One of the biggest myths about women and weight training is that you’ll get too big and end up looking like a man. But let’s face it; you’d practically have to be a man for that to happen. Women don’t naturally have enough testosterone to transform their feminine physiques into an incredible massive Hulk body.
There is no risk of looking like the Terminator so put down that fear and let’s pick up some weights. Without some good resistance training like weight lifting and calisthenics in your routine, you could be stuck with mediocre results instead of that lean and sexy figure you’re after.
Ladies, you need the resistance. Take your pick, light weights, heavy weights, body weight but I recommend all of the above. It’s all for your benefit. Here’s why:
It builds that body
Doing cardio alone won’t get you a defined look. You must first develop lean muscle mass in order to achieve that chiseled body and the only way to build a muscle is by shredding it. I won’t bore you with the details but, you must place resistance and stress on the body in order to make the desired muscle grow.
You can stress a muscle by using heavy to moderate weights with low repetition. You could also use lighter weights and higher repetitions or do body weight exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, etc. I use a mix of all three with my female clients with various set/repetition combinations in order to achieve the desired look.
The variety increases effectiveness by confusing the muscles. If you continue with the same routine, your body will get used to it and your progress could plateau. So mix it up.
Increases your burning potential
Although cardio does burn calories during your workout, building muscle with resistance helps you continue to burn calories post workout and even when the body is at rest. Muscle is metabolically active, therefore building muscle speeds up your metabolism.
Muscle also burns fat. Anyone who incorporates resistance training into her workout will have a leaner appearance than someone who is only doing cardio exercises. Cardio will help you shed pounds but not flab, you won’t get toned and tight without weights.
But get your balance for best results
The bottom line is you need balance. Cardio, weight training, and diet are the three necessary factors for any of this to work out right. And remember building muscle in your workouts may increase your appetite so it’s imperative to refuel your body with the proper nutrients.
If you feed your increased appetite with fatty foods, you are sabotaging the work you’ve done in the gym. You need to eat clean for it all to work together. Eat lean proteins like chicken and fish to help support your muscles and complex carbohydrates like whole grains to get the energy you need. Don’t forget your water aka your “life juice” and green leafy vegetables to keep everything flowing in the body.
Then when you get in the gym mix it up and get it done. You know my motto: “Hard work pays off!” You need both cardio and weights to get the desired look. Working only with weights will yield a swollen and frumpy look and an all cardio routine will leave you looking soft. Both components working together along with a clean diet will have you looking healthy and sexy.
Rahman “Ray Grayson, a.k.a. MR. SHUT UP AND TRAIN, is a nationally certified personal trainer. Sign up for his 30-Day Cardio Challenge, the fastest growing, FREE online movement that challenges thousands around the world to lead happier, healthier lives. Go to MR. SHUT UP AND TRAIN and check it out!
Great article!!! I weight train several times a week and I’ve had several female friends comment that they’re scared to lift because they don’t want to “bulk up.” The funny thing is that my physique is so much more feminine from lifting and its award winning! (I compete in fitness competitions!)
@Tamara: Wow. You look beat. Maybe I’ll start lifting weights too. I’ve found myself running from the weights because of soreness. I literally hate that feeling
The soreness is the BEST part. It’s not pain, it’s just soreness and it’s great. Let’s you know that you did it right and you feed off it. Well, I feed off the soreness. LOVE it!