You know that to stay in shape and be healthy we need to exercise. Increasing and maintaining muscle mass is the best way to keep a low percentage of body fat and to improve metabolism, particularly as we age. To build this muscle mass, weightlifting will be the most effective way.
However, most women in the gym spend their time only on the cardio equipment, staying far away from weights. Why? There are several myths why ladies shouldn’t train with weights, with one more absurd than another.
Let me present you the most common misconceptions:
Weight training will make women bulky and masculine
This is the biggest fear for women to grab weights. Let me explain you this – men produces much more testosterone that women and they still work extremely hard for building up their muscles. Women cannot and will not produce as much testosterone as men, which means that it is impossible for them to gain huge muscle mass. Ladies are genetically not prepared for bulking up. When you are thinking about women bodybuilders – that’s extensive long-term training, strict diet, and supplementation, extremely low body fat and dehydration to look like that.
The average woman does not gain size from weight training and definitely cannot achieve the monster look. Strength training will increase lean muscle tissues, work on muscle definition and tones up your body.
I am a woman, to stay in shape I only need to do cardio workout
I do not neglect the importance of cardio workout, we all need to keep that in our training routine, but I do not agree that it needs to be one or another, you can have both; actually, you need both.
If you only do cardio, energy is used from fat and muscles. To reduce the loss of muscle tissue and to get your muscle building machine going, you need to grab weights. Your body will only change when your muscles respond to resistance if there is no resistance or it is too light – there is no way to get the look you want. Even better, once you start working with weights, you will notice changes in your body, more significant than you see with cardio, which ok, helps you burn calories but doesn’t help you build muscles.
I do not need weights to lose fat
Studies show that women who train with weights 2-3 times per week gain nearly 2 pounds of muscles and lose 3.5 pounds of fat. We are talking about lean muscle definition, not bulking up. Each pound of muscle burns 35-50 more calories per day. The more muscles we have in comparison to body fat – the faster the metabolism is, as, in order to maintain muscles, your body requires more energy than to maintain fat. It means that 24 hours per day (whether you sleep, work in front of the computer or driving) you burn even 30% more calories.
Also – metabolism slows down with age. When we were younger, we could eat whatever we wanted at whatever time we wanted without consequences. The older we get, the more we need to watch out what we put in our mouth. However – there is good news in here – strength training may reverse the tendency of metabolism slowing down.
Women should not work their legs with weights as they will get too big
Again, working with weights helps you build muscle definition which results in speeding up your metabolism. The higher the metabolism, the more calories you burn on a daily basis including fat, which finally leads to fat reduction. And the biggest muscle groups in woman’s body are actually legs and butts, so do not neglect them in your training. Besides ladies have a higher percentage of body fat, and it is mainly accumulated around their legs, butts, and waist (preparation for future pregnancy and to underline typical lady’s curves), so working on the tones of these muscles is
If I do weights, they should be very light, and I need to do many repetitions
This is another big misconception. Lifting light weights for a hundred repetitions is a waste of your time and energy as it won’t challenge your muscles enough to make them stronger. Results – none. Working with weights helps you gain muscle mass, strength, and reduce fat. You notice a significant difference in definition, and you can proudly present you leaner and stronger body.
When you work with weights, fat will be turned into muscles
I wish… Muscle and fat are two different types of tissue, so one cannot turn into another… You need to lose fat and build your muscles, and that requires completely different things. You are losing fat through aerobic exercises/interval training and well-balanced diet and gaining muscle through weight training.
When I stop training my muscles will turn into fat
Again – muscles and fat are two completely different types of tissues. One cannot turn into the other. Often when people stop doing weight training, they start losing muscles which slow down metabolism. At the same time, they neglect well-balanced diet and coming back to bad eating habits. The wrong diet combined with a slow metabolism is the easiest way to put on weight. It is not that muscles turn into fat – it is losing muscles and gaining fat. Two different processes.
So, let’s sum up – weight training is essential to stay in shape, have leaner and stronger body. Give it a try and notice how your body changes.
When you see the results from weight training, there is no way you are coming back to your cardio-only workout. Guaranteed.