If you’ve ever held yourself back from lifting weights because you’re afraid you’ll lose your feminine appeal, you need to read this. Weights are for women, lifting is good for you physically and mentally, and I promise that you will not build strength and muscles unless you do it very much on purpose.
Do I really have to be afraid of getting “too bulky”?
Have you ever met a woman who thought of herself as “too bulky”? She started strength training and suddenly overnight she grew too big and muscular? It’s a common fear for women to grow too big from strength training, and sometimes it holds women back from trying it out. As a coach, I am saddened because there are so many benefits to using weights. If you want to get fit and strong, but are afraid of lifting heavy, let me share a few things that will put your mind at ease.
Where does the fear come from?
Times are changing but society and media still suggest that for women, getting big and strong is a bad thing. Muscle on women is often portrayed as unfeminine and unattractive, while being “lean” and “toned” is promoted instead. It’s no wonder that women feel like they should avoid resistance training.
Of course, that’s all nonsense. Those firm butts and shapely legs we crave are achieved by building muscle not doing hours of cardio. Unfortunately, the common misconceptions about weights and femininity make some women shy away from activities that would actually help them reach their goals.
What does “too bulky” mean, anyway?
Our sense of how much muscle is “too bulky” is subjective; tastes can vary greatly from woman to woman. What one might consider bulky and undesirable, another might consider exactly what she wants.
But whatever YOU want is your decision alone. Whether you want to have a six-pack or defined arms or whether looks are not important at all and you just want to get stronger and healthier, the choice is yours. No matter what your fitness goals are, strength training can help you get there.
Why is it unlikely I’ll get “too bulky”?
Getting strong and muscular is not an accident. It takes hard work and dedication. Women who want to build visible muscle have to train regularly with heavy weights and fuel their bodies strategically with a lot of nutritious whole foods.
Most of all, building muscle and getting that athletic or defined look takes time. Although there hasn’t been much research done to know how quickly women can gain muscle mass, I can say from my experience as an athlete and trainer that it is not realistic to expect muscle gains of more than 1 pound per month, for up to a year and then progress slows down. And that applies to women who are specifically working on getting stronger and bigger.
What happens when women lift weights?
What I’ve seen is that when women start working with weights, they fall in love. First of all, they often see progress much more quickly then anticipated, both in how they look and in how much weight they are able to move. The results are so motivating and build confidence in a big way. Second, women are constantly blown away by how strong they truly are. Women who have never lifted are thrilled as they watch their strength and capability grow beyond their dreams. Third, they fall in love with the lifestyle. Training consistently, achieving big goals and taking great care of their bodies makes them feel healthier, happier, and more confident.
My clients get hooked on strength because it makes their life easier and everyday tasks are no longer such a strain. Moms are able to keep up with their energetic kids while slaying at work and heavy grocery bags are no longer a concern. They love it because they see results they only dreamed of and they love how it feels to be strong and what they see when they look in the mirror.
Weight training is so satisfying because you see and feel real results. A smart strength program will not only tone your whole body, burn fat, and sculpt your curves but also improve your posture, balance and mobility.
Lifting weights is incredibly beneficial, though a lot of the gains are invisible. Research shows that women who lift have stronger bones and joints, and are less prone to injury. They also tend to have lower blood pressure and a healthier heart. What you will notice when you start training with weights is that you’ll reach all your physical goals faster. Resistance training increases your metabolism so you burn more calories, and specifically, more fat. Plus, lean muscle mass increases your resting metabolism and it fights the age-related slowdown. Strength training does wonders to help you break free of what you thought were your body’s limits.
If you want to be stronger, healthier, and achieve your unique vision of a rocking body, I encourage you to go for it. Find a trainer who can teach you how to use weights effectively and start falling in love with your body’s incredible potential.
For more articles like this one and tips on how to stay fit and healthy, sign up for my newsletter here.