Why Women Lift: Is training with light weights better than heavy weights for women?
Debunking popular myths regarding women and lifting heavy.
We asked our female clients and trainers: Is training with light weights better than heavy weights for women?
Here’s what they had to say.
“I believe in quality over quantity. If you’re lifting heavier, but are not focusing on the form, it can cause more harm to your body. It is very important at all times to listen to your body. At the same time, if you’re only sticking to lighter weights and not progressing you will never get to make the adaptations needed to become stronger and have a more lean physique.” Premi Streram, Dentist
“Lots of women around me have started to lift, and it’s so empowering to see. The perception that weightlifting is only for men is outdated and sexist, and has no place in society (and at Level!).” – Jasmine Chan, Lawyer
“It depends on your goals. More specifically, it depends on whether you want to work on endurance strength or explosive strength, because the weight that you use does affect the type of muscle fibres being recruited when you lift. Our muscles are made up of two types of muscle fibres- slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Lifting heavy weights recruit fast-twitch fibres which taps into your fat stores in your body for energy, working directly on your muscle-growth and fat-burning hormones, compared to lifting light weights.
For my own training routine, I do a mix of heavy weights/low reps and lighter weights/high reps just to benefit from a variety of muscles fibres being recruited and to continually challenge myself beyond my comfort zone.” – Sharlynn Ooi, Trainer at Level
“Taking genetics out of this equation; strength training doesn’t make you bulky, eating excessively does.
If you eat well, sleep well and maintain a balance lifestyle while lifting; you will feel strong, your energy levels will increase and you will look more lean.
If your lifestyle and food intake are not optimal, your strength training will suffer and that can change how you feel, your reaction to the training (energy levels and injuries) and look aesthetically.
When in doubt, speak to your coach about how to properly incorporate strength training into your training routine.” – Bronwen Appel, Trainer at Level
“It’s always important to understand why you’re lifting the weight you’re lifting.You may wish to go light to hone your technique, but increase the weight to improve your strength. There have been countless times where Coach John has asked me to reduce the weight for a new technique, which then ultimately allowed me to lift heavier. Heavy doesn’t always mean better!” – Suraya Shulhameed, Tax Lead
““If you compare 1kg weighted pulses for one minute vs a set of 10kg shoulder presses – you will build more muscle and definition with the latter.
I have continued to lift heavy while pregnant, though I have scaled back the weight. For example, instead of doing a 1 rep max 80kg back squat, I now do 5×5 55kg back squats because I know that my goal is not to push for a PR, but to keep myself fit enough to have a healthy pregnancy and a smooth labour.” – Evadne Woon, Trainer at Level
Read More of our Blog Posts
We asked our female clients and trainers: What would you say to a woman who’s afraid to lift heavy? Here’s what they had to say.
We asked our female clients and trainers: What are the benefits of lifting weights for women? Here’s what they had to say.
We asked our female clients and trainers: is aerobic exercise more effective than resistance training (for burning fat)? Here’s what they had to say.
We asked our female clients and trainers: will you get bulky lifting weights? Here’s what they had to say.
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