I’m seeing more and more women in the weight room and that is fantastic! This is for those women who are still on the fence about lifting heavy weights.
I was so scared for a long time to lift heavy weights. I thought it was for men. I wanted to be thin not bulky or hulking like a guy. That was until I worked with Jackie, a personal trainer. She was shredded; strong & sexy, and I loved her body. Jackie told me nothing ever changed her body like weight lifting did. Jackie was an athlete all her life. She told me about how she hated her “ruler-shaped” body, and that whenever she would lose weight, she would just be a smaller “ruler.” Then she discovered weightlifting. This was the only thing that helped her get the results she always lacked from playing sports or jogging alone. Jackie was able to transform her body into more of an hourglass shape by building up her upper body, trimming her waist, and making her quadriceps and glutes more muscular.
This got me interested in lifting weights too, but the thing that really clinched it for me was when she told me “if you lift heavy weights, you burn more calories (not just during your workouts but throughout the day), and you get to eat more.” That’s right, she said you can eat more! Don’t get me wrong you still need a clean eating plan but if you work hard and lift, you can eat more calories because your body needs more calories!
This blew my mind. This totally went against the old way of thinking: Drastically reduce daily calories (for me it was between 1000-1200) and spend hours on the boring, tedious, neverending treadmill!
Remember that old commercial where the girl says that she and her husband both cut junk food from their diet but while she only dropped one size, he had dropped several pants sizes?
Well the reason why men lose weight easier is not because they are magic or just lucky; it’s because they have more muscle mass. If a woman puts on more muscle she will burn more fat and start dropping inches. She’ll be on her way to feeling and looking great.
Ladies, you will not get huge and bulky from lifting heavy: women are built totally different than men. Men have way more testosterone than women. Testosterone is what gives men the ability to look like this…
You will not get huge or bulky lifting heavy weight. Woman have a little bit of testosterone but the amount we have will not make us huge. In the nineties, women really started to go to the gym and lift weights but the school of thought was that if you lifted light with high repetitions you got toned, and if you lifted heavy with less repetitions you became bulky like a man. This is not true. The word tone simply means losing fat and gaining more lean muscle tissue; in other words, building muscle mass.
Action movie hunk Jason Statham once said “your body is like a piece of dynamite. You can tap it with a pencil all day, but you’ll never make it explode. You hit it once with a hammer, bang! Get Serious, do 40 hard minutes, not an hour and a half of nonsense. It’s so much more rewarding.”
Trust me. Doing 100 reps of something at very little weight is still hard work! But a more efficient use of the gym and your time is to lift heavy in the weight room!
What’s a good rep range? Try to keep your work sets between 6-10 reps. If you can’t do six reps, the weight is too heavy; scale it back (unless you’re doing a power set). On the other hand, if you can easily do 15 reps with very little effort the weight is too light for you. You should have to work to get to 15 reps!
Building strength takes time.
One day what’s your heaviest weight now will be your warm up weight. Just keep at it.
I hope that now you are not afraid to go lift some heavy weights! Your body won’t change overnight but it will happen, and in the meantime, you will get strong! How awesome will you feel not needing help to lift that five gallon water bottle onto the cooler, or carrying in all your groceries in one shot?
So go forth and make some gains!
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