I’m thirty minutes away from walking out the door for a long two day road trip to visit the family. I wanted to leave you all with a great article written by Glisten Fit. I’m sure you’ve all wondered about the whole “bulky” look when lifting weights! Jessica is here to set the record straight about women lifting weights!
Are you a female who tends to not ever pick up a weight that weighs more than 5 pounds because you’re afraid of getting bulky? Do you walk into the gym and head straight for the cardio machines? Well guess what…you will burn some calories doing that BUT in order to sculpt your muscles and burn more calories, you NEED heavier weights in your life!
I used to be one of the ladies who steered clear of any weight that was more than 5 pounds. I was terrified of becoming “manly looking” or bulking up. I barely did anything but use the elliptical at the gym. At first, that was enough. I was going to the gym 5 days a week and doing the elliptical for 30 minutes and the stationary bike for 30 minutes. I cleaned up my diet. I lost 30 pounds over 4 months. I was ecstatic. I figured that since what I was doing was working, I would obviously keep doing it. Well I began to plateau. I knew that I needed to shake up my fitness routine a bit so I began researching.
I learned that to sculpt my body and get the lean muscles that I wanted that I needed to grab some weights. SAY WHAT? And no I’m not talking 3 or 5 pound dumbbells either. Wanna know why those aren’t enough? Think about all the junk you lift and carry all day…books, groceries, and your purse…I don’t know about you, but my purse weighs more than 3 pounds (kind of embarrassing). Your body is used to lifting things every day that weigh at least 3-5 pounds. So lifting 3-5 pound weights at the gym isn’t pushing your body toward changes.
I’m here today to share with you…
1. Lifting weights burns more calories and torches body fat. Don’t most women workout in order to burn calories and to lose body fat? Yep, that’s what I hear from most of my clients. Most women think that the best way to burn calories is cardio, cardio, cardio. Here’s the deal. When you do cardio, the calories you burn during your workout are what you see. Once the workout is over, so is the calorie burn. Weight lifting builds more muscle, and the more muscle that you build, the more calories that you burn throughout the day. Oh and a bonus, after a weight lifting workout, your body continues burning calories for up to 24 hours post-workout. So simply put…More muscle = More calories burnt = Less fat.
2. Lifting weights is what sculpts those defined muscles and makes your body tighter. Popular to contrary belief, women will not get BULKY and manly from lifting weights. When I started incorporating heavier weights into my workout routines is when I started noticing the changes that I wanted to see. I saw sculpted muscles on my arms, shoulders, thighs, abs…ALL the right places. My body started tightening and sculpting! Cardio doesn’t build muscle so if you’re looking for that defined look from a cardio machine, try working out with some weights instead.
3. Lifting weights improves functional strength. Who would’ve guessed that incorporating heavier weights into your workout routine would build muscle? 😉 And we all know that muscle helps us in our day to day lives. One of my favorite things to do is carry in all of my groceries by myself in one trip. It’s the small things in life, y’all. Because I workout using weights, my body is able to handle more weight in real life!
4. Lifting weights helps get rid of belly fat. “How can I get a flat stomach?” is a question that I hear prettttty often. Now I’m gonna be honest. There is no such thing as spot reducing. BUT according to a study done by the University of Alabama, women who lifted weights lost more deep belly fat than women who just did cardio. That doesn’t suck.
5. Lifting weights is good for your bones. Weight training is actually known to protect your bones. Strength training can help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis-related fractures.
*I just want to make it REALLY clear that lifting heavier weights will NOT make you bulky! Those bodybuilder women that you see have worked very hard and very intentionally to achieve their look. A lot of them also take steroids, because women’s bodies don’t produce enough testosterone to allow them to bulk up like men.
So with all that being said, next time you hit the gym, you walk right on over to the weight training area and get to lifting!