“I Don’t Want to Get Big”
We live in a world where today’s media is filled with marketing scams, exaggerations, lack of legitimate research and just plain lies.
The exact scenario I’m referring to is why women should or shouldn’t lift weights and what the consequences are.
If you’re someone who’s guilty of saying this to your trainer and your goal was to annoy them, I can guarantee you succeeded.
Reason being is because the women who are guilty of saying this have absolutely no clue just how much hard work and how long that would take. I’m talking years upon years of constant commitment in both the weight room and kitchen.
The amount of food required to eat on a regular basis would be enormous, and in turn this type of lifestyle would be completely different than the average woman who’s just looking to get “toned” (I hate that word too, keep reading to uncover the explanation).
When you hire a trainer, most of the time they’re going to have your best interest.
Unless you walk in the gym saying “Turn me into a she-man”, you’re not going to walk out feeling bulky. A trainer is there to help you reach your goals, not turn you into something you don’t want to be.
“Toned” – What exactly does this word mean? Well, for starters, you can’t be toned without muscle. That’s why I roll my eyes when I hear someone say “I don’t want to gain muscle, I just want to be toned”. Toned = muscles.
I also want to remind you that you won’t get this look by hanging out on the treadmill or elliptical every day.
Here’s just a few reasons why the weights shouldn’t scare you:
- The female body does not produce enough testosterone for this fear to happen naturally or in a short period of time. Even the male bodybuilders will tell you gaining muscle isn’t easy. Even though everyone has different genetics and some of you may gain muscle easier than others, “as a general rule you have to train for bulk to get bulk” (- Neghar Fonooni) and picking up a few heavy weights 3-4 times a week is far from a bulking program.
- Building muscle causes fat loss. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will run on a regular basis (plus, since muscle takes up less space in the body than fat does, you’ll appear smaller).
- Lifting weights increases bone density, which decreases your chances of getting osteoporosis.
- You’ll get stronger, and in turn those grocery bags and children on your hips will seem as light as a feather. Plus you won’t have to wait for your husband to get home to rearrange the living room. Imagine how strong you’d feel being able to just move the furniture around yourself!
- It can reduce your risk of injury as well as back pains and arthritis. Weights don’t just build stronger muscles, they also increase joint stability and build stronger connective tissues which causes reinforcements for the joints.
- It reduces risk of heart disease and diabetes.
- You’ll gain confidence. “A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more successfully than standard counseling did. Women who strength train commonly report feeling more confident and capable as a result of their program, all important factors in fighting depression”. – Elizabeth Quinn, Sports Medicine Expert. For me personally, hitting the weights is my relaxation time. It’s my only time of day where I get to be selfish and focus 100% on myself, bettering by body both mentally and physically.
Growing up I dabbled in just about every sport that’s popular here in the midwest and did tons of cardio to “stay in shape”, but yet I never had the flat stomach or lean arms I was aiming for…until I started lifting weights and backing off the long-distance cardio.
I’ve been lifting for more than 4 years and have yet to come across someone who thought I was “too bulky”…and I’m deadlifting twice my body weight, shoulder pressing 40 pound dumbbells, and curling 25 pound dumbbells. Those 3’s, 5’s, and 8 pound dumbbells are for physically therapy, not “toning”.
In conclusion, lifting weights will do you nothing but good.
So quit reading all of those girly articles about “toning at-home workouts”, get off the treadmill, get rid of the baby weights, and head to the real weight room.