Image Credit: Greg Westfall (Flickr)

Why Women Should Lift Heavy Weights



 

Lately, I have seen people starting to talk about women lifting heavy weights and stating the truth about it not making you bulky and dispelling more myths that we have been force-fed for years. I’m very happy to see this information being put out there, because it’s true.

 

Image Credit: Greg Westfall (Flickr)
Image Credit: Greg Westfall (Flickr)

 

That being said, I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture. One of the things I have run into the most over the years in this industry as a competitor, trainer, and spectator is that “lifting heavy weights will make women more bulky”.  This has led to a fear of women lifting weight heavier than a few pounds just to “tone” and not “get big”.

First thing wrong about this: the word “tone” – this word is completely nonsensical in its application.  Tone actually means “the normal state of balanced tension in the tissues of the body, especially the muscles” – basically, this means that a muscle’s tone or tonus is how “flexed” it is when at rest. I can promise that this is not what 99.9% of people mean when they say they “just want to get more tone”.

What they really mean is they want to see more muscle and less fat. This is actually very simple to do – lose body fat through a good diet and build muscle through proper training including heavy resistance training.

 

Image Credit: Greg Westfall (Flickr)
Image Credit: Greg Westfall (Flickr)

 

You see, women have 5-10% of the testosterone that men do, meaning it is much more difficult to gain and maintain muscle for women when compared to men.  This means that women are not set up to gain muscle like men!

Gaining muscle mass is probably the most difficult thing to do with clients, when compared to gaining strength, endurance, or losing fat.  Women are at a disadvantage when it comes to hypertrophy (muscle growth), so why would women be so worried about it happening? I won’t waste time putting down others in the fitness/health community, so let’s just say the truth shall set you free!  As in free-weights – go lift them!

And if you don’t want to get “bulky”, then lose fat – one of the best ways to lose fat is to add muscle! Muscle burns many more calories than fat does in the body when at rest.  Add muscle, burn more fat outside of the gym, learn how to eat for your goals, and see more of the physique you desire!

 

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