Should Women Use Free Weights?

“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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