Written by Veronica Dobson, Pryme Contributor

Today is the day you’re going to kick your intimidation to the curb, and finally make your way to the weightlifting section of the gym. It’s time. I know what you’re thinking, “but, I have no idea what to do with a free weight!” That’s okay, we all have to start somewhere.

Weightlifting will change your life in ways cardio never will. For some women, it’s the pleasure of no longer needing to ask someone else to loosen a tight jar lid. For others, it’s the joy of lifting a heavy box without needing to ask her partner for help. As your physical strength increases, so too will your mental strength and clarity. Weightlifting is a proven method to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety. With the right guidance, it will lead you to having curves in all the right places. It will start to tighten and tone all your, “trouble areas,” in a way cardio never can. Most importantly, there is nothing more powerful than a woman tapping into her own physical strength.

Long gone are the days of us prancing around in leotards, doing jazzercise to be fit. If you haven’t picked up on it yet, let me be the one to tell you, cardio is never going to give you the tone and tightness you seek. Adding weighted exercises to your cardio routine is going to turn you into a fat-burning machine, in and out of the gym. Contrary to popular belief, high metabolisms aren’t reserved for the under 30 crowd. Do you want the power to have a more flexible diet? Pick up those weights, sister.

I can practically hear your concern from my desk, “but, I don’t want to get bulky and look mannish.” Please, allow me to ease your irrational fear of becoming the, She-Hulk, after a few months of weightlifting. No one gets bulky muscles by accident, especially women. It’s incredibly challenging for women to bulk up the way men do. It takes an extremely intense and regimented training routine, diet, and years of dedication. It takes purposeful action. The average gym-goer will never need to worry herself with Hulking out by chance, it’s simply not possible. You have to pick up heavier weights to render results. Don’t be afraid!

I must also be transparent and tell you, weightlifting will slightly raise your testosterone levels. What does this mean for you? It doesn’t mean chin stubble and a voice drop, it does, however, mean an increased libido. Yes, hitting the iron can improve your sex life. Are you ready to run to the gym now?

It’s important you know what you’re doing once you decide to start adding resistance training into your weekly workout routine. There are a number of different ways to make sure you’re doing the correct exercises to render the results you desire. The first, and I believe, most useful is to hire a personal trainer. You may only train with them for a few sessions, but they will be able to show you what exercises to do, and how to do them correctly. Form and technique are imperative when it comes to seeing (and feeling) results. You also need to protect yourself from injury. You may find you prefer working with a trainer, and decide to stick with them long-term. Otherwise, leverage your time with them, take notes, listen carefully, and then go frolic alone to the weights and dominate like the boss you are.

Another great resource is the Internet. There are thousands of resources at your fingertips for learning how to weight train. Have you been on Pinterest today? Pause your recipe search for a moment and search for strength training routines instead. Go ahead, I’ll wait. You’ll be shocked and awed at how many easy, step-by-step articles come up for your viewing pleasure.

Now, go forth and lift those weights you strong, beautiful woman, you. I can’t wait to see how powerful you become as you begin tapping into your true outer strength. Start pushing your fitness boundaries and show yourself what you’re really made of. I believe in you!