If someone was only willing to do one type of exercise and asked me what my recommendation would be, my answer would be resistance training, no question. It has the highest ROI by far: it builds strength, which is vital; it builds lean tissue, which is also vital; it significantly reduces the chance of acute or long term injury; it increases fat loss (albeit slightly); it actually builds cardiovascular fitness as well; and it’s the only real way to change the shape of your body in specific ways.
Men generally don’t need convincing to lift weights – pretty much every young dude wants to get jacked.
But women often do, and while it’s great that more women are lifting than ever, many still shy away from it out of a fear of inadvertently masculizing themselves. And it’s too bad because there are benefits of resistance training that are particularly important for women such as maintaining bone density.
If you happen to be one of said women, maybe you’re afraid of turning into this:
Spoiler alert: you won’t, not even close, even if you wanted to and tried your absolute hardest. The main reason being that she (Betty Pariso) is a world class bodybuilder who, in addition to training as a full time job, is utilizing a potent cocktail of performance enhancing drugs.
Here’s another woman for your consideration:
That’s Gabrielle Tucker, a record setting powerlifter that can lift more than most men can and is not (as far as I know) using peds. Visibly muscular in a progress pic, sure, but not at all bulky. You’d hardly notice her in passing wearing street clothes. Here she is again looking like a very average woman wearing a jacket:
She is a world class strength athlete who obviously trains hard, yet she remains a pretty average weight of ~120 lbs for a 5’5″ woman. Suffice to say that an ordinary Jane Doe gym goer will never wind up accidentally looking like the incredible hulk.
(On a quick digression, I don’t at all mean to imply that there’s anything wrong with looking bulky or any other way. Your body is your business.)
Not only will lifting not make women look manly, it can actually help them look more feminine in traditionally popular ways. Check out the testimonial page of Brett Contreras, the so called “glute guy” who specializes in helping women work on their rumps.
The main point in closing: resistance training is a great and high ROI activity for anyone of any gender to do, for so many different reasons. And if any of you, women or otherwise, gets shit for doing it you can tell them Pete says to fuck right on off.