Women’s weight lifting competitions are building momentum as more women pick up barbells and dumbbells to increase power and strength. But even as this happens, there is still a camp of skeptics who think that weight lifting can make you bulky and masculine – which is of course, not true.
Being a woman who lifts heavy weights is not going to bulk you up or make you look manly; in fact it will do the exact opposite: it will tone and tighten your whole body, burn fat, and shape your curves so your figure pops – just the way you like it.
To learn more about how this works, we’ve compiled a simple beginner’s guide to strength training that looks at 5 specific reasons why weight training won’t turn you into Arnold.
- It burns calories
Weight lifting doesn’t only target your muscle tissues; it also triggers the release of human growth hormone, and more importantly it fires up your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories.
This results in a leaner body muss, and increases the total number of calories you burn every day. This is good because when you have lean mass you’ll burn more calories even outside the gym.
- Strength training will shape your body, not make it bigger
Lifting weights is great for shaping a woman’s body. Sure you may be able to see good results from churning away at the bike or elliptical machine for hours, but the secret to getting the best results is to build a muscle base. Do you think your bum could be perkier? Then do squats and deadlifts. The same goes for getting well-defined arms, just do more snatches and bench presses and start a training routine that works for your body.
- You only train for the results you want
Women use weight lifting for different reasons. Perhaps you’re worried about your health, fitness, or you’re doing it for aesthetics; whatever your reasons are, you won’t bulk up if you don’t want to. For anybody who’s just looking to improve body shape and get a healthier body composition, weight lifting should be a part of your fitness program.
- You can’t bulk up unless you eat to bulk up
It’s the same concept with weight loss, but in reverse. We all know that you can’t lose weight unless you reduce your calorie intake; and conversely, you can’t bulk up just from working out. You have to eat the right amount of calories and combine that with intense weight training in order to see any major muscle growth.
- You can’t get insta-muscles
Muscle growth is a slow process that requires arduous work and a proper diet. There’s just no way you’re going to do some bicep curls, eat a bunch of spinach, and wake up looking like Popeye. To grow a bulky body, you’d need months of intense workouts and an appetite like a hungry bear.
That being said, there are a few things you can do to make your training program more effective.
– Stay hydrated: You need to drink plenty of water to avoid feeling weak or getting sick. Drink 8 glasses or more when you’re working out – this will make up for the sweating.
– Eat small, balanced meals with complex carbs and lean proteins about 1 hour before your workouts, and again 1 hour after you train with weights.
-Keep a record of everything you do and when you do it. Use workout apps to track your eating habits, your reps, sets, weights used, and anything else you need to record.
Tip: Don’t use too much weight when starting out. Start slow to reduce the chance of injury and only increase the weights by 5% at a time.