There are so many misconceptions about weight training. Many women stay as far away from dumbbells for fear of developing a body builder physique. Truth is, it takes a lot of hard work and training to become a body builder. I have never heard of anyone who accidentally gained that kind of muscle. Professional weight lifters are actually dedicating their life to getting that body. That’s not going to happen unless that’s what your intending to create.
That said, there are TONS of benefits to pumping iron a couple days a week. First off, you’ll maintain your lean muscle mass which tends to decrease with age. You’ll look toned all over. Your clothes will fit better. Your bones and joints will be stronger. You’ll gain strength and have the ability to push yourself harder.
I love weight training so much! I never used to do anything with weights, or if I did I didn’t use them properly so I never saw results. Now that I incorporate them into my workouts; my arms are super toned, my back is strong (thanks pushups!), and I actually can see my ab muscles.
I highly recommend doing some form of weights a couple days a week along with cardio. You’ll feel strong and look great!
Make sure you rest your muscles by not working the same muscle groups ever day. Ex: Doing arms and back one day and legs and chest the next.
Make sure you aren’t lifting too heavy or too light of weight. For women, doing lighter weight with higher reps (12-15 reps 2x) seems to work great. Still, if you are getting to your last rep and it feels too easy, it probably is. Just increase the weight slightly so that your muscles are getting the most from the exercise.
Also, enjoy a glass of chocolate milk post-workout! Makes for a great recovery drink.
Sample workouts for women (may require you to sign up for username)
Mayo clinic explains health benefits