Should Women Strength Train? (Part 1)

by Charlie Lian of Lian Performance The Official Trainer of Anahata Swimwear

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m going to guess you’ve seen the rise of various Instagram fitness models. These women are doing what many exercise and health specialists have tried to do in the past: inspire a generation of women who resistance train.

Women can sculpt their bodies to their hearts’ desire with exercise, but the way they do that is important. So before I go even further, I want to debunk some myths to help motivate some women to start, or continue, resistance training!

1) Myth #1: Women will look like men after weight training!

This myth is absurd. It is almost impossible for a woman to look like a man after weight training unless they take performance-enhancing drugs. This is because women do not produce the same amount of testosterone as men, which is a key hormone for muscle growth. To be exact, men produce about 10x more testosterone than women.

The reason many people hear about this myth is because they base it off female bodybuilders that take anabolic steroids.

2) Myth #2: Women can’t train like men.

Women can do any exercise a man can do.

There isn’t an exercise in the gym that is labeled a “male only” or a “female only." Exercise selection, volume, and intensity, really depends on a person's individual goals. A women that wants to become more explosive and stronger will want to incorporate power cleans and squats for 1 rep max. But a different female may just want stay in the hypertrophic range and do about 10 reps of a certain exercise. I will go more into this topic in another article.

3) Myth #3: Women should only do cardio.

One type of exercise should not make up your entire exercise routine.

Even if you are a long distance runner, resistance training improves performance. A lot of women fail to understand that long hours on the treadmill and elliptical might decrease their weight, but will never give them that toned body they’re looking for.

Have you ever seen someone run a lot but for some reason aren't toned? It’s because they aren’t doing any resistance training to maintain and even increase muscle mass. Also, increasing lean muscle mass can help increase your baseline metabolic rate and help maintain that “lean” look you always desire.


So next time you workout in the gym, do not be afraid to add some resistance training in your workout. You won’t regret it!

To learn more about Charlie's personal training sessions or Ladies Group classes in the Wilmington area, visit Lian Performance or follow him on Instagram. More coming soon!