From pilates to Zumba, there are plenty of workouts available marketed specifically towards women.
These workouts are not necessarily bad, but there may be a better option available to you in the form of powerlifting.
Powerlifting is a sport where competitors try to lift the heaviest weight possible using three different lifts (the squat, bench press and deadlift).
In the past powerlifting was dominated by men, but more and more women are growing to love the sport.
Here are 14 reasons why women should try powerlifting:[toc]
Reason #1: You Will Build Strength
This may not be that much of a surprise, but training regularly with weights will build strength.
Most women opt for other activities when they are looking to get fit, such as yoga for example, which is great for flexibility, or Zumba, which is great for cardio.
Powerlifting though can help build strength throughout your entire body, just from three simple movements.
Reason #2: Increased Fat Burning Ability
To burn fat you need to be burning off more calories than you consume each day, powerlifting can help you with that.
Not only is it an intense form of exercise but building muscle also ensures you are able to burn off more calories than normal even while you are resting.
Research  has found that the more muscle mass your body holds the more calories you will burn.
A pound of muscle will burn between 7-10 calories daily, while a pound of fat only burns 2-3 daily calories.
This may not seem like a massive amount but it will add up over time.
Reason #3: Its A Full Body Workout
The three exercises used are all compound exercises, which means that they work more than one muscle group at a time.
Full-body workouts are great for those who are short of time as they will enable you to work your entire body without having to spend hours at the gym.
Reason #4: Better Posture
Good posture is important in powerlifting and you will be working on this posture to ensure you can hit those PR’s when lifting.
If you have a sedentary lifestyle then perhaps powerlifting will help.
Reason #5: It Is Empowering
Without knowing how far you are progressing towards your fitness goals can leave you feeling frustrated.
With powerlifting, it is easy to check that you are improving. That is because you are able to look at hard data.
When you first start powerlifting you may only be able to deadlift 50-70 pounds, but after a few months, your lift may have increased to almost 200 pounds.
Being able to see these figures improving will certainly leave you feeling more empowered and in charge of your own progress.
Reason #6: You Can Challenge Yourself
Whether you are setting PR’s or signing up for a powerlifting meet (competition) you will constantly be trying to get stronger.
The adrenaline rush you experience every time you see yourself improve will soon leave you addicted to the sport.
Reason #7: Competition
Sometimes a little friendly competition can help push you past your plateaus.
The powerlifting community is not a large one, and this means that the competition is not as cutthroat as other sports.
You can make friends for life and get fitter at the same time.
Reason #8: More Athletic Physique
Firstly, I personally think that you should train for other reasons ahead of your looks, but of course, if that is why you choose to train then good for you.
Unlike more traditional female exercise classes that are aimed at losing fat and making you smaller, powerlifting will build muscle, so will give you a more athletic physique.
So if you want to strong legs, a solid butt and sculpted shoulders and arms then perhaps it is time to consider powerlifting.
Reason #9: Your Relationship With Food Will Change
Rather than eating to lose weight, you will soon see a change in mentality when it comes to food.
You will soon start to stop worrying about how food affects your physique and instead will think of it more as fuel for pushing your body to new heights.
Reason #10: It Is Not As Boring As Cardio
Who wants to spend their time in the gym pounding away on the treadmill? I most certainly can’t think of anything much worse.
Chances are if you are spending your time at the gym entirely on cardio equipment then you are going to be spending a lot of the time staring ahead not interacting with anyone.
With powerlifting, the opposite is true. You will likely have a few of you interacting and encouraging each other while you lift.
Reason #11: Improved Bone Density
When your bones are put under pressure from the force of resistance training they will become stronger and will increase in density over time to withstand this extra load and force .
This increase in bone density will reduce the chance of you developing osteoporosis later on in life.
Reason #12: The Support
The powerlifting community is very supportive and is full of people who are knowledgable about the sport.
You won’t need to be intimidated as everyone will be supportive of your goals.
There is always someone available to help with your technique and form. The encouragement you will receive will also push you towards achieving results you wouldn’t have thought possible when you first started.
Reason #13: It Will Benefit Your Other Training
Whether you choose to continue with powerlifting or not, the strength you gain and the technique you learn will benefit your other training.
For example, if you now want to go back to a more aesthetic based training regime you will find you are able to lift heavier and with better endurance. So your one-rep-max can not be performed for reps.
Reason #14: You Can Start TODAY!
One of the best things about powerlifting is that you can start it without any specialist equipment, apart from what your gym already has.
Most gyms have access to a squat rack, a bench and barbell, and if they don’t then perhaps it is best you look for a different gym.
You don’t even need to be in shape to start powerlifting. With just a little instruction on how to perform the exercises using good form you can start almost immediately.
With powerlifting, you could potentially use it to build strength over a few months before using the gains you have made to apply them to other workouts. Or, you could stick with powerlifting if you catch the bug.
As you can see there are plenty of reasons why women should try powerlifting.
I would highly recommend you give it a go. You may not like it, but what’s the harm of trying?
Check it out for yourself and leave a comment below to tell us how you found it.