Why women should lift

6 min read
17 Mar 2017
6 min read
740 words
Breaking the stereotype in Nepali culture that women could not and should not be lifting, here are some tips and suggestion of Sandhya Shrestha

Preparation for the big day 

Squats have always been a part of Shrestha’s usual workout, but she pushed herself extra hard and dedicated a month to prepare for the big day. “I consulted my trainer and set a personal target for myself,” she says. “Once that was done, I increased my calorie intake to boost my endurance.” Shrestha also says that it was equally, if not even more, important to be mentally prepared. She says that it is imperative that you are sure about what you know you can achieve.

Lifting and women 

As far as I can remember, women gym members have this idea that lifting is not meant for them since it leads to a bulky, masculine physique. Despite all trainers debunking this, many still have this misconception. But, says Lama, female hormones do not support muscle growth like male hormones do. Instead, lifting is always the best option among workouts, and it will aid in toning your body to a fitter and sexier you. “The weight gain that you experience? It is neither caused by the lifting nor by stopping your gym workouts. People should note that diet is the primary factor, and that should be controlled to avoid weight gain,” says Shrestha.

Expert Tip: The best combination for body toning is light weights and heavy reps


Shrestha agrees that lifting is difficult, but you need to believe in yourself, and practice is very important. Her suggestions: 

  • Stretching is essential, so make sure that you do that before you start. 
  • Before you start with your squats, talk to your trainer. Get your posture correct since most injuries are caused by incorrect form. 
  • Be conscious of your breathing technique. Inhale and hold your breath as you go down and exhale as you return to your starting position.
  • To improve your strength and endurance, make sure that you properly plan your diet.


Lama says that despite the hindrances that women who want to get fit have to overcome, such as family obligations coming in the way of workout times and lack of qualified professionals, many women athletes are gradually being recognised for their talent, and we can see many of them performing on international platforms. “It’s never too late to start taking control of your diet, body and workout,” he says.

According to Shrestha, beginners should do these:

  • Choose an appropriate outfit. Make sure that you wear comfortable clothes, and never forget your personal towel and a water bottle. 
  • Warming up is a must. Start off with a little cardio before increasing the intensity of your exercise. 
  • Never hesitate to ask your trainer for help.

Expert's fitness mantra

  • Lama: The key to being successful in your fitness goals is to always remain positive.
  • Shrestha: Exercise to be fit, and not skinny. Measure your muscle and fat ratio, and not just your weight.

Sandhya Shrestha was the 1st Runner-up at the Mr Kathmandu and Ladies Fitness 2016 competition and is a Fitness and Zumba Instructor at Shapes 2.