Common Barriers for Women Getting into Weightlifting or Bodybuilding

How Women Can Build Muscle, Train with Weights, and Lose Body Fat Naturally

When strength and self-assurance are often overshadowed by stereotypes and misconceptions, women in bodybuilding have paved the way for a new era of empowerment. They’ve not only sculpted their bodies but also reshaped our understanding of femininity, strength, and determination. But let’s face it, the path to building muscle naturally and embarking on a fat loss journey can be daunting, especially when faced with various barriers and doubts. So, I’ll break down these hurdles and unveil the keys to success, from the perspective of a woman who’s living and succeeding in this world.

Lack of knowledge on what to do & eat.

Many women are unfamiliar with proper weightlifting techniques, training programs, and nutrition plans. This lack of knowledge can be a barrier to getting started.

To be fair, many adults in general are not educated in simple nutrition that encourages health, longevity and optimum performance physically and mentally, and they rely on quick fixes or processed foods. It may save you time now, but long term this will cause more harm than good and could even take years off your life through poor health, as well as cause issues down the line in later life.

There’s a misconception that to lose body fat all you can eat is plain boring chicken & rice; this isn’t true. The best investment I made was my Speedi Ninja cooker; it enables me to prepare food healthily and quickly.

Inaccessibility: Finding the Right Place to Train

For some, the fear of stepping into a gym can be paralysing. The gym environment, with its heavy weights and complex machinery, can appear intimidating. The good news is that there’s no need to be apprehensive. Many gyms in my local area are welcoming and supportive environments. Gyms like Muscle Fusion, Ultra Flex, Muscle Unit, and House of Gain (to name just a few) provide an atmosphere and support network for women to thrive in.

If that confidence to step over the threshold just isn’t there for you and a more personal approach appeals to you, then consider Action4Health for personalised plans or join group sessions at Barnsley Barbell. And for those seeking privacy, private gyms like B Strong in Mexborough and Train on Top at Fight Unit in Mapplewell offer specialised services. Remember, your fitness journey should feel comfortable, not daunting. The more comfortable you are, the better your journey will be.

Financial Barriers: Navigating the Cost

Finances can be a significant roadblock. Gym memberships, personal trainers, and nutrition supplements can add up. However, don’t let budget constraints deter you. You can explore home workouts, which are cost-effective and can provide a solid foundation to your bodybuilding journey that in turn may evolve into a regular gym session.

If gym access is within your means, remember that it’s not just a place to exercise but also a hub of motivation and encouragement. Many gyms foster positive and protective environments where you can find support from fellow fitness enthusiasts. The camaraderie is often worth the investment.

Body Image Issues: Conquering Self-Doubt

Body image concerns often plague individuals, causing them to hesitate before beginning their fitness journey. However, take it from me that at the end of any workout you’re going to be left with a sense of accomplishment and an energetic spirit. Exercise can work wonders not only for your physique but also for your self-esteem and mental health. Embrace the feeling of accomplishment that exercise brings.

Finding inspiration to begin bodybuilding

Historically, weightlifting and bodybuilding have been male-dominated realms. The scarcity of female role models has deterred many women from entering these domains. Fortunately, the meteoric rise of social media has massively challenged this status quo. Today, women from all walks of life proudly share their fitness journeys online, offering inspiration and guidance to others, encouraging them to begin their own fitness journeys without fear or hesitation. 

Setting Realistic Expectations

One of the most pervasive misconceptions is the timeline that’s involved in building muscle and achieving your desired physique. Understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s essential to set realistic expectations and go into your journey with the right mindset.

Tips for Starting Your Fitness Journey

Here are some of my expert tips to consider when you’re thinking about getting on the road to becoming a female natural bodybuilder.

  1. Avoid Harmful Oils: Be cautious of seed oils like rapeseed and sunflower oil, which can be inflammatory and carcinogenic. Check ingredient labels diligently.
  2. Seek Professional Guidance: Consider working with certified professionals like nutritionists, personal trainers, or dieticians specialising in fitness. They can provide personalised advice.
  3. Patience is Key: Understand that progress takes time. Don’t be discouraged by slow results or occasional setbacks.
  4. Balanced Nutrition: Focus on a well-rounded diet that includes lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Proper nutrition is crucial for muscle growth and fat loss.
  5. Lift Heavier: Don’t shy away from lifting weights. Progressive overload, gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts, is vital for muscle development.
  6. Moderate Cardio: While low-intensity cardio has its place, excessive cardio can burn muscle. Balance your cardio routine with strength training.
  7. Set Clear Goals: Define your fitness goals specifically, make them measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  8. Track Your Progress: Keep a workout journal, monitor your nutrition, and take photos to measure your progress accurately.
  9. Rest and Recovery: Allow your body to recover between workouts. Muscles grow during rest.
  10. Stay Hydrated and Prioritise Sleep: Proper hydration and quality sleep are essential for overall health and recovery.
  11. Manage Stress: High stress levels can hinder your progress. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your routine.
  12. Consistency is Key: Stay consistent with your workout and nutrition plan over the long term.

Remember that everyone’s fitness journey is unique. Listen to your body, adjust as needed, and stay focused on your progress. Your commitment, patience, and dedication will be your greatest allies on your path to building muscle and achieving your fitness goals.

Vision, focus, achieve. You can do it.

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Do you have a photography studio?

Yes. Our professional studio is in Barnsley, Yorkshire. With a variety of quality backdrops and staging equipment combined with expert lighting, we are all set to capture your brand’s story.

Can you travel to us?

Yes. We also love to work on location and come to your offices.

What areas do you cover?

We mostly work locally in Yorkshire, but we also cover the rest of the UK and internationally.

Can you arrange models for our photoshoot?

Yes. We are happy to source models.

Can you remove background on a photo?

Yes. We are experienced in ‘clipping’ images and removing backgrounds for a clean finish.

Can you provide video?

No. But, we work with a handful of excellent local videographers. We are happy to recommend any of them to you.

Can you provide graphic design?

No. But we work with some talented local graphic designers. We are happy to recommend any of them to you.

Can you source a makeup artist?

Yes. We are more than happy to recommend trusted makeup artists and also assist with the booking.


You choose the location for your fitness photo shoot, and Collette is happy to assist you with your choice.

Our Private Studio Gym

Many of our fitness clients prefer to come to Picture Perfect Photography’s small, private gym and studio in Yorkshire. This private area, reserved exclusively for fitness photography, contains all the gym and studio equipment required for a professional photo shoot. This location allows you to showcase your physique away from the spectators you may find in public gyms.
Professional backdrops are readily available too for a more commercial fitness studio look.

Public Gyms & Other Locations

If you prefer a larger space with a bit more variety, we have use of many local South Yorkshire gyms and locations. We can also travel to other locations including Manchester, Leeds, London & Surrey.

Our Creative Studio Suite

In our private studio space near Yorkshire Sculpture Park, we put the finishing touches to your photographs. We have professional backdrops for a more commercial fitness studio look and can also create composite images. Our retouchers will work on your fitness photographs to create images that are unique and personalised to you. For this, you can choose any backdrop you want. Enquire about your perfect fitness shoot location here.


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