Weightlifting from a Female Perspective

On a regular basis I see articles about why weightlifting is good for women, some of them are technical and most of the ones I’ve read are written by men… So here it is, a not so scientific version written by a female!

I started lifting weights a few years ago now having always participated in team sports at school and then dossing around various gyms on cardio equipment… I was shockingly weak… Shocking… It was embarrassing, I was around girls lifting waaaay more than me and at first it was intimidating.

I persisted and gradually got stronger… But I’d read so many memes on Facebook about getting massive and thought no way do I want to look butch… I’ve got short blonde hair, tattoos and piercings and been called butch many a time, I didn’t want to add massive muscles to the ridicule!

I was at my heaviest 10 stone 9 had curves in all of the right places but was significantly lacking in definition, one of those girls who looked better with her clothes on.

After 12 weeks of following the RT Fitness Warrior Women program I had dropped 6% body fat and was weighing in at just under 10 stone… Now this is where it got interesting… I was starting to lift heavy weights, my backside looked much better in a pair of jeans and in fact all of my clothes just fit a hell of a lot better.

So I continued on with this lifting of weights… I was starting to look “smaller” and “fitter”… What was all this tosh about looking like a bloke?

So 12 weeks on you can imagine my absolute heartache when I stepped on the scales and I was back up to 10 stone 6!!! Why??? Surely this isn’t right… I’d done everything instructed, I’d followed nutrition instruction, not overindulged…WTAF… (Yeah this bit required an “actual” in the middle of the usual WTF phrase)… So out came the callipers and guess what… My body fat was down some more!! Furthermore my waist was getting smaller… This shit was working… I was building muscle but not looking masculine in the slightest… The extra weight was lean muscle…

In the last year I’ve continued down this route… But I’ve played with my nutrition a LOT… And I have discovered that with the muscle mass increase, my BMR (sorry this is the only technical bit, promise) had increased…. I could eat MORE… No shake diet, no rabbit food, just a good balance… I spent 12 weeks eating 2500kcals daily and didn’t gain a single pound… Not one… ‪#‎winning‬! I don’t have any fear of food, no carbs can spoil my day… I eat what I want, when I want…

The 2500kcals was a LOT of food day to day, so now I’m eating probably around 1800 and I’m losing weight… I’m at my lowest of 9 stone with my body weight fluctuating between 14 and 16%… For women this is the washboard area…that flat and starting to get definition in the abs %… I’m not weaker, I’m still lifting heavy weights and I DO NOT look like a bloke…

When getting to this body fat % I’ve seen meltdowns on measuring day… Ladies… I have to break it to you… When the decorators are in… Your measurements will be off… Unfortunately around our cycles we will retain water and we will bloat… There ain’t nothing stopping our hormonal fluxes getting in the way of a good measurement! We just have to accept it…

And… I’d probably say the ONLY negative I’ve had on my weight lifting journey is the loss of boobage… I now understand why so many fitness models have boob jobs!! I have boobs on pecks now… I’ve lost 5 cup sizes… But fear not, I was more than equipped and still have a larger than average set… So if you’re looking to shed that unwanted labouring baggage that pulls on your posture… hit the weights, it helps!!

I watch my Warriors coming in and lifting weights and I can honestly say it is so inspiring to watch them all grow… They walk in chest up, shoulders back, head held high… Their shoulders are square in the most feminine way, they look like athletes… They look confident… They look strong… They have developed a healthy relationship with food and their fellas are holding onto them (we’ve had 3 engagements in the space of 2 weeks…their boys ain’t letting them get away)… Now I’m not saying that their lifting weights has led to the engagement, but lifting weights, growing in confidence, learning to love themselves… This all leads to a better relationship… A better mindset to attack day to day life, to get what they want… They are literally rocking it!!

I wouldn’t have it any other way now… I am female… I am strong and you know what… I’ll rock this leaner looking body well into my later years because I can… You can too…

S x

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