Kudos for getting started with a weightlifting routine. This type of exercise helps you look toned and healthy, but has the added benefit of protecting your bones, controlling your weight and increasing your endurance. Women who lift weights might also be able to concentrate better. Several factors play a role in how long it'll be before you see results, but you might be surprised at how quickly you, and others, will see progress.
You might assume that more is better when it comes to lifting weights. This is a common misconception that many women have when they enter the weight room. MayoClinic.com recommends two or three 20- to 30-minute strength-training sessions each week for results in a short time period. This is more practical for busy women, who juggle a career and family with time for exercise. If you have more time to devote to weight training, it might speed your results, but it could also increase the risk of overuse injuries.
It is important to choose the correct weight size for your current abilities. Too much or too little weight can hinder your progress. A good rule of thumb is to pick a pound load that allows you to complete 12 repetitions of a given exercise without compromising your form. The last couple of reps might be difficult, however. If you can do this with ease, you likely need a heavier set of weights. If your form suffers or you can't squeeze out the last couple of reps, you probably have weights that are too heavy. Don't despair if you have to start small. As you get stronger, you can increase the size of your weights.
Contrary to popular belief, you aren't actually making your muscles bigger during a workout. It is when your muscles are at rest that they gain in size. When you lift weights, your muscles get tiny tears in them. During recovery, your body works to repair the damage, which is what increases your muscle mass. This makes it vital to take a rest day between each weightlifting session to optimize the speed of your results.
In general, women can expect to start seeing results in about three weeks, according to MayoClinic.com. This is true for women who stick to the recommended strength-training guidelines. Don't get discouraged if you need more time because each woman develops at a different rate. Once you start seeing definition in your muscles, add additional sets to your routine and increase the pound load of your weights. This will keep your progress on track and ensure that you continue seeing growth and development in your muscles.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.