It really amazes me after so long in the fitness industry, that some women are still overly cautious about lifting weights, or taking part in some form of resistance training. I’ve heard the same replies for years on end….
“I don’t want to look manly” or “I wouldn’t take those crazy protein shakes you see bodybuilders drinking” or “I just want to tone up, not put on any muscle or get TOO big”
Women need to understand that they will NOT get too big by using weights!
Equally unless ladies are lifting weights of some sort, they will NEVER “tone up”. All the cardio in the world, whether it’s getting started with a “Couch to 5K” or attending a weekly spinning class, will not improve muscle definition. Now, I must point out that I am not knocking either of the above, and if you enjoy cardio, great, keep at it. Cardio workouts like running, swimming, cycling, etc all have their benefits too. They can help to drop body fat for one, which is a goal for not only women, but quite a lot of men as well.
But again, with all the fat loss and weight loss you can manage, if you aren’t training your muscle, then it will have no stimulus and no reason to change shape, grow stronger or “tone up”. The best way to train, in my opinion anyway, is to opt for a healthy balance of both resistance training as well as cardio vascular training. In fact, I will often combine them in the same session. Not just for my clients, but in my own training too.
The fear of lifting weights and getting too big, bulky or manly is responsible for holding back so many people from reaching their potential, and more importantly their own personal goals. The fear is completely understandable, but also detrimental. The big fact of the matter is that the male hormone, testosterone is responsible for muscle growth. Younger males have this hormone in abundance, with testosterone levels slowly decreasing with age. Women on the other hand have virtually no testosterone, but instead the female hormone, estrogen. As a result, it is not only extremely difficult, it’s damn near impossible for women to increase muscle mass significantly, or noticeably. It is however very possible for women to improve the shape, definition and strength of their muscle very easily by following a structured training and nutrition plan. (I offer a combination of both from as little as €2.15 per day so check out this link – ww.coachsfitnesscentre.com/packages/online-coaching ).
Another HUGE benefit of weight lifting is fat loss. Training with weights will elevate your metabolism for far longer than any cardio workout you will ever do. This allows more calories too be consumed, and yet still see those inches fall off at the waist. When following a structured weight training plan, the body will crave and need, and most importantly use calories far more sufficiently than those just taking part in cardio, or indeed those not training at all. Recovery becomes essential when training with weights as you slowly increase the overload placed upon different muscle groups over the course of weeks, months, even years. This usually leads to me increasing calories with most of my female clients when I begin to work with them. Not only more meals, but more calories per meal. It goes against what most inexperienced people would think. The normal instinct or reaction is to eat less in order to lose weight. But who wants to live a life of eating boiled chicken and broccoli and sipping green tea all day, every day. Instead I strive to create a training plan and environment that demands more of the body. More protein, more carbs, more healthy fats, all leading to more muscle tone and definition and less body fat.