As you would know, I love love love weight training! I have had nothing but positive experiences being in the gym and lifting weights. It has helped me with my confidence, toned my muscles, increased my strength and basically taken away all of my arthritis pain, not to mention been a complete career and lifestyle change for me. Which is why I am so keen to spread the word and help get other women in the gym and enjoying the benefits of lifting weights. But I feel there are still a few key things holding some women back and I just wanted to chat about 3 of the most common ones I hear…
Worried about gaining size
I hear it time and time again, “but won’t I bulk up?” And the answer is no! As women, we simply don’t have enough testosterone to gain muscle mass like males do. In fact, males have 10 to 30 times more testosterone than females do. Yes if you lift weights your muscles will grow and strengthen, but this will result in your body looking toned and strong, not bulky. Women who do want to gain muscle size have to undertake a specific training and diet plan to achieve growth. And yes, some women do choose to take steroids in order to grow… So ladies let me be clear, there is simply no way the average female will grow big, beefy muscles from lifting weights.
Thinking cardio is the best way to loose weight
Another common assumption, that doing endless amounts of cardio training will somehow tone your muscles and burn away excess fat. Firstly, yes… Doing cardio training can assist with weight loss. But to achieve the best results, cardio should be done in conjunction with a good resistance program. When you have finished your resistance session, the body will continue to burn fat, 24-36 hours post session, unlike cardio training which stops the fat burning process once the exercise is completed. A consistent resistance program will ensure the muscles are continuously burning fat as they grow and strengthen.
Many women may also feel flabby and think they are overweight, without realising its actually their untoned muscles, not fat. By undertaking a weights program, we are able to lift and tone those muscles, giving the body shape.
Unsure how to use the weights
Of course your unsure… Especially if you haven’t been in a gym before. And you know what, that’s ok! Even those fit, perfectly shaped, super strong Instagram girls started from somewhere. For myself, I had no knowledge of how to train or use weights or what to eat or what supplements to take and I was even worried about bulking up… Luckily I sought some guidance in the gym and have had some excellent personal trainers to help me along the way. Which is exactly what I suggest for everyone to do when starting out, seek advice. Speak to your gym, ask the trainers and get help, that’s what they are there for. What you shouldn’t do is avoid the weights because you are scared or unsure. This would be denying yourself the opportunity to achieve the best results possible.
So start embracing the weights!