Should Women Use Free Weights?

weights-652486_1280“I don’t want to end up all muscley.” 
I hear this all the time from female clients, when I first introduce them to free weight training, even among those who have a history of machine-based resistance training or even the use of kettlebells.

Bodybuilders use machines
For some reason, these types of resistance training do not conjure the same perceptions of the “muscle-bound bodybuilder as does the use of free weights, even though most of those machines were invented by bodybuilders for bodybuilders and in many ways are more apt at producing muscle hypertrophy than free weights.

If you don’t believe this, just compare the physiques of Olympic lifters, who train exclusively with free weights to those of bodybuilders.  Olympic lifters have far less muscle mass then bodybuilders.

And while on the subject of bodybuilding, professional female bodybuilders use steroids (male hormones) to allow their bodies to build far more muscle than would otherwise be possible.  Under normal circumstances, it would be impossible for a woman to build that much muscle.

Why free weights? 

Just some of the benefits of free weights are:

  • They allow your body to move freely through a range of motion without the restriction of machines.
  • You use more muscles when using free weights which in turn burns more calories
  • You can do a variety of exercises with the same bar without having to go from machine to machine
  • You can train the whole body in a much shorter time
  • And of course, if you are training at home, free weights are less expensive than machines and more flexible in their use than kettlebells
  • And finally; you generally find the fittest ladies in the gym in the weights room

So ladies; next time you are in the gym check out the free weights section.  Who knows you just might enjoy it.


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6 comments on “Should Women Use Free Weights?
  1. Farhan says:

    This is very good information for women who are looking to start using the gym. I think you’re right in saying that most women wouldn’t want to look very bulky. I guess they would still want to retain their femininity.

    It’s a good thing you pointed out that professional female bodybuilders actually use steroids. This will surely put a lot of female minds at ease, and encourage them to use free weights.

    Great article!

    • admin says:

      Hi Farhan, Thank you for your comment. yes i think it is important for women to know that under normal conditions they do not need to worry about becoming to muscular. and that as muscle determines the shape of your body, weight training is indeed the best way to develop a shapely feminine body.

  2. tony says:

    I agree with all the benefits of free weights. I am trying to get my fiancé to start a weight training program but she is reluctant to go to the free weight area. Since she is just beginning she is self conscience about going in there. Maybe after a month or so of using machines and reading article such as yours I can get her into the free weights.

    • admin says:

      Hi Tony, I think a busy gym environment can be a bit intimidating at first, especially the free weight area. But as time goes on and her familiarity with the gym and confidence grows, you can encourage her to ad some squats or deadlifts to her program and just take it one exercise at a time until she is comfortable with a full free weight workout. I find that women, unlike most guys tend to fall in love with squat as they generally have a far better mind muscle link to their legs then men.

  3. eshushi says:

    You are absolutely right. My girlfriend says that a lot, “I don’t want to end up all muscley.” And to be honest, I don’t want her to either. Now I know that with free weights, you can work out and not build big muscles, but define the muscles you already have. Maybe for your next post, you will have exercises with free weights!

    – Jason

    • admin says:

      Hi Jason, Thanks for the suggestion I might just do a few posts on the best free weight exercises/workouts for women to start with.

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