Benefits of Strength Training for Women
When people want to lose weight, they tend to believe in long-enduring sessions on the treadmills, especially women. A common misconception that women have is strength training will make you bulky, but I am walking testimony to the contrary. The heavier I lift, the leaner I get. I have tried to get intentionally bulky and have found that it is determined by how I eat.
There are so many benefits to strength that many women are missing out on the fear of looking like men. But there are many more benefits to strength training before heading to the treadmill to achieve your goals.
Strength training enhances:
Your metabolism is the chemical reaction your body goes through to change food to energy. Your body needs energy to function, and metabolism is the process that provides you the energy. The more muscle or body composition you have, the more calories you burn. 
Strength training is more effective because you continually burn calories after your weight training session. Building muscle is an effective way to burn calories, so strength training is encouraged in adult fitness programs, specifically if the goal is to lose weight and fat. For women’s weight, training can increase your resting metabolism or convert food to energy by 4%. 
Research shows that you continue to burn calories for up to 72 hours, depending on the variables of your strength training session.  The more intense the strength training, the longer the calorie burn.
There is a difference between weight loss and fat loss. You can quickly lose weight by skipping meals or going to the bathroom. Fat loss is a little harder to achieve without strength training. Fat loss can be achieved during strength training by the intensity of the workout. It creates a hormonal response that allows your body to utilize fat to build muscle. Changing variables like high intensity and short rest periods have an essential effect on your EPOC, which is exercise post-oxygen consumption, also known as the after-burn. 
There is a common misconception that muscle weighs less than fat, but that is not the case. Muscle weighs identical amounts to fat, but it just occupies less space. So the more muscle you have compared to fat, the leaner you look. Many of my clients are shocked at the difference they look at their goal weight when they include strength training. You may weigh a certain number on the scale, but if your muscle occupies less space than your fat, it may manifest in smaller pants size and a leaner look. People are often shocked when I disclose my weight because I don’t look like I weigh 136 pounds, but I do. I also have lower body fat, which looks different.
Strength training has been proven to help with brain health and power in older adults. A study by the Journal of American Geriatrics concluded that women ages 55 through 86 who strength trained twice a week improved their cognitive test scores compared to women ages 55 to 86 who had a decline in cognitive testing. Building strength increases oxygen and blood flow related to the brain, which has been correlated to improving cognitive skills.
There has also been a finding that regular strength training reduces inflammation, stimulates hormones, and also increases the building of blood vessels in the brain. Many people also feel more brain clarity and memory improvement when they have regular strength training in their workout routine. It helps build your aesthetic muscle and muscles like the heart, which positively affects the brain.
Strength training has decreased your heart disease risk, lowered your blood pressure, and helped with metabolic diseases like diabetes.  A study that was done on a group of women ages ranging from 47-93 concluded that women who strength trained twice a week decreased their risk reduction of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease by 17% compared to women who did not include muscle strength training in at least 150 minutes of their weekly activity. Strength training does not only include working out at the gym. There are a variety of ways that you can train. Women who strength train typically have lower blood pressure than those who do not have strength training.
Women who train strength help build bone density, which is vital as we age. Adding weight-bearing exercises to your workout causes stressors to our bones, which gives our body the signal that it needs to adapt and increase bone density. Older women who do not have strength training tend to develop diseases like osteoporosis. Think of it like this: when your muscle contracts, it pulls on the bone to support your muscles. When your body signals the added stressors, significant if you continually challenge yourself. Your body will build more bone to accommodate the stress. I often tell my clients the purpose of their bodies is to adapt to keep them alive. Stress or failure is a good thing because it signals to your body that it needs to change.
Our muscles and our bones hold us up. Weak muscles cannot hold the weight of your body as effectively and may cause poor posture. Many of my clients are office workers or sit and work the front of their body more than the posterior or back. A common issue that I find is hunched shoulders and tight hips. We can usually correct these muscle imbalances through strength training by training the upper back and glute muscles. My clients show improvement in balance, posture, and confidence through various forms of strength exercise.
As we age, our muscles naturally deteriorate, known as sarcopenia. By ongoing strength training, you can slow down the process of muscle loss by maintaining or producing muscle growth. The other benefits of exercise include decreased heart disease risk, high blood pressure heart disease, and better posture, balance, and coordination to help reduce injury. Collectively these benefits allow us to age well. My personal goal is to be the fittest seventy-year-old woman in the world. I plan on utilizing the benefits of strength training to help me reach my goal. I would also encourage you to strength train for your future self and not just for aesthetic purposes. The confidence and abilities you gain from building muscles are worth it.
When adding strength training to your program, it may be best to seek a personal trainer to help you develop a program that will work for you. I am a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Personal Trainer, NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. I would love to set up a goal consult with you to help you with your goals. If not, check out my post on the Best Way to Strength Train to get a better idea.
1. Strength training: rationale for current guidelines for adult fitness programs.
Phys Sportsmed. 1997 Feb;25(2):44-63. doi: 10.3810/psm.1997.02.1137.PMID: 20086885