You hear it time and time again: “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look bulky.” The relationship between weight training and the “bulky” look is largely non-existent, unless you are doing more than what many won’t. A woman’s DNA is not designed to grow muscle and get shredded without a lot of work.
Tracy Anderson is notorious for warning against weightlifting as a work out technique because of the risk of getting too bulked-up. She’s been quoted saying women shouldn’t lift more than three pounds, and that your larger muscles tell the smaller muscles to “go to sleep.” In fact, she’s been quoted saying things like:
As you age, the stronger you make your bicep, the worse your skin (under your arm) is going to sag. You can’t ever get to it because the bicep is too overbearing.
So before you start believing Tracy, let’s check out the five things you should know about weight lifting:
1. There Is No Such Thing As Toning
Sculpting, contouring, and otherwise “toning” your body aren’t actual techniques. They are terms typically used by trainers to encourage their female clients that weight lifting is more than just gaining muscle.
Being toned is a popular term used for a female that is generally in good shape, and some muscle definition. You cannot simply sculpt, contour, or target a specific body part to tone. While you can work on lagging areas and target specific muscles, the whole “toned” movement is leading you to believe otherwise.
2. Lifting Weights Won’t Make You “Chubby”
Weight loss is all about having a healthy diet and getting enough physical exercise. Lifting weights can’t increase the fat you already have; your eating will.
Matched with a sensible diet, lifting weights helps create a slim, in shape, sexy body. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you can burn. Lifting weights breaks down the muscles and burns calories, while what you do in the kitchen determines whether you build muscle or put on fat.
3. Not All Women Who Lift Look Like An IFBB Pro
The stigma that simply touching a dumbbell turns you into a professional bodybuilder is unfair to the women who put everything they have into trying to be Ms. Olympia. It simply doesn’t happen like that.
The incredible amount of training, heavy lifting, and extreme dieting to get stage-ready takes years and years to accomplish. Some women may be predisposed to building muscle easier than others, but to achieve the “manly” look is nearly impossible without purposely trying to attain that look.
Dana Linn Bailey recently commented on a post where a woman said “I wish I had your physique.” DLB replied back with “It took me 25 years to get it.”
4. You Should Train At Least Three Times Per Week
Follow this rule only if you want to build and sustain a healthy body. Regardless of your fitness goals, training at least three times per week will give you great results.
If you are looking to build more lean muscle, simply eating a surplus of 150-200 calories of nutritious foods will build muscle without putting on body fat. Looking to lose some body fat? Cut your calories down 150-200 calories per day, stop drinking your calories, and you will get lean fast.
Make it a goal to train at home or at the gym at least three times per week, clean up your diet, and quit being afraid to look amazing.
5. You Can Lose Weight Without Cardio
While cardio should be a part of any healthy workout program, it’s not essential to weight loss. It is possible to lose weight just by changing your diet, or combine weight lifting with a healthier diet for better results.
It’s time to stop giving women weight lifters a bad name – calling them “masculine,” “gross” and “bulky” is negative, and no better than fat shaming. These women have a goal they are busting their ass to achieve and deserve the same respect.