12/11/2014 01:00 pm ET Updated Feb 08, 2015

5 Reasons Women Should Not Lift Weights

Should women lift weights? Not necessarily. Weightlifting (and, more generally, strength training) isn't for everyone. There are a few 'pros' to lifting weights, but it's important to consider the 'cons' before committing to any strength training program.

Before you start counting reps and sets, consider these questions:

1. Can you tolerate cravings for healthier food?
Lifting weights has been known to inspire cravings for whole, natural protein and other nourishing food, because the body prefers to build muscle with quality materials. Want to keep craving cheap crap? Lifting may not be your best option.

2. Is it worth struggling to stay up late?
Weight lifting burns tons of energy (referred to in certain circles as 'calories'). Once that energy is spent, it can be a challenge to stay up past the body's natural sleep time. Late-night party-ers, all-night internet-ers, and anyone experimenting with sleep deprivation should probably leave weightlifting to gals with more free time.

3. Are you willing to squeeze into a size 8?
The cumulative impact of consistent weight lifting, eating well, and sleeping well is to drop excess fat, but beware! Many lifters discover they can't comfortably wear rigid fashions in their size, because those styles are usually cut for bodies carrying little-to-no discernible muscle. Unless you're willing to wear clothes that accommodate strong bodies, best leave the weights to the menfolk.

4. Is it worth upsetting Uncle Al?
Unless someone appreciates the incredible lengths to which professional female body builders go to get "bulky," news that you're lifting weights may win you a "You're not gonna get big and mannish, are you?" No, you're not, but you will develop muscle contour (referred to in certain circles as "tone" or "definition"), an idea your kin may find unsettling. If Uncle Al's misogynistic ideas about how the female body should look and what it should do factor heavily into your decision-making, weight training probably isn't the way to go.

5. Do you have two more minutes to spend in the shower?
If you lift weights, you will develop muscle contour everywhere - including in your armpits. This'll make it tricky to achieve a perfectly clean underarm shave. If you have a strict morning routine, and are dedicated to shaving your pits as smooth as a baby's butt, weightlifting might not be the way to go.

Don't just follow the herd, ladies. Know what you're committing to before you get anywhere near a barbell.

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