Many women make a huge mistake when they step foot in the gym. They assume that heavy weightlifting will turn them into a bulked-up, mass-gaining, can’t-buckle-my-seatbelt, grunting man-lady.
Ladies, when you go into the gym, what is the typical workout routine you follow?
Do you first do a light warm-up on the mats? Then do you head over to the cardio machines for a long 30 or 60+ minutes, thinking you’ve gotta blast that cupcake or two that you devoured last night? Then, do you flex with a couple rounds of lightweight machine-work? Finally, maybe you head off to the exercise mats to crunch for 10 to 20 minutes trying to lean that tummy?
If this is your patty-cake program, it’s time to change your course! The program above illustrates most women’s workout programs. They don’t want to get “big and bulky,” so they gravitate toward exercises they think burn the most calories and “tone” their muscles. “Tone?” How cute.
These women described above, actually accomplish very little. They may burn a few hundred calories during cardio training and maybe a hundred more during their machine-work, BUT they won’t reshape their bodies.
If you want a complete body transformation, you have to lift weights. Plain and simple.
“But I don’t want to get bulky!” -You won’t, Here’s why:
The first reason why you won’t turn into the Incredible Hulk is because you do not have the testosterone levels to achieve that type of physique. Even women who train to gain mass find it extremely difficult. Women build muscle mass at a fraction of the rate men do. So stop worrying.
The second reason you won’t gain mass is because women don’t nearly consume enough calories to create bulk. When is the last time you over-ate to gain weight? Holiday indulgence doesn’t count. In fact, you have to consume excess calories daily, take supplements, and lift heavy weights daily to gain beastly mass. When was the last time you forced down 2 extra servings of protein at dinner because it fit your mass-gaining goals? Learning how to do a bench press isn’t going to make you a bulky beast.
Now that you’re convinced that you won’t bulk up, turn green, and run rabidly through downtown, let’s look at weight-lifting benefits:
Heavier weights offers women a higher metabolic rate, or faster metabolism. Your body works in overdrive after your sessions to repair your muscles, which expends a great number of calories.
Next, you will see greater muscle definition. When you lift light weights (2lb curls, really?) you are barely working the muscle. Your muscles won’t grow because they can handle what you’re throwing at them. Push yourself. If you follow a healthy diet for fat loss, heavy weights will create the biggest change to how your body looks.
Finally, you’ll improve functional strength. You will get stronger. Everyday activities will become easier for you. You won’t have to call for help when you want to rearrange your furniture, or have your boyfriend carry your suitcase, or make two trips to carry those heavy grocery bags. You will feel empowered.
So don’t be afraid of lifting heavy weights. You should fear being weak. It is a shame for a women to grow old and not experience all that her body is capable of. Push your body- get your body to where you want it to be. You are stronger than you think.