Women and Weights

What’s the deal with women and weights exactly? It seems to be an ongoing argument that women avoid lifting heavy weights in fear that they might bulk up… Okay so let’s get this straight for all you ladies (and gents) out there! There seems to be a myth out there that if women lift any weight over 5lbs they are going to look like a bodybuilder.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Lifting heavy weights can benefit both men and women. In fact, challenging your body with heavy weights is the only way you’ll really see results and get stronger. Wouldn’t you want to look leaner and have more defined (not bulky) muscles? How can you stay motivated to hit the gym 3-5 times a week if all you’re doing is cardiovascular exercises and noticing zero results?The truth is most women don’t even have the genetics or hormones like testosterone, to build large muscles. For most it’svirtually impossible without the use of illegal drugs or supplements. Even men who carry these hormones struggle to bulk up and increase their size; which is partially why steroids are so common among bodybuilders.I’ve been lifting weights on a regular basis for years and have never even come close to looking like a bodybuilder─ and I think most women who lift weights would agree. Since I’ve been incorporating weight training into my weekly gym sessions I have noticed a definite increase in strength and tone of my muscles. Weights can help you sculpt and define the muscles you already have. Even if you were to grow muscle over a period of time, you will not bulk up over night. You’d have to train intensely, while increasing your weights and reps, and consume A LOT more calories/protein on a daily basis to even come close. Women just don’t have the genetic makeup to look like those body builders on TVnaturally. This is why most women who participate in bodybuilding need to take supplements and sometimes even “anabolic” steroids to even come close to gaining that much muscle mass.
Reasons why you should lift weights:
  1. Build strength- By tracking and increasing your weights and reps you will notice a difference in muscle strength and be amazed!
  2. Be a happier person- By pushing yourself harder you will increase the amount of endorphins your body releases which in turn will put you in a better mood.
  3. Lose the pounds- Remember, muscle takes up less space than fat. By adding muscle, along with a healthy diet and weekly cardio sessions you will lose the fat!
  4. Increase flexibility- By performing different exercises in full motion you will become more flexible.
  5. Reduce your risk of injury- weight training builds stronger muscles as well as the connective tissues and helps with joint stability.
  6. Reshape your body- By using weights to target different parts of your body you have the power to really sculpt and define the areas you want. If you feel you have “chicken legs” you can use a weighted bar and do lunges or squats to build them up!

One more thing you might want to know about using weights is that there are two kinds: free weights and weight machines. Free weights (my personal favourite) include barbells, dumbbells, and hand weights, they typically work a group of muscles at one time. For example: An upright row will engage your biceps, triceps and deltoids all at the same time. Another great thing about free weights is that you can adjust how you do an exercise and hit completely different muscle groups or increase the difficulty. Inclines and declines are one for the best ways to get the most out of a basic exercise, such as a dumbbell bench press. The difference with a weight machine is that they are designed to help isolate a specific muscle for you to work on.

I hope this information has helped motivate you to attempt the use of weights at your next visit to the gym. It is actually widely recommended that you practice the motion, even if it’s with zero weights, before jumping into a new exercise. To help build confidence, try practicing at home with a couple soup cans to perfect any new exercises you want to try out!

Good luck future weight trainers!

Your Health Nut,

Nikky

One thought on “Women and Weights

  1. One fitness myth that was been long ongoing is “lifting weights will make women look bulky”. Studies reveal that testosterone plays an important role in building muscles. Men tend to build more muscles noticeably than women as they have more testosterone. Building muscles for women is quite impossible instead weight lifting helps them in toning and losing more weight.

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