I’ve done posts similar to this before but I thought it would be a good idea to address again since I’ve been hearing the word “toned” far too much lately. There has always been a bias towards females and lifting weights. As a personal trainer, I’ve heard just about every excuse in the book when I ask a female client or friend why they don’t want to lift weights (or heavy weights for that matter). The words “manly” & “bulky” come up often which we shall address in this blog post.
The heavier I go, the bulkier I get.
This couldn’t be further from the truth and I have experimented with my own body to prove that. When I started lifting weights, I did what felt comfortable. I used maybe 10b dumbbells max. This is what my body looked like.
I was certainly heavier than my non-lifting body but to blame that on the weights is unfair since I also binge-drank every weekend and did not have control over my nutrition at all. Fast-forward to this year and here’s where I stand with my nutrition in line, no alcohol & lifting HEAVY. (Current squat max is 245lbs, bench is 135lbs and I can deadlift 265lbs). It is CLEAR that my waist is smaller and my body fat in general has decreased.
Weights will make you look like a man.
I don’t think some people realize how hard it is to gain muscle. Even if you tried your hardest there is no way you are going to look like a shredded bodybuilder after lifting weights unless you are eating a crap ton of food/protein & also taking supplements for years and years. It just is not in our genetics to be built like a man and building muscle takes serious amounts of time. We lack the testosterone in our bodies to even naturally gain that much muscle so you can throw that excuse out the window.
I just want to lift baby weights and get more “toned”.
I have gone on rants about the word “toned” before so let’s clear that up- what exactly do you think “toned” is? More definition in your body, right? Well that definition my friend is muscle growth. In order to see those lines in your core, or “toned” arms or legs, you must lift weights to grow the muscle. Hypertrophy is the increase in size of the skeletal muscle which is a result of lifting weights- and not the baby weights. To put it simply, let’s say you start by lifting the baby weights and MAYBE you see some results in the first few weeks of your training, then it seems your body comes to a halt or pause. No more progression…what gives? It’s called Progressive Overload. You must continue to increase the demands on the musculoskeletal system in order to increase muscle size, strength, and endurance. Your body will adapt to that baby weight at some point so in order to keep progressing you must go heavier. Heavy weights will overload the muscle, allowing you to get “toned” faster. Who doesn’t want that?
I just need to run more, or do more cardio. That will make me lean.
Cardio is certainly important for heart health, however when it comes to getting lean or losing weight, it actually takes 2nd place to lifting weights. When you have more muscle on your body (from lifting weights), your body has to work harder to feed those muscles, therefore you burn more calories throughout your day as opposed to someone who simply does cardio. If you enjoy running, I’m not telling you to stop running, but I am telling you that ALSO lifting weights will increase your metabolism and probably help with your runs as well. Not to mention it will increase your bone density and set you up for a long living, healthy body as you get older. If you perform steady-state, long-duration cardio 5-6X per week you may be lean, but you are probably also lacking muscle and have stubborn fat in certain areas. Here is an example of what my body looked like when I ran between 20 and 40 miles per week (no lifting). Next to my heavy lifting body with 3-4 HIIT cardio sessions per week. Huge difference, right?
I have to perform all of these crazy lifting movements that I am just not comfortable with. I can’t do that!
I think people tend to complicate weight lifting, yet I totally understand why with the volume of endless of information on the internet. It can be confusing when a beginner is looking to increase their strength or lose weight yet they aren’t sure how to perform a movement or don’t know where to start. There’s SO many different exercises you can do and so many fitness guru’s telling you to do 100 different things when in reality you should start with the basics. Squats, deadlifts, bench, military presses lunges, etc. While every person should have an individualized plan to help them achieve their goals efficiently, you don’t have to overcomplicate your workout. Here at SD Evolution we provide our clients with personalized training programs based on their goals, body & availability. If you are interested in your own 12 week training program visit our website www.sd-evolution.com or email us FitnessTeam@sd-evolution.com for more information.
I hope that I have swayed your thoughts about females and lifting weights after reading this article. Lifting has indefinitely changed my life. My physique, confidence and mentality have all changed postively since incorporating this lifestyle and I can only hope it does the same to my clients & readers.