Ladies…Don’t run away from the weights!

31 May


There are so many women out there that tell me that they want to avoid lifting weights because they don’t want to ‘bulk up’. This is a common worry and it is one that is extremely misunderstood.

Women do not naturally have as much testosterone as men, in fact they have about 90% less!! This means that they will find it very very difficult to get as big as men do. The ladies you see on magazine covers with extreme muscular figures will be increasing their testosterone with various supplements to help them. I’m afraid to say that it is not the excess muscle that makes a women look ‘bulky’, it is the excess body fat. 

Building muscle is essential to ‘toning up’ as it does exactly that. It give you that more defined look by developing the muscles underneath the skin (and fat) layers. You don’t need to be lifting the heaviest weights in the gym, but you should be challenging yourself and lifting a weight that produces muscle fatigue after 8 to 12 repetitions.

The good news about incorporating weight lifting into your workout is that the more muscle tissue you add to your body, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be (resting metabolism) and the more calories your body will burn even when you’re not exercising! This will help your body to get into a fat burning state far quicker than steady cardio for hours on end.

But what about cardio?

Lifting weights does not mean no cardio, in fact you can kill two birds with one stone if you keep your rest periods short and sweet allowing your heart rate to stay elevated in between sets. Be sure to give yourself enough rest to recover and prepare for the next set, but don’t let your heart rate drop too low. I wear a heart rate monitor when I exercise and it really helps me to see when my body is ready to go again!

If you enjoy your running and cycling then by all means continue with it, but replace a one or two sessions a week with weights and you will be sure to see some fantastic results.

Where do I start?

First of all, be sure not to jump into the heaviest weights straight away, it is far more important to master the technique with a slightly lighter weight than hurting yourself with the heavy ones.

It is useful to do the workout with a friend so you can watch each other’s posture but you can always ask a trainer in the gym to have a look and give you advice.

Look in the mirror when you lift weights. I know many of you don’t like all the mirrors in the gym, but they are very helpful when ensuring your are keeping the correct posture!

Get out of your comfort zone and start building some strength up with those weights. Incorporate a few weights sessions into your week and see the results you will get after a few weeks, you should be pleasantly surprised! It’s fun too!!

Of course I haven’t mentioned anything to do with diet and nutrition in this post but we all know that you can’t out train a bad diet. Eating healthily plays a huge role in fat burning and can help you to get the most out of your workouts as well, which is always helpful.