isn’t a year where anyone can take their health for granted. Lifting weights is one of the best ways to get fit, with it not only increasing muscular strength and size; but also being beneficial to the heart.

High intensity exercise such as weight training has also shown to have a positive effect on a person’s metabolism, enabling them to keep the weight off; which in turn decreases the chance of diabetes and obesity later in life.

When done in moderation, strength training will also strengthen the immune system, decreasing the chances of getting ill. However, if a person enters a state of overtraining, cortisol (stress) levels can rise; making them more susceptible to illness. Inside Bodybuilding states that overtraining is less common in bodybuilding, as workouts are generally kept to 1 hour (or less). However, high volume workouts (performed at a high intensity), lasting more than one hour may increase the risk of overreaching.

Mental Health

Recently the whole world has been in lockdown. This has taken a toll on individuals who have mental health issues; thus there’s never been a better time to exercise and flood the brain with a tonne of endorphins.

Luckily you don’t need to go to the gym to workout, with accessories such as dumbbells, cables and benches available to buy online (at a cheap price).

Lifting weights at home can be the difference between a positive or negative mindset. It also can give you the motivation to achieve your daily goals — even if you’re stuck at home.

Although it may be easier to swallow a pill, exercise has proven to be equally as effective in relieving depression and anxiety symptoms. It also doesn’t come with a host of negative side effects, that many anti-anxiety medications have.


For some women it isn’t just about looking good, but getting on stage and potentially winning a trophy. Whether it’s bikini modelling or bodybuilding — many women are determined to make a living from the fitness industry and one of the best ways to get your name out there is onstage.

Competition can also attract sponsorship from supplement companies and help to create contacts, such as magazine editors who can propel a person’s career.

Although the fitness industry isn’t generally a lucrative one, with hard work and the correct business skills — it is possible to make a full-time income; especially with the rise of social media where people can accumulate millions of followers.

Expectations From Men

Some could say men have different expectations today, compared to 10 years ago. Just as some women are keen on guys with six pack abs today, increasingly more men are wanting a woman who squats.

For some men this is even a must-have quality in a potential mate.

Nowadays, lifting weights to attract the opposite sex is one of the most common reasons to work out.

A woman can easily turn heads, whether in a bar or the beach, if she squats.

Prevent Sagging

Women are prone to sagging in certain body parts when they age; whether due to gravity, weight loss or decreased collagen.

By building muscle you can prevent sagging, keeping your bum perky and adding a lift to your breasts.

Thus, lifting weights can essentially reverse the aging process somewhat, or at least slow it down.

Push ups are an effective exercise for the chest — as well as squats for the glutes. These can be performed anywhere, whether you have access to a gym or not.

Ab exercises can also help to create a strong waist, which may also help to reduce excess skin that mothers have after giving birth.

Improves Confidence

It’s not just an incredible body transformation that people notice, but also the added confidence the person oozes afterwards.

It’s a great psychological challenge, trying to change your body — by losing weight or building muscle. Once you achieve your fitness goals, success often transfers into other parts of your life.

Being happy helps a person become more confident, and when a woman’s happy with her body — nothing can stop her.

There are several reasons why women may lift weights. No matter what your reason is, it’s a very healthy form of exercise (if not taken to extremes). 

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