5 Reasons Women Should Not Lift Weights

Kelly Coffey

Ladies, think hard before picking up those weights….

Should women lift weights? 1 Not necessarily. Weightlifting (and, more generally, strength training) isn’t for everyone. There are a few ‘pros’ to lifting weights, 2 but it’s important to consider the ‘cons’ before committing to any strength training program.

Before you start counting reps and sets, consider these questions: 

  1. Can you tolerate cravings for healthier food?

Lifting weights has been known to inspire cravings for whole, natural protein and other nourishing food, because the body prefers to build muscle with quality materials. Want to keep craving cheap crap? Lifting might not be the best choice.

  1. Is it worth struggling to stay up late?

Weight lifting burns tons of energy (referred to in certain circles as ‘calories’). Once that energy is spent, it can be a challenge to stay up past the body’s natural sleep time. Late-night party-ers, all-night internet-ers, and anyone experimenting with sleep deprivation should leave weightlifting to gals with more free time.

  1. Are you willing to squeeze into a size 8?

The cumulative impact of consistent weight lifting, eating well, and sleeping well is to drop excess fat, but beware! Many lifters discover they can’t comfortably wear rigid fashions in their size, because they’re usually cut for bodies carrying little-to-no discernible muscle. 3 Unless you’re willing to wear clothes that accommodate strong bodies, 4 best leave the weights to the menfolk.

  1. Is it worth upsetting Uncle Al?

Unless someone appreciates the incredible lengths to which professional female body builders go to get “bulky,” news that you’re lifting weights may win you a “You’re not gonna get big and mannish, are you?” No, you’re not, but you will develop muscle contour, 5an idea your kin may find unsettling. If Uncle Al’s absurd, misogynistic ideas about how the female body should look and what it should do factor heavily into your decision-making, weight training probably isn’t the way to go.

  1. Do you have two more minutes to spend in the shower?

If you lift weights, you will develop muscle contour everywhere – including in your armpits. This’ll make it tricky to achieve a perfectly clean underarm shave. 6 If you have a strict morning routine, and are dedicated to shaving your pits smooth as a baby’s butt, weightlifting probably isn’t for you.

Don’t just follow the herd, Ladies. Know what you’re committing to before you get anywhere near a barbell.

Getting on my mailing list would be a strong choice.



  1. When I say ‘weights’ I mean ‘heavy weights.’ The heavier the better.
  2. ’Pros’ include being stronger, healthier, fitter, happier, more attractive, more confident, more capable, and living longer with a higher quality of life.
  3. For instance, slacks that fit well in the waist may be tight across a firm, shapely butt, or a little snug around svelte, contoured thighs. Eek!
  4. Like skirts, stretchy pants and other move-with-you garments donned by many a fit fashionista.
  5. Known in some circles as ‘tone’ or ‘definition.’
  6. You know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Showing 27 comments
  • Denise Finocchio

    How about that it also strengthens bones to reduce osteoporosis in aging woman. Side effect you probably won’t break bones or get shorter as you age or need meds!

    • Celina

      Cool! That’s a clever way of lokinog at it!

  • Liz

    Is this a joke? Seriously… lifting increases bone density, maximizes fat loss, boosts metabolism, adds variety to a boring cardio-based training program and gives women the sexy curves they want. No, you will not be “mannish” (that includes armpits) because you do not produce enough testosterone to get that way, yes your clothes will fit differently because your body will change and you will lose weight, and just like other activities it gives you energy, if you are so concerned about pulling an all nigher and screwing up your body clock. Also, what’s wrong with craving wholesome food? Cravings are about willpower and proper nutrition , not what you do in the gym. Finally, some of the “most attractive ” athletes and fit models out there right now happen to be women that lift. So if a guy is actually threatened by a woman in the weight room, he’s got his own problems. Just do your research, ask questions, and do all you can do avoid injury.

    • Toria

      Wooosh!! that went right over your head!!..

    • Theresa

      Errrmmm yes, Liz, it WAS a joke! 🤔😑😂

  • Liz

    Sorry, I didn’t realize it was supposed to be sarcasm! I took the article wayyy too seriously 😉

    • Coffey

      Yes…I’m glad you ultimately came to that conclusion.

  • Jennifer Schoenborn

    Fantastic!! Love this, although I will admit I initially thought it to be some anti-feminist rant and was prepared to be suitably indignant . ..thank you for the smile 🙂

  • Beth

    Coffey- you crack me up! I’m Blog binging today…….it’s a Coffey Marathon…….am inspired, moved to tears, and now giggling… beats MB’s any day!

    • Kelly Coffey

      Go, Beth, Go! A remember – there’s a Share button! 🙂

  • Kasey

    Haha, so that’s why I struggle with shaving my pits!! Every time I seriously wonder if every woman has such a hard time. Now I know it’s because I’m wicked strong!
    Thanks for the great blog!

    • Kelly Coffey

      It’s true! Women who don’t lift just can’t appreciate the depths to which we must go to get a clean shave. Literally.

  • Krysta

    This article ROCKS!! At first I was like, “Hmm… 5 Reasons NOT(?) to lift weights” but I knew there had to be a “catch”… I LOVE IT?! It’s so true, we tend to talk ourselves out of doing things because of fear of the unknown and what we hear in society. “Women who lift weights are bulky and mannish.” “Women are meant to look like Barbie dolls, not Ken!” Blah, blah, blah! I love you’re take on this Coffey!

    • Kelly Coffey

      Thanks, Krysta!

  • Rena

    I first read your “5 things” article on MindBodyGreen, and although I could relate to it only partly (I have lost only 20 pounds, which was a great challenge to me but cannot compare to your experience) I really liked your honest writing. It made me read more of your articles and many of your thoughts resonated with me. This is how I got to your blog. When I saw the title of this one I thought “What tha..?”, especially seeing your crazy toned back in the picture. Now, I think this is my favorite piece from you so far – so smart and funny! Is there a way to sign up for your blog posts?

  • Melinda

    I loved this, and I must say initially I was like, wow she must know some research out there that I have never heard or seen…and then, well not so much.
    Its a great piece, and quite inspiring!
    Thank you KC!!

    • Kelly Coffey

      My pleasure! 🙂

  • s

    Finally a piece that doesn’t talk only about how much cardio you need to do if you wonna lose weight. I’m fed up with cycling and running. Plus, lifting makes me feel strong, which is exactly what I need these days.

  • Peggy

    What? I’m not supposed to be on the internet all night? Won’t the owls be lonely without me?

    • Kelly Coffey


  • Kerry

    Considering I’ve not shaved in decades, I think I can handle #5! But, I’ll stay that extra 2 minutes to let the hot water sooth my aching muscles from lifting!

  • Janet

    Ha, the “big and mannish” cracks me up. It’s amazing that people still believe that, but they do! Funny article.


    I thought for sure # 4 was going to be my favorite as nothing ever fits me in the shoulders & back (back day is my fav!). But then I read #5 about the extra time needed to shave the armpits and that had me howling. I had a breast lift & augmentation about a year ago, following an arm lift and everything has changed so much in that area that it’s almost impossible to shave my arm pits. I thought I was the only one. But I’m not complaining. After losing 100+ lbs and treating myself to a little plastic surgery, I’m cool with a few extra minutes in the shower.

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