Personal Health

Strength Training for Women

By Megan Haverty, Exercise Physiologist & World Champion Powerlifter at Personal Health – Medical Exercise Clinic

I’m sure you’ve seen someone showing off their ‘guns’ in the gym on your Instagram feed. But many years ago when I first started strength training, fewer females were exploring this area. Now, the scale is tipping towards balance with more and more ladies making ground-breaking gains. Strength training is beneficial for both genders but let’s dive into why women can reap the benefits!

Metabolic Regulation

Muscle is more calorically expensive to run than fat. Therefore by having higher muscle mass, you can have a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR). That means more calories burned at rest. Following a strength session, your body can have an increase in metabolism for up to 36 hours. Consistent training will develop a higher muscle-to-fat ratio resulting in a higher RMR.

Now not every woman wants to have huge muscles and look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, females do not possess abundant levels of testosterone. This hormone is crucial for muscle building and also contributes to maintaining body fat. As such strength training is even more important for us to maintain muscle mass and function particularly as we age.

Bone Health

Gender disparities extend to bone development, with women’s estrogen levels causing growth plates in bones to close earlier than in men. On average, girls’ bones will be completely formed by the age of 18 as opposed to boys which will be at the age of 21. Moreover, men generally have larger, longer, and denser bones due to human growth hormones. As such, women face a higher risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

A review carried out in 2023 compared 50 research trials which found that not only did strength training enhance bone and body strength in individuals with osteoporosis but it also improved their balance and reduced fall rates. Integrating resistance training as part of a female’s week has significant potential to reduce the risks surrounding osteoporosis.


More and more research is emerging to demonstrate that strength training can boost immune function and reduce the risk of cancer. Regular exercise helps promote the body’s response to environmentally found estrogens which can increase the risk for breast cancer in women. By placing stimulus on the muscles through strength training, this induces the body’s response to neutrophils and macrophages helping our anti-inflammatory reactions.

Mental Health

If the physical benefits aren’t enough then reap the benefits when it comes to your mental health. Not only is it time that is for YOU! It releases endorphins which are a feel-good hormone. Studies also show that strength training regularly can help with reducing anxiety. Training is even more fun when you have a friend with you. Why not tag along in a gym session or invite them to join you for a pump?

Depending on your goals, you can strength train for muscular hypertrophy, strength, endurance, power or just to feel good! You’ll find a beginner, intermediate and advanced strength training program to suit anyone.

Not sure how to go about strength training? You can book a strength session or join our women’s STRONG class with Megan Haverty on our website here or call 01 496 4002.


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