health and fitness

The Benefits of Lifting Heavy for Women

By: Rodney Harris, CPT, CWMS, CGI

Featuring: Judine St. Gerard, CPT, Nutrition Coach

I know what you are thinking, did he really just say women lifting heavy? I don’t want no bulky muscles! Yes, I did, in fact I stand by it and of course you clicked this blog because you would like to know why you should be doing so. Whether your goal is fat loss or gaining strength, every woman can benefit from lifting heavy so let’s dive into this more.

Let’s say I ask two women who have similar body types and fitness levels to run 20 yards with weighted bags on their backs. One woman puts five pounds on her back and the other woman puts 15 pounds on her back. Who do you think would cross the finish line first? Most likely the woman with 5 pounds on her back because the bag was lighter however, who do you think had to work harder to cross the finish line? The woman with 15 pounds on her back. Let’s also assume that the woman with 15 pounds on her back is a little stronger than the woman who carried 5 pounds which means she most likely has a more defined look and less body fat. The same concept is most likely true in the gym or your fitness center. Some women are intimidated by lifting heavy so if you ever see a woman in the gym that can lift heavy just check her out she probably has a pretty good looking physique. So how can lifting heavier weights help you the reader?

Lifting heavy challenges your body and stimulates more muscle growth while also promoting fat loss. My featured model Judine St. Gerard who is also a Personal Trainer and a Nutrition Coach explains it best; “the more muscle you have in board the more calories you burn at rest because muscle it’s more metabolically active than fat; thus increasing muscle mass increases the efficiency of your metabolism which in turn allows you to burn fat and lose weight.” Ladies its true you have to work harder to lose body fat and build muscle because you don’t have the testosterone levels men have in order to build muscle. Women also naturally tend to have percentage of body fat storage than men due to the fact that women at some point may nourish a fetus and then a baby therefore requiring more stored energy. However this doesn’t mean we are advocating that you have the muscle mass of a man in order to lose fat but you do have muscle in your body and the stronger your muscles are, the better it will be for you in the long run. So now what is considered heavy weight?


Anywhere from 6-12 rep range can be considered a heavy weight however if you are new to weight training and you have never gone over 5 pounds, then that can be considered a heavy weight as well. If you can only do between 6-12 reps for a particular exercise like a seated back row, it’s best to make sure your form is good before increasing weight. So this doesn’t mean lift the heaviest thing without proper form because you still need proper form as well as a solid diet to complement your hard work you are putting in the gym. After you are able to perform an exercise for more than 15 reps to 20 repetitions, that weight is considered light which means you can perform the same exercise with a heavier weight. Please also consider that you are getting stronger and so are your muscles and bones and joints by lifting heavier which will benefit you later in life as well!

Judine is a living testament to this form of training. Below is before and after pic of Judine and as you see she has benefited from a strong weight training regimen. On the far left picture she was slim but hardly any definition and as we move to the right we see what a solid weight training regimen and diet can do.


Before (Left) and After (Middle and Right Photo) Transformation

The other picture below is of one of my clients Joanna Briley


Before (Left) and After (Right)

Joanna wanted to lose body fat, we trained 3 days a week strictly weight training and she lost tons of fat in a short amount of time! So ladies again, whether you want to lose fat or build up, make sure you challenge your body and you will be seeing results in no time.

So in conclusion, remember this ladies, you are trying to make a change within your body and the only way it will change is if you force it to by challenging every muscle.

If you are looking to get in contact with Judine her information will be placed below. Remember Ladies, Lift Heavy!


Judine Performing Squats with Hoover Ball

Judine St. Gerard Contact Information

Location: Boston, MA


Instagram: @JudineStGerard

Photos of Judine By: Jaycee Breuer

Location: Boston. MA


Instagram: @Jayceerenee

Rodney Harris Contact Information


Instagram: @Kingrod_thetrainer

Facebook: King Rod The Trainer

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