4 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid of the Weight Room

No disrespect to cardio, but if you want to lose weight while building muscle and confidence, strength training is where it’s at.

A lot of girls have this misconception that lifting weights or going heavier with weights will make you look bulky or that the weight room is strictly for guys. Why are we, as women, sometimes filled with this sense of being out of place when we see the weight section? For some reason, we believe this logic of “I can’t do that.”

Courtesy: Giphy

But that is all a myth, and a barrier I’m about to get you to break.

For me, going to the weight section of the gym was always intimidating, especially being surrounded by such fit people who look like they know what they’re doing. It took time for me to feel comfortable in my own skin and mentally prepare myself whenever I entered the weight room. It took intensive research to understand which weights and what movements targeted certain muscle groups in my body and what I wanted to accomplish for myself. Don’t get me wrong: cardio is a great way to lose weight, but that’s only half of it. Going into the Leach at Florida State University can be very intimidating, but this shouldn’t stop us from working on ourselves, for ourselves.

The key is confidence. Walk into the weight room like you own it. Focus on yourself and no one else. You are at the gym to work on YOU. So, don’t think that everyone will be staring at you and judging you because you’re a girl or because you’re not all muscle. Everyone in there is just like you: there to work on themselves. Girls can lift, too—we can do anything.

Here are 4 reasons why you should lift weights:

1. It burns fat/calories.

According to Fitness Magazine, strength training is better at helping people lose fat compared to cardio. Cardio is the most common way to shed calories and burn fat, including running on the treadmill or performing any aerobic exercises. But by lifting weights, you give your metabolism a boost which fuels your body as a fat-burning machine.

2. You’ll be stronger mentally.

Courtesy: Marcy

Not only does lifting weights show results physically, but it improves your overall mental health. Weight training can release endorphins in your brain, otherwise known as “the feel good” chemical. It is also an effective way to release stress. According to Live Strong, research shows that resistance and weight training can help beat the blues and lower depression.

3. It builds muscle.

Courtesy: Refinery29

One of the perks of lifting are the gains. I’m talking about muscle gains. Cardio has an effect on your body that makes you lose muscle mass, but lifting weights increases it, making your body lean and toned. Weight training has the effect of continuing to burn calories even when you’re sitting around doing nothing!

A lot of girls think that doing squats alone will make your booty plump. There’s a lot more to it and adding weights to your leg routine will make all the difference. If you’re looking to get that spring break bod ready for next month, grab those weights and work your butt off. The booty gains are worth it.

4. It builds confidence.

Courtesy: Fitness Magazine

There’s nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment. Weight training is accompanied by a feeling of confidence that you’ll be filled with each time you step outside. Not only does it build confidence at the gym, but seeing results in the mirror makes you feel good about yourself overall. When you feel strong, nothing gets in your way. Just walking into the gym, or anywhere, makes you feel empowered.

There are a lot of Instagram-famous workout accounts where fit girls share mirror selfies. This can sometimes become hard to look at. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others, whether it's at the gym or through social media. We are our biggest critic, but we should be uplifting each other, not comparing ourselves.

Courtesy: Giphy

Of course, gathering this confidence doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time. But, with lots of practice, you’ll be lifting weights like a pro and walking around the gym like a total badass. If you’re still not comfortable with lifting weights, try HIIT, a high-intensity interval training workout that targets burning fat and muscle building without weights! And if anyone gives you a look or makes a comment, just ask them, “do you even lift, bro?”