The Truth About Lifting Weights
Let me ask you a question. When you first joined the gym an first started exercising, what were your reasons for doing so? I’m going to make an assumption here, and please correct me if I am wrong, but was it something along the lines of “I want to loose weight and tone up”?
(Why yes, it was).
I knew it. How? Because that was my initial goal too. Here’s what you actually meant when you said that (and what any personal trainer will immediately translate those words into).. “I want to reduce body fat (loose weight) and increase muscle mass (tone up)”. And guess what girls, the the best, most effective way to do this is to get lifting!
Yes cardio is also important to help reduce body fat but cardio alone certainly won’t give you that muscle tone and definition you desire. Many women make the mistake of focusing solely on cardio and completely omit any form of resistance or weight training. And I know exactly why. They are thinking.. “won’t lifting weights make me bulky?”, ‘I don’t want to look like a man’ or ”I want to look toned and defined, not big and muscular’.
Well, I am here to tell you, that is NOT going to happen. It’s time to put an end to the myths and irrational fears surrounding weight training. You won’t get bulky! You won’t get muscles the size of a body builder and you certainly won’t start looking like Arnie!
What you will achieve is exactly what you want – increased muscle tone and definition.
It takes a certain kind of training to achieve the body builder physique. Probably some serious dosages of testosterone too. And trust me, unless you have specified that you want to look like a body builder, then the program your personal trainer has written up for you and the weights you are lifting in pump class, will NOT give you those results.
If the photo above isn’t enough to convince you, let me hit you with some facts!
FACT 1: Build Muscle, Burn More Fat.
Did you know that the more lean muscle you have the more fat your body burns, all by it’s amazing self? Muscle tissues are more ‘active’ than fat tissues and therefore need to work to sustain itself. This means any extra muscle mass you have will help burn calories throughout the day. Aka the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns. Yep, that’s right while you are sitting at your desk at work, watching TV and even sleeping, your muscles are burning calories!
FACT 2: Muscle Mass Boosts Your Metabolism.
Unfortunately, as we get older we naturally lose muscle mass and consequently our metabolism slows down too. We know that the faster our metabolism, the better our bodies ability to burn fat. So how do we boost our metabolism? By increasing your muscle mass of course. When you do weight-bearing exercises, you build muscle and also start revving up your metabolism—and it keeps burning for many hours after your workout.
FACT 3: Muscle Takes Up Less Space Than Fat.
You’ve probably heard people say “Muscle weighs more than fat” before, but a kilogram, is a kilogram so technically that isn’t true. What they really mean is, muscle takes up less space in your body than fat does. Muscle is far more dense than fat therefore it takes up less space or volume. So while you may weigh the same when you step on the scales, you will look trimmer, smaller and more toned. Still a little confused? Check out the image below to explain it better.
FACT 4: Sculpt Your Body With Weight Training.
While we know cardio is important for burning fat and increasing cardiovascular fitness, if you don’t pair it with weight training you’ll be lucky to see any kind of muscle tone and definition. You’ll probably end up with a flat butt, not a round perky one that squats and lunges will produce. Weight lifting sculpts your body and creates curves and definition right where you want it.
FACT 5: Female Hormones Won’t Let You Get ‘Bulky’.
So you think lifting weights will make you look like a female body builder? No. Just, no. Female hormones don’t work that way – women do not produce enough testosterone to promote rapid muscle growth the way men do. Yes, strength training will produce muscle growth in women, just not to the extent that it does in a man. So fear not, there is no chance you will end up looking like a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So ladies, do not be afraid of lifting weights! I repeat, DO NOT be afraid to lift weights!
The facts say it all – the benefits are clear. Muscle mass boosts your metabolism, burns more fat and will have you looking fit and toned with womanly curves in ALL the right places. Weight training is an essential part of your fitness regime, especially if you want to ‘loose weight and tone up’.
Take it from me. I too, was once one of those skeptics, terrified of getting ‘bulky’ if I did a single bicep curl, but not anymore. Now I focus on weight training 3-4 times a week. Personally its my favourite part of my exercise regime, and I’m pretty sure I don’t look like a body builder! (Or, I’m yet to be told so, at least).
Love Elo xx