If you spend enough time around a gym or fitness center you will soon realize that some women truly have a fear of becoming bulky if they lift weights. So lets get down to it and crack this myth. First things first… lifting heavier weights will not turn you into The Incredible Hulk. In fact, lifting a heavier set of weights can actually lead to a smaller, stronger you. However, there are some female body builders out there, indicating that it’s possible for women to “bulk up,” but most people do not realize how much preparation and planning that actually takes. Not to mention how much time and dedication. It’s not accidental when these women bulk up!
Before we dive in, also remember not to base your results off the scale. Muscle has more density than fat, so you may even see the number on the scale go up, and that’s normal! Actually, that’s expected depending on your body type. Take a look at the picture below for a perfect example.
This is not to say that yoga, running, the elliptical, any type of Zumba or Barre class, etc. is not good for you. All of these are different type of exercises and should be rotated in and out of your workout routine. You will want to switch things up in order to keep the workouts fresh and your body burning the maximum amount of calories and fat possible. For example, in your weekly exercises make sure you have at least done some type of strength training, and some type of cardio (meaning… switch it up!) . This will help you see results FAST.
Keep in mind that technique is everything! If you are not doing any of the strength training workouts correctly and you’re not used to a weight-training routine, start small and work your way up to heavier weights; starting too heavy can lead to injuries that can sideline all your weight-loss efforts. Grab a trainer for a week or so, go to fitness classes, or use detailed and professional how-to video to ensure your form in correct.
Remember: Quality, not Quantity.
So what will Strength training do for you? A lot!
1. You’ll lose weight faster, and who doesn’t want to drop pounds the most efficient way possible? More muscle mass equals higher and faster metabolism, so maximize your body’s fat-burning potential by challenging your muscles with heavier weights.
2. You can reshape your body. Cardio may help you shed excess pounds, but it’s the weights that will help you sculpt the strong, toned look you’re going for. You’re not going to change the shape of your body with cardio alone, you’re just going to be exactly like you are but you’ll be a smaller version. With weight training, you will help to build up those muscles and reduce those problem areas.
3. Lifting increases the number of calories you burn while you are sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing. That’s because after each strength workout, your muscles need energy to repair their fibers. Researchers found that when people did a total-body workout with just three big-muscle moves, their metabolisms were raised for 39 hours afterward. They also burned a greater percentage of calories from fat compared with those who didn’t lift.
4. Balance = Strong Core = Flat Stomach. Weightlifting improves the coordination of muscles working together, which increases an athlete’s power. Even if you are not an athlete, balance comes when you have a stabilized core. Therefore, the more weightlifting you do, the stronger your core muscles will be, and the flatter your stomach may see.
5. Last, but certainly not least, you will see results faster than if you would if you only do cardio. Although the results will not come overnight and it could take a while to actually see the results, you will see them faster than if you only do cardio. This is not to say that you will not feel results fast. You will feel happier, healthier, and overall better.
Bottom Line… The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. This is not a quick process and it takes work and dedication. However, through out this process you will begin to feel stronger and more energized. Do not give up because it will be that much harder to start the next time again. Eat right, lift weights, and switch up your workouts. Find what works for you and go with it! Each body is different, not everyone likes to run and not everyone likes to stay on a machine. We only find this out through trial and error.