Can Women Really Get Bulky From Lifting Weights? The Actual Truth.

Our last topic was all about cardio and just how much it can benefit our body. I hope I was able to squash some of the bad rap it gets because it can be reallllyyyyy fun! BUT just like the other half of a friendship necklace, it can't just be left on its own all the time. 

If you follow me on social media or watch any of my Youtube videos then you know I'm a HUGE lover of balance. I believe that it's the only way to make sustainable lifestyle changes and really be able to enjoy your life. 

Well, the same can be said for your fitness routine. It needs to be BALANCED. 

And when it comes to having a balanced fitness lifestyle there are two major fitness components that need to be present. We've already discussed the cardio aspect, so today we're talking RESISTANCE. (a.k.a weights) 

 

The Lowdown:

  • Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles. (betterhealth.com)
  • Resistance training is the best for strengthening your bones, joints, and ligaments. It also helps with improving your balance and stability. 
  • Not only is resistance training excellent for your strengthening your entire body, it's proven to boost your self-esteem, decrease anxiety and improve cognition. 
  • It's recommended that we get at least 2-4 days of entire body strength training. 


When you think of strength training you probably imagine some bulky dude that makes funny noises while lifting heavy weights at the gym. Well, yeah. That's definitely a common sight in the weight room but that's not the only way resistance training can look.

There are so many misconceptions surrounding lifting weights, just like there are with cardio, that unfortunately keeps people, mainly women, from doing it.

Which is a HUGE disservice to them. I mean, women are already mentally strong so it only makes sense for us to start to get physically strong. Right?
 

Ladies can lift too!  

I'm gonna clear up a few myths and misconceptions about weights, using comments I often hear from women. 


1. "If I lift weights I'm gonna get bulky and look manly." 

First off as women, we are biologically unable to get as muscular as men. It's just science. The only way to get that bodybuilder appearance is through supplements, a super strict diet and a TON of heavy lifting (and possibly some doses of testosterone). Which the average woman doesn't need to worry about. Will you get strong? Yes. And that's a great thing.
 
2. "Everyone is going to be staring me if I go to the weight room." 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but unless you're Beyonce or the Queen of England, NO ONE is gonna be caring about what you're dong in the weight room.

You know why? Because they're gonna be too busy focusing on themselves and their own gains. Don't worry about what other people might think, just focus on yourself.  

3. "I have no idea what to do with weights or how much I should lift or how long I should be doing it for."

And that's why I'm here for you. And why any PT at your gym is there. Don't be afraid to ask questions when you need help. It's only gonna benefit you in the end.

For beginners, you're just gonna start with a low weight that you can handle for at least 10 repetitions. Start with dumbbells, known as free weights, so you can get a handle of exercising with resistance.

When you've found a weight that's right for you, you're gonna pick an exercise, like squats, and do them for 3 sets (rounds) of 10-12 repetitions. It's simple as that. 

As you get stronger your weight can go up, depending on your goals. 

4. "I only want to lose weight so I'll just stick to doing only cardio." 

This is perhaps the BIGGEST mistake you can make. Cardio is great for weight loss. But it isn't the end all be all. 

When you lose weight you also lose muscle and muscle burns more calories than fat. So the more muscle you have, the better chance you have at losing more fat as well.  Confusing? Yea. I know. 

Basically, if you want a well-rounded weight loss/fat loss plan then adding in regular strength training along with cardio is the best option for you. You'll gain lean muscle mass which is proven to rev up your metabolism all while benefitting from all the other great side effects of resistance training. 

5. "There's no way I can lift weights because I workout from home and have no access to machines."

No machines? No problem! There's more than one way to incorporate resistance training into your routine. Here are a few of my favorites that don't require machines. (Click the link to find out where you can buy them) 

And perhaps my favorite way of resistance training...Bodyweight. 

Yep. You can use your body weight as a form of resistance for exercises like push-ups, lunges, squats and pull-ups. Also known as plyometrics, my favorite way to workout. 

Whew. I know. That was a ton of information. But I hope you were able to learn a thing or two about resistance training. And I hope I got to squash some big misconceptions. 


Need a beginners workout to get a taste of resistance training? Start here.


The Takeaway:

1. Resistance training is a crucial part of having a balanced fitness routine.
2. It doesn't have to be scary or intimidating. 
3. There's more than one way of incorporating resistance training into your life. 

Trust me. Lifting weights will not only help you physically and mentally get stronger but it will also give you more confidence in your workouts. When your body get stronger and you're able to hold exercises for longer and you develop better form, you gain a confidence that is undeniable. 

And don't forget, physically strong isn't just for men anymore. There are so many women finally embracing their muscles and it's beautiful! Embrace yours and go kick some butt! 

So now that you've got a good grasp of the two major components of fitness, it's time to figure out how you can put them all together to create a routine that's best for you. (HINT: We'll be talking about that soon.) 

 I hope you enjoyed today's topic. Are you an avid weightlifter? Or do you usually stay away from the weight room altogether? Hit reply and tell me all about it. I'd love to know! 

-A