Sunday, 23 October 2016

WHY LIFTING WEIGHTS WON'T TURN YOU INTO THE FEMALE VERSION OF THE HULK!



When I first started training I remember saying to my trainer "I want to get strong and muscly but not bulky" and at that point he probably wanted to punch me in the face as now I realise it was such a ridiculous thing to say.

There are so many myths that if a girl lifts heavy weights she will become "bulky" and because of these myths most women are too scared to even enter the weights section of the gym, let alone pick up enough weight needed to get the best training results.  Instead they follow workouts in magazines that give you "abs in 15 minutes" or "fat loss from your stomach in 2 weeks" but do they really work? The straight answer to that question is no!!

As someone who's been weight training for a few years now, what I can tell you is that lifting weights will not turn you into the female version of the hulk and that's because women's testosterone levels are significantly lower than men's.  Instead it will help you have a healthy and strong body.

Most women spend hours and hours doing cardio and feel so happy when they've burnt 450 calories in 45 mins because that's about the equivalent to a doughnut right?  Yet despite spending all those hours sweating away they don't end up seeing the results they're looking for.  If you enjoy running then by no means should you give it up but if your goal is a lean, toned body then strength training using a program with the correct exercises is a much more efficient way to achieve it and will give you the best results aesthetically.

A lot of women freak out when they first start to see their muscles develop, I'll put my hands up and say I've been there myself but it's science that the more muscle you have the more calories your body will burn and training with weights increases muscle mass.  Yet so many women are scared to set foot in the weights section... I don't know if it's because they're scared to lift weights or because they feel intimidated by all the men but you've just got to walk in, be confident and own it.  If it's the latter one then I can assure you that most guys in the weights section are probably comparing themselves to each other rather than looking at what you're doing.

To build strong muscles you need to lift heavy weights.  As everyone's strength levels are different I can't tell you what weight you should be lifting this is something you'll have to work out yourself, but what I can tell you is that you should be aiming to lift a weight that's comfortable for 5-12 reps. The weight should never affect your technique and if it does then it's too heavy and you need to lower it.  Lifting weights that are too heavy will only lead to injury and that's the last thing anyone wants.

High repetitions (15-20 reps) with low weights will build your muscle endurance and low repetitions (3-5 reps) with heavy weights will increase your strength.  Everyone's bodies are different and a training technique that might work for one person may not necessarily work for you, so it's a matter of trying different things.  When weight training it's important to always be challenging your muscles and so when you're doing a set the last rep should always be hard.  If for example you're doing a set of 10 squats you shouldn't be thinking to yourself I could have done more. If you do have that thought then you should look at increasing the weight.  As mentioned in a previous post it's a great idea to take note of your reps/weights during each training session so when you train next you can look at possibly increasing the number of reps/weights to build your strength. This is also a fantastic way of tracking your progress.

A huge advantage to weight training as a girl is that you'll start to develop curves in the right places which creates an hourglass figure.  Strength training isn't for everyone but it works for me.  I don't spend hours doing cardio, in fact right now the most cardio I get is walking to and from the gym yet I'm constantly seeing results so why would I change the way I train?

Plus at the end of the day there is no better feeling that being able to lift heavier than some guys.

A. x

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13 comments

  1. An interesting read!I hate to hear women being put off what they like to do, just because they feel it seems too "manly"

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    1. Thank you :) so do I and so I want to encourage women to do what they want to do.

      A.x

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  2. I totally agree, I used to just do cardio and focus on how many calories I was burning instead of making my muscles work doing weights. I'm trying to do more of a mixture now x

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    1. Keep it up! I hope you're enjoying it :)

      A.x

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  3. I do body pump and we lift weights, I was afraid I might turn into hulk lol but never happened and I am happy about it.

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    1. Never worry about that, it won't happen haha. Keep up the hard work!

      A.x

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  4. Interesting read! I sometimes do weightlifting (my boyfriend has some of those weights laying around here), but I combine it with cardio and yoga :)

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    1. Thank you! At the end of the day you have to do what you enjoy :)

      A.x

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  5. Thanks for the great post i found this a really interesting read and would probably now consider doing weights more now too.

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    1. I'm pleased to hear you found it interesting. You should give it a go and see how you get on. I'm sure you will be pleased with the results.

      A.x

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  6. I covered this back in June, I was just so shocked to hear so many women are scared to lift weights. I was in the gym ( I rarely go tbf) but no women were near the weights apart from me. It was like taboo to step into that section.

    I have to say, on the months I focus on strength I tighten up so much quicker. Still working on my cardio/weights balance as I love both!

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  7. For years I used to think cardio and resistance machines where the girls place in the gym. I never used to see any girls heading down to the weights room. Now I'm older and I go to a different gym and it seems like women are clocking on, there's now an almost 50/50 split between men and women in the weights room - which is awesome!

    Breanne | www.myhealthycurves.com

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  8. I loved doing weights before my girls were born - my strength and muscle tone was the best it had ever been. Unfortunately I haven't had much chance to get back to weights in recent years, but I'm now building my general fitness back up now after a shoulder injury so I can get back into it. x

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